10 things we learned in the Premier League – Matchweek 13

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What did we learn during matchweek 13 of the 2021-22 Premier League?

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Here’s a look at 10 things which stood out, as our writers Joe Prince-Wright (JPW), Nicholas Mendola (NM) and Andy Edwards (AE) share their observations from across the most recent Premier League games.

VIDEO: PL highlights ]

Let’s get to it.


1. A proper spectacle (Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United): The chess match between Thomas Tuchel and Michael Carrick/Ralf Rangnick was befitting the day and the occasion. With all due respect to Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before them, the bosses were here to stage a proper mental and physical battle. Cristiano Ronaldo, Christian Pulisic, Romelu Lukaku, and Mason Mount all came off the bench. Tactics were altered. Chances exchanged. It may have taken a Jorginho gaffe to open up the match, but it was totally worth it. (NM)

2. Red-hot Liverpool too sharp (Liverpool 4-0 Southampton): This Liverpool side are truly back to their best. They have scored 10 goals without conceding in three wins in the last week and Jurgen Klopp’s side showed off their sharp passing and incisive running in the final third. Aside from a few dodgy moments at the back as Alisson and others had some loose passes and Southampton pressed high, this was an extremely comfortable win. Liverpool have now scored 39 goals in their opening 13 games of the PL season, their highest tally in PL history at this stage of a season. That tells us how sharp they are up top right now. Also, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah didn’t score on Saturday… (JPW)

3. Should Manchester City be Premier League title favorites? (Manchester City 2-1 West Ham): Man City did not have Jack Grealish, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, and Ferran Torres. Forget the millions and millions and millions spent for a second and those are still some absences to overcome on a snow-covered pitch coming off a European week with two more matches ahead next week (West Ham also played in Europe last week, we should mention). But City’s defense was imperious and its midfield barely missed a step. Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan combined attempted 133 passes and failed to complete… five. Again, in the snow. The first half was significantly more snowy and City passed at 91 percent as a team. Over a full season, it’s difficult to say anyone will out-perform City. Still, it’ll come down to the games between City, Chelsea, and Liverpool. (NM)

4. A step forward for Sancho, Man United (Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United): Ralf Rangnick won’t love a lot of what he saw in the opening stages of this one, which required David De Gea heroics to thwart Chelsea’s bid to blow the visitors out of the water, but United grew into the game and showed willingness to adapt to the requested tactics and responsibilities. Sancho is a brilliant player who just didn’t get enough chances or show well under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but his electric skill set and hunger for the ball in space was written all over his goal. If he’s going along with Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes — let alone however Cristiano Ronaldo fits into this — look out. (NM)

5. Young Gunners taking steps forward (Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle): They were humbled at Liverpool in the second half last week but this young Newcastle side is taking care of business against the teams they should be beating. The next step is to take that confidence into the games against the big boys. There were a few naive giveaways, a few times Newcastle got in too easily over the top and a few times that Ramsdale needed to make good stops, but overall Arsenal were in control for the entire 90 minutes. (JPW)

6. Two games, nearly two clean sheets under Gerrard (Crystal Palace 1-2 Aston Villa): Not only have Aston Villa conceded just one goal (incredibly late on) in two games under Gerrard, but they’ve allowed just 14 shots (it was nine until the final 10 minutes) combined to Brighton and Crystal Palace — two sides quite accomplished in possession and going forward. It’s only two games, but Aston Villa look like a defensive juggernaut, and it happened — quite literally — over one international break. (AE)

7. Vardy, Maddison back in form (Leicester 4-2 Watford): The way they linked up was just like the last few seasons and that is great news for Leicester. Maddison has been struggling for fitness and form in recent months but he now looks back to his best and Vardy is making more runs knowing he has his chief creator back. (JPW)

8. Brentford gets an ugly win (Brentford 1-0 Everton): The Bees have been a high-performing fun team over so much of this season, but Brentford’s victory wasn’t just much-needed it was proof that Thomas Frank’s men can deliver on defending and the steely things required to stay up in the Premier League and thrive in it. Even without Kristoffer Ajer and David Raya, Brentford flexed its versatility and that bodes well for a team that’s bringing proof of credentials on a near-weekly basis. (NM)

9. Brighton still need a finisher (Brighton 0-0 Leeds): If Graham Potter’s mind won the managerial tete-a-tete with Marcelo Bielsa, his recruitment team failed the personnel duel in providing a finisher. Neal Maupay is perfectly fine as a Premier League contributor and absolutely demolishes Champions League defenses, but the midfield masterclass given by Yves Bissouma as a part of Brighton’s 3-5-2 deserved so much better than the game being in the balance late, let alone a 0-0 draw. The fact that Maupay was pulled for Jurgen Locadia, who couldn’t do much at FC Cincinnati of all places, shows that Brighton’s leadership may waste the Potter era by not splashing money on a center forward, and soon. Because of all this, goalkeeper Robert Sanchez’s brilliant late saves meant one point, not three, was preserved by the Seagulls. (NM)

10. Beware the ornery Canaries (Norwich 0-0 Wolves): If Daniel Farke’s Norwich was going to try to out-football you come hell or high water, Dean Smith’s birds are going to give you the choice of eternal fire or a difficult swim. Norwich attacked with vigor when it could but mostly was ready to make sure Wolves knew this was going to be a physical test for 90 minutes. Billy Gilmour had a yellow card for persistent fouling by the 26th minute and Wolves decided to just flat-out fight rather than focus on the football. It was a winning proposition for the hosts. (NM)

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Brentford vs Brighton, live! How to watch, live stream link, TV, lineups, start time, odds, prediction

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Brentford vs Brighton: The newly promoted Bees will try to remain unbeaten in the Premier League when they host the Seagulls at the Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 am ET, on Peacock Premium).

BRENTFORD vs BRIGHTON STREAM LIVE

Brentford began life in the Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Arsenal in the 2021-22 season’s curtain-raiser. Thomas Frank’s side followed that up with back-to-back draws with Crystal Palace and Aston Villa to give them five points from their first three games — 12.5 of the way to the proverbially magic 40-point mark.

Brighton, meanwhile, won their first two games against Burnley and Watford before a 2-0 defeat to Everton before the recent international break. Neal Maupay has scored twice already, as the Seagulls begin to turn last season’s favorable chance creation numbers into goal production.

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Here is everything you need to know ahead of Brentford vs Brighton this Saturday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Brentford team news, injuries (INJURY REPORT)

OUT: Josh Dasilva (hip), Mads Sorensen (knee)

Brighton team news, injuries

OUT: Tariq Lamptey (thigh), Jurgen Locadia (fitness), Danny Welbeck (thigh), Dan Burn (knee), Aaron Connolly (buttock)


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Brentford (+180) | Brighton (+165) | Draw (+205)

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction

Brentford don’t take many risks defensively, which presents a familiar challenge for Brighton: break down a lower-table side that sits deep without over-extending yourself to be stung on the counter-attack. Ivan Toney’s hold-up play and powerful finishing around the penalty area will make him a nightmare for Brighton’s backline. Brentford 2-1 Brighton.


How to watch Brentford vs Brighton, stream live and start time

Kickoff: 10 am ET Saturday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium

Locadia arrives in Cincinnati ahead of MLS move

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It appears that Jurgen Locadia‘s reported move to FC Cincinnati is on the verge of becoming a reality.

Once Brighton and Hove Albion’s record signing in 2018, the Dutchman is now two years later on the move again, but this time to MLS. It’s a massive coup for FC Cincinnati, now heading into its second year in the league, and gives the team another attacking threat after finishing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference in year one.

Locadia was photographed arriving at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport on Sunday afternoon, with a physical and contract signing expected to come on Monday.

At just 26-years-old, the former Netherlands youth international is coming to Cincinnati in the prime of his career. It’s no doubt a disappointment for him on a personal level that the move to the Premier League didn’t work out. In 43 appearances, he had just four goals and two assists, but the star seemed so bright around the festive period in 2018, when he scored in back to back games against Arsenal and Everton. Brighton spent a reported club-record $18 million on him in January 2018.

However, new Brighton coach Graham Potter decided not to keep Locadia going forward, and he left the club to go on loan to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. Now though, it appears to be time for another change, and a chance for a fresh start on a new continent for Locadia.

Reports out of Cincinnati state that Locadia’s fee to MLS is undisclosed, but you’d expect that it will cost in the millions to let Locadia out of his contract with the club.

FC Cincinnati reportedly lands ex-Brighton record signing Locadia

Jurgen Locadia MLS
Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bongarts/Getty Images
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Jurgen Locadia was Brighton and Hove Albion’s record signing just over two years ago, and now he might be coming to Major League Soccer.

FC Cincinnati would be the destination, according to reports, in a massive coup for the Ohio club.

The Dutch playmaker managed just six goals and two assists in 43 appearances for Brighton, but has four goals and an assist on loan to Hoffenheim this season.

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Big MLS signings have often fallen into young players on the come up and players on the back end of their careers, but this is a powerful attacker very much in his prime (26).

The report doesn’t specify whether it would be a loan or permanent deal, but the ex-PSV star would be an almost surefire gamebreaker for FCC.

It was a mere 13 months ago that Locadia was scoring in back-to-back games versus Arsenal and Everton. There’s a surreal feeling to this report, and it would be a real show of power from MLS and FCC.

Love this signing. Make it happen. It’s record-threatening good.

Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.

Everton 2019-20 season preview

Established: 1878
Stadium: Goodison Park
Location: Walton, Liverpool
Head Coach: Marco Silva
Nickname: The Toffees
Rival(s): Liverpool
Top-Division Titles: Nine (1890–91, 1914–15, 1927–28, 1931–32, 1938–39, 1962–63, 1969–70, 1984–85, 1986–87)

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Best possible XI:

Pickford
Coleman
Keane
Mina
Digne
Gbamin
Gomes
Sigurdsson
Iwobi
Bernard
Richarlison

Key arrivals: Andre Gomes (Barcelona), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield Town), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Mainz), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Djibril Sidibe (Loan, Monaco)

Key departures: Jonjoe Kenny (loan, Schalke), Phil Jagielka (Sheffield United), Ashley Williams (released), Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moscow), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic), Ademola Lookman (RB Leipzig), Idrissa Gana Gueye (PSG), Sandro (loan, Real Valladolid).

Ranking their offseason: The quality of their arrivals isn’t to be doubted, and Lossl could see himself as a starter if Jordan Pickford doesn’t get his act together, but there are a lot of good talents skipping town. Silva’s judgment may be questioned in the cases of Lookman and Vlasic in particular but adding Iwobi and Gbamin late in the window boosted their squad. 7/10.

Star player: Gylfi Sigurdsson — Richarlison is a stud and last year’s MVP was definitely Lucas Digne, but don’t sleep on the Icelandic star’s ability to change a game on so many levels.

Coaches’ Corner: Marco Silva — He’ll be tested this season more than any other, as Everton is expected to show its on the level with Wolves, West Ham, and any other contender for the Top Seven.

PST predicts: The Toffees face two promoted teams, Palace, Bournemouth, and both Watford and Wolves in their first six matches. Of all the Top Six sides, Everton only meets Man City and Spurs before December (when they then meet Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, and Arsenal in a 17-day span). Seventh is a realistic target, as is a Cup. Get to Europe in some way is the goal.