Before we enter the final international break of 2019, fans will be treated to one more weekend of Premier League action.
The weekend’s action kicks off on Friday evening with a bottom-of-the-table clash between Norwich City and Watford at Carrow Road. Saturday’s early game sees Chelsea host Crystal Palace in a London derby, with the Blues looking to continue their winning run in the Premier League.
Following on from that are four 3pm kick-offs including Tottenham Hotspur against Sheffield United. In the other games Burnley face West Ham United, Newcastle United host Bournemouth and Everton travel to Southampton.
On Saturday evening, high-flying Leicester will be looking to move into second – at least momentarily – when they host an Arsenal side still struggling to find their identity under Unai Emery.
Sunday brings three games with Manchester United hosting Brighton & Hove Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers facing Aston Villa in the earlier kick-off slot. But the biggest game of the season so far closes the weekend as league leaders Liverpool welcome Manchester City to Anfield, knowing a win would extend their gap over the champions to nine points.
As always, we’ve had two members of our team take a look at each game, analyse how they may play out and give their predictions.
Norwich vs. Watford
Harry Edwards: Undeniably the game of the weekend as 19th-placed Norwich host the only team worse than them this season in Watford. The Canaries have not won since they beat Manchester City in mid-September while their opponents are yet to taste victory in the league. Some would say this can only point to a draw, but Norwich could just pip it. Norwich 1-0 Watford.
Chris Smith: Watford don’t traditionally do well against Norwich but, then again, they’re both so bad right now it may not make a difference. If the rumours of Troy Deeney’s return to action are true, that may tip the scales in favour of the Hornets. Norwich 1-2 Watford.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Teemu Pukki will be hoping he can end his goalscoring drought against Watford this weekend, with the Finnish striker failing to score in his past six Premier League games.
Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace
HE: Chelsea currently have the best form in the Premier League, winning their past five games, but their home form hasn’t been great this season, winning two, drawing two and losing one at Stamford Bridge. However, they face a Crystal Palace side that is struggling for goals and winless in their past three having started the season so well. It will be a tight one, but Chelsea should just edge it. Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace.
CS: Frank Lampard just cannot get that defence sorted but, luckily, he has one of the most potent attacks in the country to make up for it. That should be enough to see off a stubborn Crystal Palace side at home. Chelsea 3-1 Crystal Palace.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Mateo Kovacic will be key to Chelsea’s midfield this weekend with Jorginho suspended. The Croatian completed 135 passes in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Watford last weekend, more than any other player has managed in a single Premier League game this season.
Burnley vs. West Ham
HE: West Ham had started the season well and were being talked about as a potential contender for the top six, but the Hammers are on a run of five without a win, dropping to 13th. Their hosts Burnley haven’t been great either, losing their past three matches conceding nine goals including a 3-0 humbling by Sheffield United last time out. Just one point separates these two in the table, but there may be nothing to split them this weekend. Burnley 1-1 West Ham.
CS: Burnley have lost three in a row and West Ham are winless in six. Two plus two normally equals four, and this one is likely to be a stalemate. Burnley 1-1 West Ham.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Sebastien Haller will be looking to cause Burnley’s defenders problems this weekend, and may be the toughest forward they have come up against so far, winning 67 aerial duels – more than any other player in the Premier League this season.
Newcastle vs. Bournemouth
HE: You never know what to expect with Newcastle who stormed to a 3-0 lead against West Ham last weekend but allowed their opponents back into the game with two goals. Steve Bruce’s side, currently 15th, will be looking to boost themselves up the table but Bournemouth – who recently ended a poor run of form by beating Manchester United – should prove to be too good for them. Newcastle 1-3 Bournemouth.
CS: Bournemouth are unusually short on goals this season, which will suit Newcastle perfectly given their tendency to sit deep and defend in a low block. Steve Bruce needs to start utilising Joelinton and Miguel Almiron much better than he is currently, starting here. Newcastle 1-0 Bournemouth.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Callum Wilson is yet to score against Newcastle in four games, but has a good chance of ending that drought this weekend having converted 27.78% of his shots in the Premier League this season.
Southampton vs. Everton
HE: A few years ago this would have been a game between two sides fighting for a Europa League spot, but now both Everton and Southampton are languishing near the bottom of the table. Southampton, currently in the relegation zone, are winless in six and there have been questions asked about the future of Ralph Hasenhuttl. But their opponents aren’t fairing any better, just one point above them having won once in their past seven. However, expect Everton to get the win and ease some of the pressure on Marco Silva. Southampton 1-2 Everton.
CS: Southampton will take heart from their tight double-header against Man City after their 9-0 drubbing to Leicester but still desperately need points on the board. Fortunately, they face an Everton side devoid of confidence and without a single point in their last three visits to St. Mary’s. Southampton 2-1 Everton.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Richarlison will be key for Everton putting pressure on Southampton’s shaky defence, with the Brazilian having made 33 tackles in the Premier League this season.
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Tottenham vs. Sheffield United
HE: Tottenham Hotspur may have beat Red Star Belgrade in midweek but they remain winless in their past four Premier League games and face a tricky Sheffield United side this weekend. The Blades are currently flying high in sixth, unbeaten in their past four and were fully deserving of their 3-0 win over Burnley last weekend. Expect Chris Wilder’s side to cause Spurs problems and, potentially, even leave north London with a win. Tottenham 1-2 Sheffield United.
CS: The reverse form of these two makes this one very hard to predict but at home, with Harry Kane fit to play once again, Spurs should have enough. Tottenham 2-0 Sheffield United.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Harry Kane is the only Spurs player to score more than two Premier League goals so far this season with six.
Leicester vs. Arsenal
HE: Brendan Rodgers has Leicester playing some wonderful football this season and they are now genuine contenders for a top four finish. In contrast, Arsenal are stuttering and there are some serious doubts over whether Unai Emery can take the Gunners to the next level. Expect Rodgers, tipped as a potential Emery replacement, to pile further misery on the Spaniard. Leicester 3-0 Arsenal.
CS: Arsenal are terrible at the moment and give the rampant form of Leicester, this is exactly the sort of game you can see the Gunners being turned over in. It could be a long, worrying afternoon for Unai Emery. Leicester 3-0 Arsenal
PLAYER TO WATCH: Jamie Vardy is the Premier League’s top scorer with 10 goals and was recently named Player of the Month for October.
Man Utd vs. Brighton
HE: Manchester United have been a strange side this season, not really wanting to hit a run of form. Last weekend they tasted defeat against Bournemouth and Brighton – who have won three of their past four games – will provide tough opposition at Old Trafford. But the Seagulls have never won at Old Trafford and, having already lost an unbeaten Premier League home record to Crystal Palace this season, United will be keen to keep their run going. Man Utd 1-0 Brighton.
CS: Are we going to get the fast and furious Manchester United, or the one which pulled up lame against Bournemouth last week? If Rashford and Martial can find their stride together again, Brighton should be swept aside. Man Utd 2-0 Brighton.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Marcus Rashford has been directly involved in seven goals in his last seven games for club and country, scoring six and assisting one.
Wolves vs. Aston Villa
HE: These two sides have already met in the Carabao Cup this season, with Aston Villa getting the better of their Midlands rivals. However, Wolves fielded a rotated XI then and will be taking the Premier League Midlands derby more seriously as they look to move further away from the relegation zone. But Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have drawn a whopping seven of their 11 league games so far, so another stalemate might be on the cards. Wolves 2-2 Villa.
CS: Villa beat Wolves 2-1 at home in the Carabao Cup at the end of October and are unbeaten in six against sides outside of last season’s top six. Wolves have been inconsistent at best so far thanks to their European exploits but should be good value for a point here. Wolves 2-2 Aston Villa.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Jack Grealish has created 25 chances in the Premier League this season, with only five players being more creative.
Liverpool vs. Man City
HE: The weekend’s showcase, some believe the title race could be decided on Sunday when league leaders Liverpool host second-placed Man City. Jurgen Klopp’s men sit six points clear of their rivals and are yet to taste defeat, only dropping points to Manchester United. The Reds continue to make Anfield a fortress, unbeaten in their past 45 home games and if Ederson does not return for Man City, Pep Guardiola may be tasting his third defeat of the season. Liverpool 3-1 Man City.
CS: The game of the season so far. The mind games are in full swing but, still, with a six-point gap to make up, the pressure is all on Man City in this one. Pep Guardiola is famously nervous about playing at Anfield and it’s hard to see even Man City beating Liverpool right now, although they may snatch a draw. Liverpool 2-2 Man City.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Kevin De Bruyne, a boyhood Liverpool fan, has nine Premier League assists this season, at least five more than any other player.