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Premier League

Bullet point previews of English Premier League matches

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Match-by-match facts and statistics ahead of the next round of Premier League fixtures from April 1-3 (all times GMT):

Saturday, April 1

Manchester City v Liverpool (1130)

* Manchester City have lost only one of their last 13 Premier League home games against Liverpool (W7 D5).

* Liverpool are looking to complete the league double over City for only the second time in the last 17 seasons.

* Liverpool have taken only 12 points from their 13 Premier League away games this season (W3 D3 L7), compared to 30 at home. They have the biggest difference between points won at home and on the road in the Premier League this season (18).

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Arsenal v Leeds United (1400)

* Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 13 meetings with Leeds in all competitions (W11 D2), since a 3-2 home loss in May 2003 that ended their title bid that season.

* Arsenal have won their last six Premier League games, their joint-longest such run under manager Mikel Arteta. They last won seven in a row between August and October 2018 under Unai Emery.

* Both Arsenal and Leeds have had a joint-high 14 different goalscorers in the Premier League this season (excluding own goals, Chelsea also 14).

Bournemouth v Fulham (1400)

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* Each of the last three league meetings between Bournemouth and Fulham have been drawn, with the away side opening the scoring each time.

* Fulham won their only previous top-flight away game against Bournemouth, picking up a 1-0 win in April 2019 courtesy of striker Aleksandar Mitrovic’s penalty.

* Since the resumption of the Premier League following the World Cup, no side has lost more games (eight), won fewer points (eight) or scored fewer goals (seven) than Bournemouth.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Brentford (1400)

* Brighton have alternated between victory (three) and defeat (two) in their last five home league games against Brentford, winning this fixture 2-0 last season.

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* Brentford are looking to complete their first league double over Brighton since the 2014-15 campaign when the sides were in the second-division Championship.

* Five of Brighton’s seven Premier League defeats this season have come against London clubs, including three of their four home losses.

Crystal Palace & Leicester City (1400)

* After winning four consecutive Premier League games against Leicester between 2017 and 2019, Crystal Palace are now winless in their last seven against the Foxes (D3 L4).

* Crystal Palace are winless in their last 13 games in all competitions (D5 L8), since beating Bournemouth 2-0 on New Year’s Eve.

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* Roy Hodgson, the Premier League’s oldest ever manager at 75, returns to Crystal Palace having previously taken charge of them for 148 Premier League games between 2017 and 2021.

Nottingham Forest & Wolverhampton Wanderers (1400)

* Nottingham Forest have won only one of their last eight league games against Wolves (D2 L5), a 2-0 away win in the Championship in January 2018.

* This is the first time Nottingham Forest are hosting Wolves in a top-flight match since November 1983, when they won 5-0 under manager Brian Clough.

* Wolves have had a league-high six red cards in the Premier League this season.

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Chelsea & Aston Villa (1630)

* Chelsea have won nine of their last 11 Premier League games against Aston Villa (D1 L1), with the only defeat in that run coming at Villa Park on the final day of the 2020-21 campaign.

* Chelsea have won two of their last three Premier League games (D1), as many wins as in their previous 15 combined (D6 L7).

* Since Unai Emery’s first away Premier League game in charge of Villa in November, only Manchester City (16) and Arsenal (15) have picked up more points on the road than Villa (13 – W4 D1 L1).

Sunday, April 2

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West Ham United & Southampton (1300)

* West Ham have lost only one of their last 10 Premier League games against Southampton (W6 D3).

* Southampton have picked up as many points in their six Premier League games under Ruben Selles (W2 D2 L2) as they had in their 17 games before Feb 18. (W2 D2 L13).

* No other sides have kept fewer clean sheets in the Premier League this season than Southampton (four) and West Ham (five).

Newcastle United & Manchester United (1530)

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* Newcastle are winless in six Premier League games against Manchester United (D2 L4). They have not gone three league games without defeat against United since January 2012 (W1 D2).

* United have won more Premier League away games against Newcastle than any other side (14).

* United forward Marcus Rashford has been involved in seven goals in his eight Premier League starts against Newcastle (four goals, three assists). Only against Arsenal and Leicester (nine each) has he been involved in more.

Monday, April 3

Everton & Tottenham Hotspur (1900)

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* Everton have won only one of their last 20 Premier League games against Spurs (D9 L10), picking up a 1-0 away win in September 2020.

* Tottenham have conceded as many Premier League goals this season as they did in the whole of last term (40).

* Everton have won three of their four Premier League games at Goodison Park under manager Sean Dyche (L1), more than their first 10 home league games of the season under Frank Lampard beforehand (W2 D2 L6).

-Reuters

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Sancho back in training with Man United after positive meeting with Ten Hag

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Jadon Sancho was back training with Manchester United for the first time in 10 months, with a club source confirming the winger and manager Erik ten Hag have resolved their differences following their public fallout last year.

Sancho and Ten Hag had a positive meeting at Carrington Training Centre and the two have decided to draw a line under last season’s drawn-out argument, the club source said.

The 24-year-old Sancho made just three appearances for United last season, spending the second half of the campaign on loan to Borussia Dortmund after his relationship with Ten Hag soured in September.

Ten Hag had left the winger out of his squad for United’s 3-1 loss to Arsenal, saying Sancho’s performances in training had not warranted a place in his team. Sancho immediately lashed out on social media, accusing Ten Hag of making him a “scapegoat.”

He was banished from the first team and trained with United’s youth squad before returning to his former club Dortmund in January, where he shone during their Champions League semi-final victory against Paris St Germain, earning praise from Ten Hag. Dortmund were beaten by Real Madrid in the final.

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“(Sancho) is a very good player… he showed why Manchester United bought him and he showed he represents a high value for Manchester United, which is good,” Ten Hag told reporters following Dortmund’s 1-0 win over PSG in the first leg.

“I’m happy for Jadon, for the performance, and we’ll see what is going to happen in the future.”

Sancho will not travel with the team to Norway for their pre-season opener against Rosenborg since he began training later than the other players but the club source said he would be available for selection after that.

-Reuters

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Another Nigerian blood replaces Ndidi at Leicester

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Wilfred Ndidi who has just left Leicester City will have another Nigerian blood replacing him.

Leicester has never been without a Nigerian since Ahmed Musa joined in 2016. Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho joined in 2017.

Another Nigerian blood, Caleb Okoli, a centre back, has just been signed from Italian  Serie A side Atalanta on a five-year contract. Born in Itali, Caleb Okoli is Igbo and Yoruba by descent.

The 22-year-old, who spent the last season on loan at Frosinone Calcio, represented Italy at the European Under-21 Championship last year.

“I think now is the right moment (for me) to make a step forward and a very big one. I’m very happy with the choice I made, so I’m very excited to start in the Premier League,” Okoli said in a statement. The clubs did not disclose financial details of the deal.

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Ruud van Nistelrooy returns to Man United

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United legend Van Nistelrooy is expected to be announced as one of Erik ten Hag's assistants

Manchester United legend, Ruud van Nistelrooy has been spotted being driven into Carrington, the training ground of Manchester United.

Ruud van Nistelrooy (left) and Rene Hake arrived at Manchester United’s training ground

Reports have it that the Dutchman is set to be appointed as one of Erik ten Hag’s new assistant coaches.

He played for Manchester United from 2001 to 2006.

Now  48, he reportedly turned down job offer from Burnley to return to his old club, having previously led PSV Eindhoven to second place in the Eredivisie and victory in the Dutch Cup.

He is being joined by Rene Hake, 52, who was persuaded to give up his job as Go Ahead Eagles manager despite leading the Deventer-based club into Europe for only the third time in their history.

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