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Premier League Review: Brilliant weekend for East Midlands duo

Original article published 26 October 2022

Both Nottingham Forest and Leicester have given their seasons a massive boost with wins over Liverpool and Wolves respectively, while others around them struggle.

Steve Cooper's side played the first match of the weekend on Saturday lunchtime against Liverpool and a second-half strike from summer signing Taiwo Awoniyi proved to be enough for the Tricky Trees to secure a surprising win.

It was just their second victory of the season and although they remain bottom, it has offered a glimmer of hope that they can survive.

Leicester sealed their second 4-0 win of the campaign at a Wolves side who look short of confidence, while Leeds' season took a turn for the worse following Fulham's 3-2 success at Elland Road.

Meanwhile, Arsenal remain at the summit despite dropping points in the 1-1 draw against Southampton while Erling Haaland continued his majestic form in Manchester City's win over Brighton.

Forest and Leicester feeling better now

Before Saturday, many Nottingham Forest fans would have regarded the start to the season as something of a nightmare, but now there is a new-found sense of optimism permeating through the City Ground.

A 1-0 win against West Ham in the second game of the season was their only three-point haul and they went into the contest against Liverpool having scored only one goal in their last four games.

Forest had to rely on a might defensive performance and they got that with Liverpool frustrated throughout.

There had been plenty of discussion on whether Forest's strategy of signing essentially two new starting XI's was wise but some of those new faces are beginning to perform well.

While they face another massive test next week in the form of Arsenal, they have at least proved they can compete against the best. Forest are 6/4 to stay in the top flight.

Leicester are also looking up after successive victories saw them escape the relegation zone.

Brendan Rodgers men turned on the style on Sunday with strikes from Youri Tielemans, Harvey Barnes, James Maddison, and Jamie Vardy.

Winning against sides near the bottom of the table is obviously a great sign for the Foxes and they can now go into next week's match against Manchester City less fearful - they can be backed at 8/1 to win with a draw 5/1, and City 1/4.

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Leeds and Wolves staring at the abyss

Leeds United enjoyed an excellent start to the season under Jesse Marsch, picking up seven points from their first three games.

The 3-0 win over Chelsea finally seemed to convince fans that Marsch was the right replacement for Marcelo Bielsa, who was still held in enormous regard by the Whites fans.

Yet, eight games later, they are still waiting to pick up another win and on Sunday, they lost a 1-0 lead to go down 3-2 to Fulham at home.

Terrible defending allowed Aleksandar Mitrovic and Bobby Decordova Reid to score unmarked headers before Willian slid in a third to seal the points.

The mood at Elland Road was toxic and it remains to be seen how long Marsch may have left in the job, despite the board apparently being committed to him.

Wolves are in a messy situation too with Steve Davis' men having been obliterated by Leicester - they are now only being kept off the bottom of the table by Nottingham Forest.

Their search for a manager has been so chaotic that they have given caretaker Davis the role until 2023, which is not a promising sign of the attractiveness of the job.

Julen Lopetegui and Michael Beale have turned it down and the squad looks like it needs more direction following a horror start.

Leeds are 6/4 to go down with Wolves 5/4.

Gunners and City looking like the title chasers

With Chelsea and Manchester United playing out a tight 1-1 draw and both Liverpool and Tottenham losing, already the Premier League is looking like a two-horse race with Arsenal still top, despite drawing at Southampton.

It was looking like a tenth win from 11 games for Arsenal when the resurgent Granit Xhaka scored his second goal in a week to give the Gunners an early lead.

However, on the back of a crucial win at Bournemouth during the week, Ralph Hasenhuttl's men earned another valuable point to drag themselves further away from the bottom three, with Stuart Armstrong scoring the equaliser.

It means the gap at the top has been closed to two points with City breathing down the Gunners' necks.

Haaland's brace and Kevin De Bruyne's strike saw off a spirited Brighton side on Saturday and City can overhaul Arsenal if they win and the Gunners get defeated next time.

The two were due to clash during the week but it was postponed due to the Gunners' European exploits and it will be a hugely interesting game when they face each other.

For now, City are 1/5 to retain their title with Arsenal 7/1 to end their 19-year drought.

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