The Premier League makes a welcome return this weekend following a two-week break. We preview the upcoming action.
The final international break of 2015 is over, and we can all rejoice as there’s now wall-to-wall domestic action until March next year, and there is almost a feeling that the season starts properly now.
It is one of a number of eye-catching encounters over the next few days.
Etihad showdown catches the eye
Liverpool’s trip to face City is clearly the standout match of the weekend, and will be a further test of both sides’ credentials this season.
The Reds won 3-0 at Chelsea in their last away game in the league, and Klopp will feel his team are capable of springing an upset.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side remain the favourites to win the title, however, and the potential return of both Sergio Aguero and David Silva is a massive boost for Citizens.
Mamadou Sakho being out is a huge blow to Klopp, and it is time Dejan Lovren stepped up to the plate and justified the £20 million Liverpool paid for his services last year.
The same applies to Arsenal, who are experts are racking up victories against teams from around eighth place downwards.
Arsene Wenger’s men should win at a struggling West Brom side, although you can never guarantee that away to a Tony Pulis side.
It will be intriguing to see if Leicester City can keep up their incredible run of form when they face Newcastle at St James’ Park. Jamie Vardy now has Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring in 10 consecutive games in sight.
Bournemouth (18th) and Sunderland (19th) visit Swansea City and Crystal Palace respectively, while bottom side Aston Villa face a tough trip to Everton in one of the traditional Saturday three o’clock games.
On paper, many of these matches are quite easy to predict, but it doesn’t always work like that.
Full Fixtures & UK TV Info
Watford vs. Manchester United – Vicarage Road, Saturday 12:45pm, BT Sport 1
West Bromwich Albion vs. Arsenal – The Hawthorns, Saturday 3pm
Manchester City vs. Liverpool – Etihad Stadium, Saturday 5:30pm, Sky Sports 1
Fantasy Football Tips
United may not be firing on all cylinders, but one thing that cannot be denied is how solid they are looking defensively.
Much of this is down to the impeccable form of Chris Smalling, but Phil Jones has also impressed following his return from injury. He would be a good inclusion to your fantasy football team, with many having Smalling already.
Arsenal are having a strong season, and the performances of Olivier Giroud have been a big reason for a number of victories.
The Frenchman may have been poor in the derby against Spurs, but he has eight goals in all competitions this season, and his physical prowess will be a match for West Brom‘s burly defence. He could be the match-winner.
The Belgian has been bullying sides all season, and looks to be maturing as a player. Only Vardy has scored more in the league, and selecting him for your team this weekend feels like a no-brainer.
Harry Kane has got his groove back following a slow start, scoring six goals in his last four games in all competitions.
The England international is the real deal, and he will fancy himself to find the net against West Ham. Partnering him with Lukaku this weekend could see your points tally look very healthy come Monday morning.