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EPL Predictions: Picks, Top Players for Week 10 Premier League Fixtures

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City  arrives at the stadium ahead of the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park on October 19, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Manchester City can close the gap on Liverpool at the top of the Premier League by beating Aston Villa at home on Saturday.

Villa will struggle to contain a City side loaded in attacking areas, where winger Raheem Sterling is in excellent form.

Liverpool won't be in action until Sunday when struggling Tottenham Hotspur arrive at Anfield. Sadio Mane needs to get back among the goals after drawing a blank during the Reds' 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The Red Devils will travel to Norwich City on Sunday hoping for another standout display from striker Marcus Rashford, who returned to the scoresheet against Liverpool.

           

Week 10 Fixtures and Picks

Friday, October 25

  • Southampton vs. Leicester City: 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET (Leicester)

         

Saturday, October 26

  • Manchester City vs. Aston Villa: 12:30 p.m. BST/7:30 a.m. ET (City)
  • Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Everton: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET (Draw)
  • Watford vs. Bournemouth: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET (Draw)
  • West Ham United vs. Sheffield United: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET (Draw)
  • Burnley vs. Chelsea: 5:30 p.m. BST/12:30 p.m. ET (Chelsea)

       

Sunday, October 27

  • Newcastle United vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers: 2 p.m. BST/9 a.m. ET (Wolves)
  • Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace: 4:30 p.m. BST/11:30 a.m. ET (Arsenal)
  • Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur: 4:30 p.m. BST/11:30 a.m. ET (Liverpool)
  • Norwich City vs. Manchester United: 4:30 p.m. BST/11:30 a.m. ET (United)

          

Raheem Sterling

Goals have been what Sterling has been about during his decorated spell with City, but proof of his strides as a player was offered by the deft way he set up his team's second goal against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

His delicately weighted pass decided David Silva's finish for him. It also continued the England international's remarkable output since the start of the season:

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

20 - Raheem Sterling has amassed 13 goals and seven assists in just 16 games for Manchester City and England in 2019-20. Booming. https://t.co/EUyRmKuwZz

Continuing to craft a creative niche to a game already defined by pace, perceptive movement and assurance as a finisher will make Sterling the most complete forward in the division. He, Silva and Kevin De Bruyne will have too much guile and quality for the Villa defence.

Prediction: Manchester City 4-1 Aston Villa

           

Sadio Mane

It took a handball call upheld by the video assistant referee at Old Trafford to end Mane's scoring run, per Jeorge Bird of MailOnline. Even so, the Senegal international has usually been ruthless this season, having netted five times already in England's top flight.

His speed, close control and keen instincts will be counted on against a Spurs side he has punished in the past. Liverpool's No. 10 bagged a brace when the Reds beat Tottenham 2-0 at Anfield in February 2017.

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

50 - Sadio Mane has scored his 50th Premier League goal for Liverpool. He's the 10th player to reach the milestone for the club in the competition, more than any other side. Nifty. https://t.co/XvpojW5a9v

Liverpool usually count on Mohamed Salah to take some of the pressure off Mane, but the winger missed the game at United with an ankle problem. Jurgen Klopp told Sky Sports (h/t Jacob Murtagh of the Daily Mirror) the Egypt international could be back for Wednesday's game against Genk in the UEFA Champions League.

If Salah is still out, the onus will be on Mane to pick up the slack. United aside, the 27-year-old has usually met the challenge.

Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur

       

Marcus Rashford

Rashford's form in front of goal had been drab at club level recently, but he looked back to near his best during an industrious display against Liverpool. It was a performance built on relentless running and an intelligent use of space between wide and central areas.

Being deployed wide, along with Daniel James, in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's 3-4-1-2 tactical structure allowed the England international to drag Liverpool centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip into dangerous positions.

The academy product was able to torment both men with his skill and trickery:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

In the 83 minutes he played against Liverpool, Marcus Rashford completed 4 take-ons, twice as many as any other player managed in that time. Really bright display. 👏👏👏 https://t.co/hbDYl8qJzh

Notching a first league goal in four matches earned Rashford high praise from Solskjaer, who called his performance the "best game he's played for ages, maybe in his 10 months with me," per Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News.

The 21-year-old should feel confident about scoring against a Norwich defence breached 21 times through nine matches, although the Canaries did keep a clean sheet at Bournemouth on Saturday.

Even so, a United side buoyed by holding the leaders will win for just the third time in the league this season.

Prediction: Norwich City 2-3 Manchester United

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