Paul Merson's predictions for Arsenal vs Liverpool and other Premier League GW23 fixtures

Arsenal vs Liverpool is the standout fixture of the Premier League weekend
Arsenal vs Liverpool is the standout fixture of the Premier League weekend

Liverpool's 4-1 win against Chelsea was a statement win in terms of the Premier League title race. The Reds laid down the marker for the business end of the campaign and were dominant from start to finish as Conor Bradley enjoyed his finest night as a professional footballer with a goal and a pair of assists.

The Reds have another big one this week as they travel to north London to take on Arsenal in what could be another important game in the 2023-24 Premier League campaign. Which one of these two sides will come out on top? Only time will tell.

On that note, here are my predictions for matchday 23.

Everton vs Tottenham Hotspur

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Everton are suddenly in the relegation zone, so this is a crucial game for them. Tottenham had a great 10-15 minute spell to turn the game on its head against Brentford, but the way they play, they tend to leave a lot of open space at the back.

This is a really interesting game of football and judging by the way Tottenham play, I think we're going to see a few goals. James Maddison's return has been a big boost for them - it's as good as a January signing for Ange Postecoglou. You can see the way he lifts the fans and everyone around him - he was fantastic against Brentford after the manager put him in the hole behind Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison in the second half.

I can see a lorry load of goals here, so I'm going for a 2-2 draw.

Prediction: Everton 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Crystal Palace

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In my opinion, Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise will decide this game. Both teams have a bunch of talented players, but it will come down to these two players. If they feature for Palace, I can see them getting at least a draw, but if they don't, the drop in quality is so huge that I think Brighton will smash them to bits.

When Olise and Eze were subbed off against Sheffield, they were hanging by a thread and just managed to see out the game. They just make everyone play and it was an important three points for Roy Hodgson as the pressure is off a little bit.

As for Brighton, they lost 4-0 to Luton and everyone just casually brushed it off. Roberto de Zerbi has been linked with the Liverpool job, but if he suffered a similar defeat as the Reds' boss, it would make headlines. People would say he wouldn't lose 4-0 to Luton at Liverpool, but if we're being completely honest, Brighton shouldn't be losing by that margin either!

Prediction: Brighton 2-2 Crystal Palace

Newcastle United vs Luton Town

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Both teams are coming on the back of sensational midweek victories, so this is going to be an exciting game. Alexander Isak is injured for Newcastle, but they are formidable at home and will make their massive pitch count, so I think they will have too much for Luton.

As far as the away side are concerned, this is not their cup final after their incredible 4-0 win against Brighton, so they will look to keep things tight away from home to try and get something. If Luton manage to stay up this season, it will be one of the greatest achievements in the Premier League in terms of a team avoiding relegation. They have the smallest ground in the top flight by a distance and have been down in non-league football not long ago, so it'll be quite something.

Prediction: Newcastle United 3-1 Luton Town

Burnley vs Fulham

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This is a must-win game for Burnley and something tells me they'll get the job done at home. They defended well against Manchester City despite losing 3-1 and would have highlighted this game to get a positive result as Fulham aren't really playing for much between now and the end of the season.

I fancy Vincent Kompany and Co. to make home advantage count and secure a massive 2-0 win.

Prediction: Burnley 2-0 Fulham

Sheffield United vs Aston Villa

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I was so disappointed by Aston Villa, they got well beaten by a Newcastle United side at home. The Magpies went tight on the likes of Boubakar Kamara, Douglas Luiz and John McGinn and didn't let the trio pass the ball around in the center of the park, which has barely happened to Villa this season considering their home form.

Sheffield United are a poor side, let's be honest. This is a good game for Villa to return to winning ways and I think they'll do that comfortably.

Prediction: Sheffield United 1-3 Aston Villa

Manchester United vs West Ham United

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West Ham United have the ammunition to hurt Manchester United on the counter. With Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudus, the Hammers have two players who have been in fine form this season, but as I've said earlier, you never quite know what you're going to get with West Ham.

You could say the same for Manchester United! They were absolutely dominating Newport County and raced to a two-goal lead, which is when I thought it could be a cricket score. Next thing you know, it was 2-2! I hate predicting Manchester United games, but I think they'll just win this one thanks for home advantage.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 West Ham United

Chelsea vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

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Chelsea were terrible against Liverpool and deservedly lost 4-1. They were absolutely all over the place and went to Anfield without a center forward. As for their midfield, Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo cost a combined €225 million, so how does one leave them out even if they underperform? Caicedo was signed for €4m by Brighton a few years ago, now suddenly he's the most expensive player in Premier League history? You can't improve that much in 2-3 years, it's impossible.

You watch Caicedo and compare him to Declan Rice - it's like chalk and cheese! For that fee, you have to grab games by the scruff of the neck and make your presence felt, and I can't remember him doing that too many times at Chelsea. The Blues' midfield was absolutely ripped to shreds against Liverpool and it was embarrassing, to say the least.

That said, Chelsea's home form has improved over the past month or so, so I think they'll win this game 2-1.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Wolves

Bournemouth vs Nottingham Forest

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Bournemouth are in a bit of a sticky run after a string of outstanding results, but they aren't in trouble as they have enough points on the board. Forest lost 2-1 against Arsenal, but the Gunners absolutely dominated that game from start to finish and should have won more comfortably.

Bournemouth are a well-drilled side and should win this one at home.

Prediction: Bournemouth 2-0 Nottingham Forest

Arsenal vs Liverpool

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This is once again a must-win game for Arsenal. If they lose, they are out of the Premier League title race and a draw is no good either, so they absolutely have to go for it.

Before Liverpool's demolition of Chelsea, I was quite bullish about this game and thought Arsenal would win. My opinion has changed now as the Reds were absolutely unbelievable last night. Chelsea weren't great, but Liverpool blew them out of the water and could've had more goals if Darwin Nunez hadn't struck the bar four times!

A draw isn't ideal for Arsenal, but I don't think Liverpool will lose too much sleep if they share the spoils away from home. One player who deserves a mention is Conor Bradley, oh my god where has he come from? He's keeping Trent Alexander-Arnold out of the team and I couldn't talk highly enough of him, he's been a pleasure to watch. With games coming thick and fast now, it remains to be seen if he keeps his place against Arsenal. Will Klopp decide to keep him in the team or will he take him out of the firing line for a bit? Only time will tell.

Joe Gomez kept Noni Madueke in his pocket and Liverpool's forwards are scoring bags of goals, so you could say everything Jurgen Klopp has touched in recent weeks has turned to gold. In my opinion, he definitely starts ahead of Andy Robertson at the Emirates.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool

Brentford vs Manchester City

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Brentford's fixtures are horrific, it's not looking good for them. They could get dragged into a relegation dog fight and I can't see them getting anything out of this game as Manchester City are beating teams in second gear.

With Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland back, this is going to be an easy win for Manchester City.

Neal Maupay made headlines for all the wrong reasons after copying James Maddison's celebration. It was such a silly thing to do, there's no need to wind everyone up away from home. He's an experienced player and should've been more clever.

Prediction: Brentford 1-3 Manchester City

Top-four prediction in order as things stand: Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur

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Edited by Paul Merson