For all the predictability that the Premier League served up last weekend, there was still something fascinating about the way it all panned out.
Newcastle are a different side from what they were at the start of the year. Of course, a lot has changed, particularly the leadership. Yet, the real change has been the drive, hunger, and mentality of the club.
At least, not many would have imagined Eddie Howe overseeing this project and achieving such remarkable progress. If he had been regarded as one of the more modern English managers, the best he had accomplished was promoting and keeping Bournemouth in the Premier League.
Similarly, Miguel Almiron had hovered around mediocrity with flashes of excellence since he joined. Yet, this season, the Paraguayan has equalled the combined amount of league goals he managed in four seasons prior.
Arsenal, too, are showing intent this season, even in the absence of Gabriel Jesus, who is injured. They are winning games they would not have won two seasons ago.
As we head into the New Year this weekend, some intriguing matches will go down.
Review Of Gameweek 17
The previous gameweek produced goals in droves. Indeed, it was exciting.
Tottenham, typically, had to come from two goals down to equalise 2-2 away at Brentford. Ivan Toney and Harry Kane were both on target for their respective teams.
And without Alexis Mac Allister, Brighton strolled to a 3-1 win against relegation-threatened Southampton.
A perfect first half saw Newcastle overpower Leicester City, as Aleksandar Mitrovic scored the last goal in Fulham’s comprehensive 3-0 win against Crystal Palace.
Wolves scored at the death to claim a vital 2-1 win against Frank Lampard’s Everton.
Liverpool were effective against Aston Villa, defeating Unai Emery’s men 3-1.
Arsenal had to dig deep to overcome West Ham 3-1 after falling behind early. Bukayo scored the opener for the Gunners.
Chelsea earned a comfortable 2-0 win against Bournemouth, as Manchester United hammered Nottingham Forest 3-0.
Erling Haaland took his Premier League tally to 20 after notching a brace in Manchester City’s 3-0 win against Leeds.
Preview Of Gameweek 18
Some outstanding fixtures are set for this weekend of football action.
West Ham, sitting in 17th place, a point above the relegation zone, take on Brentford this Friday night.
Liverpool will host Leicester City as the Reds look to revive their season.
Wolves will be brimming with confidence from last weekend’s dramatic win, as they entertain Manchester United.
Manchester City welcome a troubled Everton team, as Fulham and Southampton go head-to-head.
Bournemouth will fancy their chances against Crystal Palace, as Newcastle face Leeds United.
Brighton take on a confident Arsenal just before Tottenham do battle with Aston Villa on Sunday.
Nottingham Forest will need an extraordinary afternoon to get a point against Chelsea.
Predictions For Gameweek 18
BetBiga Booking Code: z3nif
West Ham vs Brentford (over 1.5 goals)
Liverpool vs Leicester City (1)
Wolves vs Manchester United (under 3.5 goals)
Manchester City vs Everton (1)
Fulham vs Southampton (over 2.5 goals)
Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace (goal/goal)
Newcastle vs Leeds (1)
Brighton vs Arsenal (over 2.5 goals)
Tottenham vs Aston Villa (over 1.5 goals)
Nottingham Forest vs Chelsea (2)