Premier League preview: Arsenal faces third-place Aston Villa, Liverpool eye top of table

Jul 19, 2023; Washington, DC, USA; Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli (right) and defender Jurrien Timber (12) and midfielder Declan Rice (41) celebrate after a goal against MLS during the second half of the 2023 MLS All Star Game at Audi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 19, 2023; Washington, DC, USA; Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli (right) and defender Jurrien Timber (12) and midfielder Declan Rice (41) celebrate after a goal against MLS during the second half of the 2023 MLS All Star Game at Audi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Arsenal is currently in the top spot on the English Premier League table with 36 points and the Gunners are hoping to extend their lead by three points as they travel to Villa Park to take on Aston Villa, who is currently sitting at the third spot with 32 points.

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners have won four straight matches, but Aston Villa is also performing well, having stunned Manchester City 1-0 in their 14th English Premier League home win. Aston Villa’s Leon Bailey secured the win over Man City with a deflected shot in the 74th minute, continuing Unai Emery’s best season with Villa in years. Aston Villa are just two points behind second-place Liverpool on the EPL table.

Here are the must-see games for Matchday 16.

Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace

Liverpool is expected to be the favorite as they face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, the Reds have won the last seven EPL matches. Crystal Palace is currently placed in 14th position and are struggling to score goals in the English Premier League.

Crystal Palace's recent performance has been disappointing as they have only managed to secure a point in their last four Premier League fixtures. Ahead of the match with Liverpool, Crystal Palace is facing injury concerns with key players. Cheick Doucoure has suffered an Achilles injury, which means he may be out for the rest of the season. Eberechi Eze is also unavailable as he is still recovering from his ankle injury.

During their recent 2-0 loss to Bournemouth, left-back Tyrick Mitchell left the match before halftime due to a hip injury. It is still unclear whether he will be fit to play against Liverpool.

Liverpool kicks off against Crystal Palace on Saturday, December 9, at 7:30 p.m., ET, on NBC Sports.

Premier League predictions: Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace

Pickswise: Liverpool win

Staff writes: "Liverpool are just 2 points behind league leaders Arsenal and could go top of the table, at least for a few hours, with a win at Selhurst Park. They have posted 10 wins from 15 games and have shown signs of improvement on the road recently, having followed their disciplined 1-1 tie away to Manchester City with a 2-0 win against Sheffield United on Wednesday. The resolute win over the Blades will have been warmly welcomed by Reds fans following the frenetic 4-3 win over Fulham beforehand, and they can record another low-scoring win in this one."

Livescore: Back Liverpool to win

Staff writes: "Liverpool have not been great on the road this season, winning just three league games away from Anfield, and it would be a surprise if they stuck more than a couple of goals past a Palace side who generally defend well. But the Reds should have enough quality in their ranks to see them edge to victory and keep pace in the Premier League title race."

Yahoo Sports: Liverpool to win, 3-0

Staff writes: "There has been very little for Palace fans to get excited about - they have won just once at Selhurst Park this season. Liverpool on the other hand look strong at both ends of the pitch, and another lunchtime kick-off looks to be the biggest obstacle to them picking up another three points. That should not be a problem though, with Liverpool fancied to pile the misery on Hodgson and Palace."

Premier League predictions: Manchester City vs. Luton Town

Manchester City fell 1-0 to Aston Villa on Wednesday and have lost the last four of their Premier League matches. To get back on track, the Reds need a win against Luton Town on Sunday.

Despite missing key players like Kevin De Bruyne and Jeremy Doku, Manchester City will have Rodri and Jack Grealish back in the squad for the Luton Town match.

Luton Town recently played a mid-week EPL match against Arsenal, giving the Gunners a run for the top spot in a 4-3 thriller. Luton Town is currently in the 18th spot of the EPL table with 9 points.

Manchester City kicks off against Luton Town on Sunday, December 10 at 9:00 a.m., ET on Peacock.

Premier League predictions: Manchester City vs. Luton Town

Soccernews: Manchester City to win 5-0

Staff write: "Luton Town showed against Arsenal that they are not easy pushovers. They are likely to put up a fight against Manchester City. However, it is hard to see anything but an easy win for Pep Guardiola’s side. It would be the shock of the season if Luton won against City."

Yahoo: Man City to win 3-1

Staff writes: "It is simply too hard to bet against a team who have won three Premier League titles in a row, even despite the issues (relatively speaking) that currently beset them."

English Premier League Table 2023-24

Position

Club

Played

Won

Draw

Lost

Points

1

Arsenal

15

11

3

1

36

2

Liverpool

15

10

4

1

34

3

Aston Villa

15

10

2

3

32

4

Manchester City

15

9

3

3

30

5

Tottenham Hotspur

15

8

3

4

27

6

Manchester United

15

9

0

6

27

7

Newcastle United

15

8

2

5

26

8

Brighton And Hove Albion

15

7

4

4

25

9

West Ham United

15

7

3

5

24

10

Chelsea

15

5

4

6

19

11

Brentford

15

5

4

6

19

12

Fulham

15

5

3

7

18

13

Wolverhampton Wanderers

15

5

3

7

18

14

Crystal Palace

15

4

4

7

16

15

Bournemouth

15

4

4

7

16

16

Nottingham Forest

15

3

4

8

13

17

Everton

15

6

2

7

10

18

Luton Town

15

2

3

10

9

19

Burnley

15

2

1

12

7

20

Sheffield United

15

1

2

12

5

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Premier League predictions: Arsenal, Liverpool headline packed schedule