Just as Premier League managers toy with their options for crucial run-in games, fantasy bosses are weighing up who should slot into their teams this weekend.

Some will be looking to consolidate lofty positions, but many will be eyeing a gamble in a late attempt to shuffle up the standings.

It comes down to analysing form, whether recent or over a longer course of time.

Using Opta data, Stats Perform selects four players you might consider for the latest set of matches.

Jose Sa (Leicester City v Wolves)

In a midlands battle between hosts in the relegation mire and visitors who are creeping clear of trouble, Wolves may need goalkeeper Jose Sa to be at his sharpest.

Only three teams have recorded more Premier League shutouts than Wolves in 2023 (5), while Sa is the eighth different goalkeeper to have recorded at least 20 clean sheets since the start of last season.

He is targeting a third successive clean sheet this weekend, and since the start of last season, only Alisson (14.2) and Bernd Leno (9.9) have prevented more goals than Sa (6.4), based on Opta's xG model.

Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace v Everton)

We've seen an April shower of goals from Crystal Palace this month, and now lowly Everton are the visitors to Selhurst Park.

Since the start of April, only Manchester City (11) have scored more goals in the Premier League than Palace (9), with Eberechi Eze netting three of those.

With seven goals and three assists this season, he has already equalled his best tally for goal involvements in the Premier League season (also 10 in 2020-21), and under Roy Hodgson's leadership he is clearly thriving again.

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool v Nottingham Forest)

Setting penalties to one side, Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has been showing some serious form of late, hitting a double last time out at Leeds United.

Only Ollie Watkins (14) and Erling Haaland (13) have been involved in more Premier League goals in 2023 than the Liverpool forward, with Salah totting up 11 involvements (8 goals, 3 assists), nine of which have come since the beginning of March.

In his last 10 Premier League games against teams that have come up from the Championship, as Forest did at the start of this campaign, Salah has been involved in nine goals (6 goals, 3 assists).

Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth v West Ham)

When Dominic Solanke gets hot, the opposition soon know about it.

He has become just the fifth different player for Bournemouth to record at least five goals and five assists in a Premier League season, achieving that by scoring once and providing two assists last time out against Tottenham.

The 25-year-old former Liverpool player had a stunning 2021-22 campaign in the Championship with the Cherries, and while he has not consistently hit the same heights in the top flight, the Tottenham game was the third of the Premier League season in which he has both scored and assisted. Nobody in the league has done so on more occasions, heading into this weekend's round of games.

Fabinho and Alisson were impressed by Trent Alexander-Arnold's performance in a new role for Liverpool against Leeds United.

The Reds routed their relegation-threatened opponents 6-1 at Elland Road on Monday, with Alexander-Arnold pulling the strings.

The 24-year-old has been much-maligned this season for his defending, but showcased his impressive passing range as he regularly stepped into midfield alongside Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Jordan Henderson, while also covering right-back in defensive phases.

Speaking to Liverpool's official website, Fabinho explained it is not that much of a change for his team-mate, who often found himself drifting into the midfield from right-back anyway.

"Trent is somebody [who is] really good on the ball, with his quality of pass and finding players in behind," the Brazil international said. "We can really use this.

"In this position, of course he will have less time to think, but I think he's a little bit used to being in this position. Even when he played right-back, he likes to drop a little bit and go to the middle. We can really use his quality of pass.

"In the last game [v Leeds], he gave two assists and was really good – not just with his passing, but his reaction was good as well. I think in the academy he played as a midfielder, so he knows a little bit about this role and it was not hard for him."


Alexander-Arnold claimed two assists on Monday, becoming just the fourth player to do so in a Premier League game while also completing 100+ passes and maintaining a pass accuracy over 90 per cent since records began in 2003-04 (after Santi Cazorla v West Bromwich Albion in 2015, David Silva v Newcastle United in 2020, and Paul Pogba v Newcastle in 2021).

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson added: "This game was a really good example of [Liverpool's counter-pressing] – the way that we react.

"Not only Trent going from the midfield and then going to the side, but other players knowing that we need to have a good reaction on the counter-press or getting back to their position, buying time.

"We dealt really well with the chances that the opponent had for counter-attacks – we stopped them so often in the game. As Fab said, this always gives you a good feeling on the pitch. That's something that we want to keep with us."

Jurgen Klopp's men host Nottingham Forest on Saturday as they look to make a late run for the European spots, currently sitting in eighth place, nine points behind Newcastle in fourth with eight games remaining.

"Football is quick," Alisson added. "We have a different opponent now in front of us. They have their goals, they need to reach their targets. We have ours as well. We come from a game where we found our way back and they come from a game they lost [2-0 at home to Manchester United].

"They want to show a response, for sure, for their supporters, for themselves. But we are focused on things that we need to do and prepare as best as we can to get on the pitch. It's a home game, it's always good to play [there], to have your supporters there helping you.

"I hope Anfield will be on fire on Saturday afternoon."

Celta Vigo will not negotiate a sale for highly rated midfielder Gabri Veiga and instead insist on the triggering of his €40million release clause, according to club president Carlos Mourino.

Veiga has been one of the breakthrough stars of the 2022-23 LaLiga season, catching the eye with his exceptional ability on the ball and eye for goal.

The 20-year-old has scored nine in 27 league games this term at a rate of 0.49 goals every 90 minutes, which is the best frequency of any LaLiga midfielder (minimum 1,000 minutes played) and made all the more impressive by the fact none have come from the penalty spot.

While those nine strikes represent a significant over-performance in relation to his expected goals (xG), suggesting a degree of unsustainability, his 5.5 xG (excluding penalties) is also the highest among the same midfielders.

 Veiga's emergence this term has seen him linked with a host of Europe's biggest clubs, such as Premier League giants Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City, and Celta are expected to cash in at the end of the season.

But it will seemingly cost every penny of Veiga's release clause to get him out of Balaidos.

Speaking to Cadena SER radio on El Larguero, Mourino said: "The clauses are in place. We are not going to sell him, rather they are going to buy him from us.

"Nobody has to negotiate because we are not going to sell him. We know of the interest of the teams that initially called, those who've spoken with already with Gabri, who is the one with the decision to make.

"I can assure you that there are teams from England, Italy and France [who are interested]. Our response was, 'you can't talk to us because he's not for sale'."

Harry Kane's future at Tottenham is uncertain, with his contract due to expire in 2024.

As a result, speculation is developing about a move for the England international striker during the next transfer window.

Manchester United are known to be interested in the 29-year-old, while Bayern Munich were previously linked too.


Paris Saint-Germain will battle it out with Manchester United to land Tottenham forward Harry Kane, reports Le Parisien.

PSG sporting director Luis Campos wants to bolster the side's attack and has identified Kane as their top target.

The French champions' president Nasser Al Khelaifi has a good relationship with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, which may help negotiations.


- Lionel Messi has decided to remain in Europe for another two seasons, amid speculation about a move to Saudi Arabia or MLS, namely Inter Miami, claims SPORT. Messi has been linked with former club Barcelona, having yet to re-sign with Paris Saint-Germain.

- Fichajes reports Barcelona are circling to make a move for Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold in the upcoming transfer window. Barca are hoping to sign him on a reduced fee, with the Reds to miss out on Champions League football next term.

- Liverpool will commence talks with Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Alexis Mac Allister's camp soon, according to Fabrizio Romano, who said an off-season exit is a certainty.

- Newcastle United, West Ham United and Tottenham are all circling for James Ward-Prowse who has been told he can leave Southampton if they get relegated, claims Daily Mail.

- Inter have turned their attention to signing Borussia Monchengladbach's Marcus Thuram or Liverpool's Roberto Firmino, rather than making Romelu Lukaku's loan spell from Chelsea permanent, claims Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Fabrizio Romano reports Borussia Dortmund have agreed personal terms with Borussia Monchengladbach defender Ramy Bensebaini to join as a free agent in the off-season.

Constantine Hatzidakis will return to action on Saturday in the Championship after being cleared over his dramatic clash with Liverpool defender Andy Robertson.

The assistant referee was investigated by the Football Association over an incident during the Reds' Premier League game with Arsenal earlier this month.

Television footage appeared to show that Hatzidakis' elbow made contact with Robertson's chin at the end of the first half, for which the official has said he has apologised.

He will feature in the second tier for his return as an assistant referee in the Championship game between Preston North End and Blackburn Rovers at Deepdale.

Hatzidakis will then be back in the Premier League next Tuesday when he is on VAR duty for Leeds United against Leicester City at Elland Road.

Liverpool are set for a busy off-season with suggestions that Jurgen Klopp and the club's management want a squad overhaul.

Among the key areas to address is their midfield options, leading to links to numerous players.

It was reported last week Liverpool have pulled out of the race for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham.


Liverpool will ramp up their efforts to sign Mason Mount, amid a lack of a breakthrough in negotiations between the midfielder and Chelsea, reports The Guardian.

The Reds have now moved on from Bellingham given Dortmund's asking price, with Mount in their sights given he is out of contract at the end of this season.

Mount has offered no signs that he will extend his Chelsea deal, with Liverpool eager to capitalise and lure the 24-year-old England international to Anfield.


- Chelsea could look to join the race alongside Real Madrid for Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez, according to Fichajes. Alvarez is reportedly unhappy with his lack of game-time on the pitch at City.

- Manchester City are interested in an off-season move for Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies along with Real Madrid, reports Sky Sports Germany's Florian Plettenberg. Davies' contract runs until 2024 and he has held talks with Bayern on a new deal.

- Man City are also willing to let defender Aymeric Laporte exit in the off-season if he pushes for a move, claims the Daily Mail. Laporte, who is contracted until 2025, has fallen out of favour at City.

- 90min reports Arsenal are tracking Borussia Monchengladbach's Florian Neuhaus, who is contracted until 2024.

- Sport Witness claims Inter's Joaquin Correa has interest from Premier League trio Aston Villa, Everton and West Ham.

- Ex-Tottenham boss Antonio Conte will take over at Roma next season, with Jose Mourinho tipped to move to Paris Saint-Germain, per Calciomercato.

Jurgen Klopp hailed Liverpool's "best game for a long time" after the Reds thrashed Leeds United 6-1 in Monday's Premier League clash.

Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota both scored braces, either side of Cody Gakpo's opener and Darwin Nunez's late strike at Elland Road.

Victory ended a five-game winless run for Liverpool in all competitions as Klopp's men moved within six points of Europa League qualification, still with a game in hand over fifth-placed Tottenham.

The Liverpool manager pinpointed his side's intensity as a key factor in arresting their previously poor form.

"I think it's the best game we've played this season from all different perspectives and aspects of the game," Klopp told Sky Sports. 

"I think we forced a lot of errors, but it was a really good game, sensational goals and counter-pressing – it was the best game for a long time.

"My favourite part was in the 92nd minute we chased the poor boy on the ball from Leeds. I am really happy with that game."

Klopp elaborated further as he suggested Liverpool have started to click, with a pivotal moment in their season coming after fighting back from two goals down to draw 2-2 against Arsenal on April 9 at Anfield.

He added: "It's a general thing. To play good football you need stability, the stability you only get from defending, but when you are in this kind of negative flow then you make wrong decisions.

"You think to play better you have to be foremost concerned with the offensive stuff. We can be super offensive-orientated, if we react in the right moment.

"I can't explain why our counter-pressing didn't work, but tonight it clicked. It clicked in the second half against Arsenal.

"Tonight I'm not sure how many goals we scored after we won the ball back – that makes all the difference and I think we know that.

"But there is always a bit of difference from knowing and understanding and really feeling it."

Liverpool are nine points behind fourth-placed Newcastle United and an unlikely Champions League qualification, with Klopp acknowledging a top-four push may be out of the Reds' reach.

"Where we end up I don't know, but it will go on after the season, so we need all the games to understand," he continued.

"The games are super important. If we can't get anything this season, then we have to build on good performances from this last part of the season.

"I have no clue if we can get close, but I don't think it's too important. I would like to see us with the same desire, the same passion, the same understanding that we showed tonight."

Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota both scored twice as Liverpool returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a 6-1 hammering of Leeds United on Monday.

Jurgen Klopp's side had not tasted victory in any competition since the March 5 thrashing of Manchester United but ended a five-game winless streak at their relegation-threatened hosts.

Liverpool took control through a quickfire first-half double from Cody Gakpo and Salah, although Luis Sinisterra pulled one back two minutes into the second half at Elland Road.

There was to be no dramatic turnaround as a Jota brace, either side of Salah's second, made sure of three points that moved the Reds to within six of Europa League qualification, before Darwin Nunez completed the scoring off the bench.

Leeds should have taken the lead against the run of play when Rodrigo headed a glorious seventh-minute chance straight at Alisson from Jack Harrison's free-kick.

But Liverpool were in front when Trent Alexander-Arnold dispossessed Junior Firpo before playing a one-two with Salah and teeing up a simple Gakpo finish for the 35th-minute opener.

Salah doubled Liverpool's lead just four minutes later with a rasping drive past Illan Meslier after Jota's delicate offload.

An Ibrahima Konate mistake allowed Sinisterra to race through and chip Alisson, but Leeds' momentum was soon halted when Curtis Jones found Jota to curl past the onrushing Meslier.

Brenden Aaronson struck the upright with a whipped long-range attempt, before a selfless Gakpo pass rolled in Salah for a cool left-footed finish into the bottom-left corner.

Jota found the same corner from Jordan Henderson's pass, with Nunez then capping the rout by latching onto Alexander Arnold's dinked ball and dispatching past Meslier.

What does it mean? Reds atone for away struggles with much-needed win

Klopp's side had recorded just 13 points in their 15 Premier League away games this season prior to this trip, but Leeds remains a happy hunting ground for the Reds.

Liverpool have not lost any of their last six league visits to Elland Road, dating back to a 4-3 defeat in November 2000 when Mark Viduka scored all four Leeds goals.

While out of the running for any silverware this term, Klopp will want his team to produce similar away performances across the remainder of the season as they bid for European qualification.  

Super Salah

This has been a slightly quiet season for Salah compared to his usual lofty standards, having scored 13 times in 29 league outings before this clash, but the Liverpool man again came to the fore against Leeds.

The forward has scored nine times against Leeds in the Premier League, with no Reds player managing more – only Gordon Hodgson can match that tally in Liverpool's entire league history.

Leeds defensive woes continue

Leeds were thrashed 5-1 at home by Crystal Palace last time out and have now shipped 16 goals in their four league games in April, more than any other team this month.

The Whites' defensive struggles continued here, although they may have felt aggrieved with Gakpo's opener after it appeared Alexander-Arnold handled when dispossessing Firpo in the build-up.

What's next?

Liverpool host strugglers Nottingham Forest on Saturday, when Leeds visit Fulham.

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool will try to be "smart" with their recruitment in the upcoming transfer window and insists he is motivated to get the Reds firing again.

Liverpool have endured a torrid season, sitting in eighth place in the Premier League with nine games remaining, with Champions League qualification looking unlikely, and out of all cup competitions.

Fans were further agitated by reports last week that the club had ended their pursuit of Jude Bellingham due to Borussia Dortmund's asking price.

Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of Liverpool's trip to Leeds United on Monday, Klopp said people will just have to "wait and see" when it comes to their transfer plans.

"There's really nothing to say. You have to wait until we finish our business and then you will see what we did," he said.

"We have to be ready for praise or criticism. We'll work from the first day of the new season with the boys and we'll really go for it – that's much more important.

"All the rest is speculation from the media. We have nothing to do with that."

Liverpool have been linked with players such as Mason Mount, Alexis Mac Allister and Ryan Gravenberch in recent weeks, and Klopp expressed his belief that those in charge of transfers at the club are well-placed to solve their issues.

"We always try to be smart in our recruitment," Klopp said. "I am 100 per cent sure that if you gave the power stick to a few people, then next season we'd bring in 20 new players.

"If you gave it to a few others, then we'd bring old players back when we were successful before and stuff like this. We are in charge, that's what we decided on and let's go from there.

"It's an interesting period, very interesting and we always try to be smart in the transfer market, so it's not completely new to us."

Klopp is coming to the end of his eighth season in charge at Anfield, with three more years left on his contract, and he remains as driven as ever despite this season's difficulties.

"Yes, I am still motivated," he said. "Maybe even more, because now I know everybody here and I feel even more responsible for everything.

"I've said it a couple of times, it's a little bit strange when you have to say 'I'm fully in' because maybe people from the outside question it. But no, motivation is absolutely not my problem."

The German believes he has identified the problems he must solve, and is "looking forward" to the challenge, adding: "The way we defend, that must be much clearer.

"We also have to work on the way we attack and how we control games. It's a big job, but it's something I'm looking forward to."

Real Madrid are eager to rejuvenate their squad for coming seasons with investment set to come in the off season.

Los Blancos are set to finish second in the LaLiga title race to Barcelona who hold an 11-point lead with nine games to play.

The depth of the reigning European champions, who are in this season's quarter-finals, has been tested at times this term.


Fichajes claims Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has identified Chelsea quartet Reece James, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic as potential targets.

The latter three are all out of contract in 2024, meaning Los Blancos could sign them for free if they do not re-sign.

Perez is plotting to capitalise on Chelsea's downfall this term, with the club to miss next season's Champions League.

Kovacic previously spent three seasons at Santiago Bernabeu, while Mount has attracted interest from several top clubs given his quality and contract status.



Lionel Messi wants to return to Barcelona when his Paris Saint-Germain contract expire at the end of this season, reports Fichajes. Messi will overlook offers from Saudi Arabia and MLS club Inter Miami to return to his former club.

Manchester United are in pole position to sign French defender Axel Disasi from Monaco in the off season, claims Football Insider. Disasi is out of contract in 2025, with Chelsea and Manchester City also said to be interested.

Liverpool have turned to Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch as an alternative to Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham, claims The Times.

– Calciomercatoweb claims Arsenal are still in the race to sign Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic, despite stiff competition from Madrid and PSG .

Toni Kroos is set to accept a contract extension offer from Madrid and re-commit to the club for another 12 months, reports Marca.

Chelsea have met with ex-Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann as they look for their next permanent manager, according to The Times.

Real Madrid are reportedly eager to bolster their full-back options, to upgrade from Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy.

Los Blancos were linked with Manchester City's Joao Cancelo - currently on loan at Bayern Munich - earlier this week by Fichajes.

The Spanish giants are set to miss out on this season's LaLiga title, with Barcelona leading by 10 points.


Real Madrid will turn to Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold should they fail to land Reece James from Chelsea, claims Ekrem Konur.

Los Blancos are in the market for a new full-back and Konur claims Madrid could also turn to Bayer Leverkusen's Jeremie Frimpong.

Alexander-Arnold has had a mixed campaign for Liverpool, who appear set for a squad revamp in the off-season. The 24-year-old England full-back is contracted with the Reds until 2025.



Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is an admirer of Torino's 21-year-old midfielder Samuele Ricci with Los Blancos keeping tabs on his situation, according to Tuttosport.

– The Sunday Mirror claims Manchester City are leading the race to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham from Real Madrid , with Liverpool having pulled out.

Chelsea are looking to offer Romelu Lukaku as part of a deal with Atletico Madrid to sign Portuguese forward Joao Felix permanently, reports Fichajes. Chelsea are unwilling to pay Atletico's €100m asking fee, but may part with €70m along with the Belgian forward.

Tottenham are tracking Barcelona winger Ansu Fati, reports Mundo Deportivo. The report suggests Spurs are willing to make him their most expensive transfer in club history.

RB Leipzig are considering a move to sign Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun in the close season, claims Todofichajes. Balogun has impressed this season on loan with Reims .

Chelsea have interviewed Sporting boss Ruben Amorim about taking over as manager next season, reports talkSPORT.

Liverpool have "nothing to lose" as they look to end a dire run of form against Premier League strugglers Leeds United at Elland Road, so says Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds travel to Yorkshire having gone five games without a win across all competitions (D2 L3), a run which saw Klopp's men begin the weekend 12 points adrift of the top four.

Green shoots of recovery were visible as Liverpool fought back from 2-0 down to salvage a draw against leaders Arsenal last time out, but Klopp knows the Reds must make changes to get back to their best.

"We have nothing to lose really. We are in a position where we don't want to be in the table, that means we have to act a little bit like this," he said.

"We had a long training week and now we have to make sure that we do the right stuff and bring it on the pitch. All the things are on the table, everything is clear.

"Our home record is not as bad as the away record but we play away. Anyway, I'm looking forward to the game and it's a tough one."


Leeds looked to be pulling clear of danger prior to last week's 5-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, when Javi Gracia's side capitulated after Patrick Bamford gave them a first-half lead.

"We know how difficult it will be, the next game against Liverpool," Gracia said.

"They are a very good team. In this moment we have no time to think about whether it is better or worse to play against this team or another.

"What I can tell you is that all of the players have worked hard this week and tried to pay attention to the little details.

"They worked very well this week and I am sure we will learn from our mistakes."


Leeds United – Patrick Bamford

Bamford scored his 50th goal for Leeds in all competitions during last week's 5-1 defeat to Palace, becoming the first player to hit that figure for the club since Ross McCormack in 2014.

He is looking to score in consecutive Premier League appearances for the first time since May 2021 as Leeds bid to pull away from the relegation zone.

Liverpool – Roberto Firmino

Having netted Liverpool's equaliser against Arsenal last time out, Firmino has averaged a goal or assist every 87 minutes in the Premier League this season (nine goals, four assists in 1,129 minutes).

Of all players to play at least 500 minutes in the competition this term, only Manchester City's Erling Haaland (one every 62 mins) boasts a better such ratio.



After claiming a memorable 2-1 win at Anfield in October, Leeds are chasing just their second Premier League double over Liverpool, previously achieving that feat in the 2000-01 campaign under David O'Leary.

While Liverpool are averaging just 0.87 points-per-game away from home in the Premier League this season – their lowest in a single campaign since 1992-93 (0.76) – the Reds have not lost on any of their last five league trips to Elland Road (W3 D2), last tasting defeat there in November 2000.

Leeds will have to tighten up to have any chance of a result, having shipped 10 goals in their three league games in April – the most in the top flight – and kept just five clean sheets in their last 35 league matches.


Leeds United – 15.9 per cent

Liverpool – 61.2 per cent    

Draw – 22.9 per cent

Chelsea and Bayern Munich are reportedly both in contact with Spanish midfielder Gavi amid concerns that Barcelona's financial position will mean they are unable to retain him.

Gavi, 18, is one of the top central midfield prospects in the world, having already racked up 87 senior appearances for Barcelona since debuting in the 2021-22 season.

According to AS, the contract extension Gavi signed this season to tie him to Barcelona until 2026 was rejected by LaLiga because of the club's finances and, if they fail to clear enough salary room by June 30, Gavi will be allowed to leave on a free transfer.



AS reports Chelsea have already met with Gavi's agent in an attempt to convince him of a Premier League move, and a second meeting is expected with Chelsea owner Todd Boehly and Gavi's parents in attendance.

The report states Chelsea are prepared to make the teen with 19 senior caps for Spain one of the Premier League's highest-paid players – significantly more than the contract he signed with Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Sport adds Bayern have also alerted Gavi's agent that they are prepared to submit a significant offer if he ends up being allowed to leave on a free.



– 90min is reporting Chelsea are confident they will be able to convince 24-year-old Napoli striker Victor Osimhen to join, despite not being able to offer Champions League football, as Osimhen's childhood hero was Didier Drogba.

– According to Football Insider, Liverpool have made 24-year-old Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Alexis Mac Allister their top midfield target in the off-season.

Leeds United have strong interest in Barcelona loanee Ez Abde, with the 21-year-old winger shining during his stint at Osasuna, per Sport.

– Journalist Nicolo Schira is reporting that Roma are considering a contract offer for 31-year-old Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino when he becomes a free agent after the season.

– According to Sport1's Patrick Berger, Bayer Leverkusen right-back Jeremie Frimpong is keen on a move to Manchester United, although his club is holding out for a €50million (£45m) fee.

Jamie Carragher has slammed Liverpool's "timid" withdrawal from the race to sign Jude Bellingham, claiming the Reds have betrayed their fans' trust by failing to pursue him.

With Bellingham expected to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season and Liverpool's midfield in desperate need of a rebuild, Anfield has long been suggested as a potential destination for the England man.

However, reports this week said Liverpool were no longer targeting Bellingham, with Real Madrid and Manchester City reportedly the frontrunners for the £130million-rated midfielder.

While Jurgen Klopp was unwilling to discuss Bellingham directly at a press conference on Friday, he accepted Liverpool may have to "step aside and do different stuff" in the next transfer window.

The decision to focus on alternative targets has attracted criticism from former Reds defender Carragher, who says the club's hierarchy must win back the confidence of disgruntled supporters.

"Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp built a level of trust with regard to transfers which was the envy of Europe," Carragher wrote in The Telegraph on Friday.

"That trust has gone with news they will not be pursuing Jude Bellingham this summer.

"It must be won back in the next transfer window because Klopp, his recruitment team and owners Fenway Sports Group have been granted a free pass for the dire performances of the last eight months, especially away from home."

With Liverpool highly unlikely to qualify for next season's edition of the Champions League, Carragher feels their failure to compete for Bellingham's signature demonstrates "weakness".

"Everything pointed to waiting for Bellingham. The supporters were sold the dream that the next Steven Gerrard was Anfield-bound," Carragher added.

"After a year working on a deal, it feels like a timid surrender to step aside and allow Manchester City and Real Madrid to fight it out. 

"There are times when a club of Liverpool's stature has to flex some muscle and remind their rivals they can and will be there to compete off and on the pitch.

"To walk away because there is now too much work needed across the whole squad smacks of weakness, negligence and poor planning."

Manchester City gained ground on Arsenal last week, cutting the Gunners' lead at the top of the Premier League to six points.

City, who have a game in hand, beat lowly Southampton last time out and on Saturday face another relegation battler in the form of Leicester City, who will be under the stewardship of Dean Smith for the first time.

Arsenal, meanwhile, take on West Ham in a London Derby. The Hammers are also fighting at the wrong end of the table, though two wins from their last three league matches has given David Moyes' team some confidence.

Nottingham Forest are another team scrapping for survival, and Steve Cooper will be looking to make home advantage count against Manchester United.

Likewise, Leeds United will hope the Elland Road faithful help propel them to victory against Liverpool, who they beat at Anfield earlier in the campaign.

With the help of Opta data, here are some key predictions ahead of another fascinating weekend of Premier League action.


Manchester City v Leicester City

City have won 10 of their last 12 Premier League games against Leicester City (L2), winning the last four in a row since a 5-2 home defeat in September 2020.

Having been beaten in seven of their last eight Premier League games (D1), Leicester have now lost 19 league matches overall this term. Not since 2001-02 (20) have the Foxes lost 20+ league matches in one season, and should they lose against City, it will be the joint-second earliest they have ever hit 20 defeats in a Football League campaign.

Leicester midfielder James Maddison has scored in this exact fixture in each of the last two campaigns; only two visiting players have scored a Premier League goal at Etihad Stadium in three consecutive seasons – Collins John (2004-05 to 2006-07) and Tim Cahill (2008-09 to 2010-11).

Best bet – Erling Haaland to score: Is there any way to stop Haaland? Many teams have tried, and nearly all have failed. The Norway international is already on 30 league goals this season, averaging a strike every 73 minutes with a shot conversion rate of 33.3 per cent. Given Leicester's defensive frailties, the 22-year-old will be licking his lips.

Long shot – Leicester to keep a clean sheet: The Foxes have not prevented the opposition from scoring in a league match since November, when they beat West Ham 2-0. If they are to get out of trouble, then interim boss Smith has to find a way to tighten things up at the back.

Opta prediction: Leicester won four of their first five Premier League visits to Man City (L1) but have since lost five of their last six games at the Etihad Stadium (W1). It is no surprise, then, that Opta's supercomputer has City as huge favourites (75.1 per cent), while Leicester are given only an 8.5 per cent chance of pulling off a win. 


West Ham v Arsenal

Arsenal have won 11 Premier League away games this season, only winning more on the road in 2001-02 (14) and 2004-05 (12). The Gunners have the most wins (11), most points (35), most goals scored (30) and fewest goals conceded (11) of any team away from home in the Premier League this term.

They have also won eight Premier League games against West Ham after conceding the first goal, including a 3-1 victory in the reverse fixture in December. It is both the most wins Arsenal have against an opponent when conceding first, and the most defeats West Ham have against a side when opening the scoring in the competition.

Arsenal have scored 72 goals from an xG of 60.1 in the Premier League this season, with their difference of +11.9 bettered only by Manchester City (12.2). Meanwhile, West Ham have scored 27 goals from an xG of 38.4, with their difference of -11.4 the biggest negative difference this term.

Best bet – Arsenal to score first and avoid defeat: The Gunners are the only team yet to lose a Premier League game when scoring the first goal this season, winning 18 and drawing three. However, they did let a two-goal lead slip in their 2-2 draw at Liverpool last time out.

Long shot – West Ham to win: West Ham have won just two of their last 29 Premier League games against Arsenal (D5 L22), who have only lost three of their 26 Premier League visits to West Ham (W14 D9) and have won nine of their last 14 away games against the Hammers (D4 L1).

Opta prediction: Given West Ham's woeful record against the Gunners, their chances of success are ranked at only 28.8 per cent by Opta, with the draw at 28.4 per cent. The likelihood of Arsenal winning is 42.8 per cent.


Nottingham Forest v Manchester United

This is Forest's first home league game against United since February 1999, when they lost 8-1 with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scoring four times as a substitute.

Forest are winless (D3 L6) and without a clean sheet in their last nine Premier League games. In fact, Forest are winless in all 23 league games in which they have conceded this season (D8 L15), with all six of their victories being to nil.

United have lost three of their last four away games in the Premier League (W1), having only lost three of their first 10 on the road this season (W5 D2). The Red Devils have conceded 29 away goals in 14 away league games this term; not since 1978-79 have they hit 30 goals conceded within their first 15 away matches of a league campaign.

Best bet – United to avoid defeat: United have won their last nine games against Forest in all competitions, beating them three times this season alone (once in the league, twice in the EFL Cup). The Red Devils have beaten a side four times in a season twice before, doing so against Sheffield Wednesday in 1993-94 and Chelsea in 2010-11.

Long shot – Jesse Lingard to score: Lingard has yet to score for Forest in the league. He could become the third former United player to score his first Premier League goal for a side against the Red Devils, after Keith Gillespie at Sheffield United in 2006-07, and Dan James for Fulham this season.

Opta prediction: United have won their last six Premier League games against Nottingham Forest, scoring at least three goals on each occasion, and they are the favourites for Sunday's game, with Opta suggesting they have a 52.6 per cent likelihood of taking three points. Forest are given a 20.6 per cent chance. The draw is ranked at 26.8 per cent.


Leeds United v Liverpool

Leeds slumped to a 5-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in their last home game, and sit just two points above the bottom three. Depending on results elsewhere, the Whites could be in the relegation zone by the time Monday's game comes around. They are looking for only their second Premier League double over Liverpool, previously achieving that feat in the 2000-01 campaign.

Liverpool have not lost any of their last five league visits to Elland Road against Leeds (W3 D2) since losing 4-3 in November 2000, with Mark Viduka scoring all four for the hosts that day.

The Reds are averaging 0.87 points per game away from home in the Premier League this season (13 points in 15 away games), their lowest in a campaign since 1992-93 (0.76 – 16 points in 21 games). 

Best bet – Mohamed Salah to be involved in a goal: Salah has seven goals in five Premier League appearances against Leeds for Liverpool, scoring in their 3-0 win at Elland Road last season. No Reds player has more Premier League goals against Leeds than Salah (Robbie Fowler also seven), while only Gordon Hodgson has more in their league history (nine).

Long shot – Under 1.5 goals: Leeds have shipped 10 goals in their three Premier League games in April (W1 L2), more than any other team so far this month. Liverpool, who are winless in their last five games in all competitions (D2 L3), have netted 15 times in their last five top-flight meetings with the Whites.

Opta prediction: Despite their dismal form on the road, Liverpool are made big favourites by Opta (61.4 per cent). A Leeds win is ranked at 15.8 per cent, with a draw forecast at 22.8 per cent.

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