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Key game previews: Aston Villa vs Wolves, Liverpool vs Brighton, Man City vs Arsenal

We preview this weekend’s huge Premier League games involving Aston Villa vs Wolves, Liverpool vs Brighton and Manchester City vs Arsenal.

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The Premier League returns this weekend after a brief hiatus due to the international break.

Football fans and pundits alike are eagerly anticipating match week 30 in what could be one of the most electrifying, pulsating, table-shaping and most importantly, title-deciding weekend.

Aston Villa will start a string of three key clashes when they host Wolverhampton Wanderers at Villa Park on Saturday. ‘Super Sunday’ could hugely determine potential league champions with Liverpool hosting Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield, while the most highly anticipated match of the week will be at the Etihad Stadium where Manchester City welcome league leaders, Arsenal.

Here’s a preview of the three games:

Aston Villa vs Wolves

The first of the three matches will be at Villa Park as fourth-placed Villa take on 9th-placed Wolves at 5:30 pm on Saturday. The result from this matchup could be a huge decider on how the Premier League table could shape up at the end of matchweek 30.

Unai Emery’s side hoped to recover from their loss against Tottenham Hotspur when they faced West Ham but it didn’t go as planned as the Hammers took an early lead through Michail Antonio in the first half.

After a barrage of attacks, Villa finally netted an equaliser through Nicolò Zaniolo in the 79th minute after good work from Moussa Diaby down the right flank.

For the visitors, Wolves were shockingly knocked out of the FA Cup by Championship side Coventry City, as two goals in stoppage time from Ellis Simms and Haji Wright gave Coventry a 3:2 win.

Simms had opened the scoring for the Sky Blues in the second half before Rayan Ait-Nouri was teed up to score the equaliser. Wolves felt they had secured qualification into the next round after Hugo Bueno’s strike gave them a 2:1 lead only for Simms and Wright to strike late to seal qualification for the Championship side.

They’ll be heading into this fixture with enough rest, having not played a game since their FA Cup defeat.

Team news

The Villains will be without their captain, John McGinn, through suspension after receiving a red card in the defeat to Tottenham.

Jacob Ramsay remains doubtful for the game after missing the last few matches due to injury. The midfielder’s participation in this match hinges on a late fitness test.

For Wolves, they were dealt a huge blow when talisman Pedro Neto was ruled out for the rest of the season following a lengthy injury he suffered in the FA Cup defeat.

Jeanricner Bellegarde and Hwang Hee-Chan are expected to miss the match while Matheus Cunha and Craig Dawson could make a return to the squad after recovering from slight knocks.


Villa will hope to end an abysmal run of results at home against Wolves, with their last home victory in this fixture recorded in 2018. The hosts are winless in their last six domestic ties against the visitors and would savour the chance to turn the tide around with victory on Saturday.

Wolves, on the other hand, are no pushovers and are capable of grinding out results. A draw could prove detrimental to Villa’s Champions League hopes, but that looks to be the most likely outcome in this match. Aston Villa 2-2 Wolves.

Liverpool vs Brighton

The first of Sunday’s two blockbuster clashes will be held at Anfield when second-placed Liverpool take on Brighton.

The Reds played out a thrilling 1-1 draw with Man City in their last Premier League outing. They had chances to claim all three points and were the better side in the game but were left to rue their missed opportunities at full-time as the draw meant they had drop points and their first-place spot to Arsenal.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were then knocked out of the FA Cup in an entertaining 4-3 defeat to Manchester United and will hope to bounce back from that loss when they face the Seagulls.

For Brighton, they’re a contrast to their impressive campaign last season when they finished in sixth place. Roberto De Zerbi’s side currently occupy eighth place in the Premier League standings with little or no chance of making the top six.

A 37th-minute Andrew Omobamidele own-goal gave Brighton a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest in their last league outing. The Seagulls also recorded a 1-0 win over AS Roma in the Europa League, but it wasn’t enough as they were knocked out of the competition with a 4-1 aggregate scoreline.

Team news

Ibrahima Konate and Curtis Jones are the closest to returning to the matchday squad for Liverpool.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota were both tipped to return after the international break, but both players might need another week or two before making the squad.

For Brighton, Kaoru Mitoma, Solly March, and Jack Hinshelwood remain long-term absentees. The duo of Joao Pedro and James Milner will be assessed to determine their availability for the match.


Liverpool will face a stern test against a Brighton side they’ve failed to beat in their last four outings. More concerning for the Reds is that they’ve recorded only one victory in eight matches against the Seagulls.

However, Klopp’s side are tipped to extend their 31-match unbeaten streak at Anfield against a Brighton side that have conceded seven goals in their last two matches while also losing five of their last six away matches. Liverpool 2-1 Brighton.

Manchester City vs Arsenal

Suspense, hope, dismay, duels, tension, and an elite-level tactical tussle are what will be expected at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday when Premier League defending champions, City, welcome Premier League hopeful and table leaders, Arsenal.

A match where every goal becomes a decider, every successful tackle breathes a sigh of relief, every counter-attack raises hopes and every drop of sweat waters down the grass at which the potential Premier League winner could emerge.

A Benardo Silva double gave City a 2-0 win over Newcastle in the FA Cup last time out, while a first-half John Stones flick was not enough as City gave up their lead to draw 1-1 to a spirited Liverpool side at Anfield in their last Premier League outing.

Arsenal, on the other hand, defeated Porto on penalties in the UEFA Champions League to qualify for the next round, thanks to two David Raya heroic saves.

Kai Havertz was the hero last time out in the Premier League as the Gunners left it late to secure a 2-1 victory over Brentford, who had drawn level in the first half through Yoan Wissa.

The Gunners have had more rest time ahead of what could prove to be a make-or-mar clash against Pep Guardiola’s side. Fans with Arsenal tickets are eagerly awaiting this huge clash as they look to cement their place at the top of the table.

Team news

For City, Ederson remains out, with Stefan Ortega set to deputise in goal.

Kyle Walker’s withdrawal from England’s game against Brazil is believed to be precautionary, and if declared fit, could start in City’s backline.

There was concern for John Stones, who limped off after only nine minutes in the game against Belgium on Tuesday night.

Jack Grealish and Kevin De Bruyne returned to full training this week, but De Bruyne is the most likely to play a prominent role in the match.

For Arsenal, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Margalhães pulled out of their respective national team camps in what looks to be precautionary measures.

Hence, both players are tipped to feature in Mikel Arteta’s squad to face the Cityzens.

Gabriel Martinelli, who scored the winner in the reverse fixture, could return from a foot issue while Jurrien Timber remains unfit to make an appearance despite participating in training.


Both teams will head into this fixture with one mandate: don’t lose! One thing is certain: it will not be a one-sided affair, and an end-to-end, high-octane match is expected when these two sides clash.

City’s experience and home advantage could prove decisive in this matchup, but that depends on the availability of their key players. Man City 3-2 Arsenal.

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