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Matheus Cunha can continue to rack up points

Matheus Cunha should be drafted in to RG Fantasy squads

The first managerial casualty of the Premier League season took place this week with Sheffield United head coach Paul Heckingbottom relieved of his duties and replaced by Blades cult hero Chris Wilder.

The Fantasy landscape heats up as all three major races take shape, nost notably the possibility of a four-team title push.

Matheus Cunha is a solid budget pick for the festive period, with the Wolves striker getting four goal contributions (two goals and two assists) in as many games.


Crystal Palace v Liverpool (8.30am)

Crystal Palace are struggling to find consistency, failing to win consecutive games and scoring the second-fewest goals this season.

Dean Henderson, Rob Holding, Cheikh Doucoure and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi are out this weekend, while Ebere Eze is doubtful with an ankle injury.

Liverpool are in the thick of the title race and moved within two points of Arsenal after the midweek win at Sheffield United.

Alisson, Joel Matip, Andy Robertson, Stefan Bajcetic, Diogo Jota and Thiago Alcantara are out through injury.

Liverpool dominate this rivalry, winning 18 of 28 meetings with the Eagles.

Prediction: 0-2

Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley (11am)

Brighton edged Brentford in midweek to pull within five points of the top four.

Lewis Dunk and Mahmoud Dahoud are suspended, while Pervis Estupinan, Tariq Lamptey, Adam Webster, Julio Enciso, Solly March, Ansu Fati and Danny Welbeck are out with injury for the Seagulls.

Burnley have endured a mixed week as the dominant home win over Sheffield United was followed by a midweek defeat at Wolves. Josh Cullen is out, while Jack Cork, Lyle Foster, Manuel Benson and the exciting Luca Koleosho are doubtful.

These clubs have drawn five of their ten league meetings, although Burnley edge the rivalry with three wins to Brighton’s two.

Prediction: 2-1

Manchester United v Bournemouth (11am)

Manchester United were toothless in the shutout defeat at Newcastle last weekend but were much improved when beating Chelsea at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez, Jonny Evans, Amad Diallo, Casemiro and Christian Eriksen are out with injuries, while Mason Mount is doubtful.

Bournemouth are making quick improvements across the last few games, suffering just one defeat in the last six. Ryan Fredericks, Lloyd Kelly, Max Aarons, Alex Scott, and Tyler Adams are out to injury, while Emiliano Marcondes is doubtful.

United have won nine of 12 league contests with the Cherries.

Prediction: 2-0

Sheffield United v Brentford (11am)

Sheffield United lost their first home game under the leadership of Chris Wilder to Liverpool.

Oliver McBurnie is suspended after being sent off at Turf Moor last weekend. Chris Basham, John Egan, Tom Davies and Daniel Jebbison are out to injury; while Rhys Norrington-Davies, Rhian Brewster and George Baldock are doubtful.

Brentford have now lost three of their last five after the narrow midweek defeat at Brighton. Kristoffer Ajer, Nathan Collins, Aaron Hickey, Josh Dasilva and Kevin Schade are out through injury, while Mathias Jensen is doubtful to a thigh injury this weekend.

This is the first top-flight league meeting between these clubs.

Prediction: 0-2

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Nottingham Forest (11am)

Wolves got a goal from Cunha to edge Burnley in midweek after narrowly falling to defeat at Arsenal.

Jonny Otto is out for his involvement in a training ground incident; Rayan Ait-Nouri, Joe Hodge and Pedro Neto are out to injury; while Nathan Fraser and Jose Sa are doubtful this match.

Forest have lost three in a row to look over their shoulder, as they are just six points clear of the drop zone. Taiwo Awoniyi is out with a groin injury, while Willy Boly, Murillo, Danilo, and Chris Wood are doubtful.

Wolves are unbeaten in their first two meetings with their West Midlands rivals.

Prediction: 2-2

Aston Villa v Arsenal (1.30pm)

Aston Villa showed title credentials in the midweek home win over Manchester City, and they are four points off the top approaching the halfway stage.

Tyrone Mings and Emiliano Buendia are out to knee injuries, while Bertrand Traore is doubtful this weekend.

Arsenal are still the early pace-setters after a comeback win at Luton on Tuesday. Takehiro Tomiyasu, Jurrien Timber and Thomas Partey are out to injury, while Emile Smith Rowe is doubtful with a knee injury this game.

The Gunners dominate this rivalry with 31 wins to Villa’s 11 through 52 meetings.

Prediction: 1-2


Everton v Chelsea (10am)

Everton picked up a narrow win at Nottingham Forest last weekend. Dele Alli is out with a hip injury, while Andre Gomes (fitness) and Amadou Onana (calf) are doubtful.

Chelsea were beaten at Manchester United on Wednesday as their stuttering season continues. Trevoh Chalobah, Ben Chilwell, Wesley Fofana, Malo Gusto, Carney Chukwuemeka, Noni Madueke, Lesley Ugochukwu, Romeo Lavia and Christopher Nkunku are out with injury this weekend.

Chelsea lead Everton in the ‘battle of the Blues’ with 28 wins to the Toffees’ 13 through 52 contests.

Prediction: 2-2

Fulham v West Ham United (10am)

Fulham thrashed Forest 5-0 to get back to winning ways midweek. Issa Diop, Adama Traore and Rodrigo Muniz are out with injury, while Matthew Dibley-Dias is doubtful with a hamstring injury this match.

West Ham are unbeaten in their last three league games, and lost just once in their last six in all competitions. Michail Antonio is doubtful with a knee injury for this London derby.

The Hammers dominate this derby between East and West with 16 wins to Fulham’s four from 26 encounters.

Prediction: 1-3

Luton Town v Manchester City (10am)

Luton are coping well in their first Premier League campaign despite defeats to Arsenal. Issa Kabore is ineligible to face his parent club as a result of league loan rules. Mads Juel Andersen, Reece Burke, Dan Potts, and Cauley Woodrow are out with various injuries, while Marvelous Nakamba and Tom Lockyer are doubtful

Manchester City have not won in four Premier League matches for the first time since 2017 after losing at Aston Villa. Kevin de Bruyne is still out with a hamstring injury, while Jeremy Doku is doubtful.

Prediction: 1-1

Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United (12.30pm)

Tottenham grabbed an impressive draw at Manchester City to maintain interest in the Champions League qualification picture and welcomed West Ham to their stadium on Thursday.

Alfie Whiteman, Eric Dier, Ivan Perisic, Ryan Sessegnon, Micky van de Ven, Ashley Phillips, Rodrigo Bentancur, James Maddison and Manor Solomon are out to a range of injuries, while Pape Matar Sarr is doubtful.

Newcastle dominated Manchester United, despite the narrow 1-0 scoreline, to keep pace with the top four.

Nick Pope, Sven Botman, Dan Burn, Matt Targett, Elliott Anderson, Jacob Murphy and Harvey Barnes are out to injury, while Javier Manquillo, Sean Longstaff, Joe Willock, Callum Wilson and Anthony Gordon are doubtful.

This is a perfectly-split rivalry, as each side has won 24 of their 56 league meetings.

Prediction: 3-2

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Published December 08, 2023 at 7:58 am (Updated December 08, 2023 at 7:39 am)

Matheus Cunha can continue to rack up points

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