Rivals to drop points as Spurs play Chelsea – Premier League Preview

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Another fascinating round of Premier League fixtures await us this weekend, as the festive schedule edges ever closer.

Liverpool dropped points away to Southampton last Saturday, but the 0-0 draw was far from disastrous against a strong Saints side.

Jurgen Klopp and his team take on Sunderland this weekend, which – on paper – should be a comfortable day at the office for the Reds.

Elsewhere in Gameweek 11, Chelsea took Liverpool’s place at the top of the table after winning 1-0 at Middlesbrough, while a returning Yaya Toure inspired Man City to a 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace.

Man United and Arsenal battled out a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, Tottenham left it late to beat West Ham 3-2 and Everton were held at home to Swansea City.

The Swans are currently propping up the Premier League, with Sunderland and Hull City also joining them in the relegation zone. The Black Cats beat the Tigers 3-0 last time around.

There are 10 matches to look forward to over the next two days – here’s a look at some of the best action on offer.

 

London Derby The Standout Game

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 25, 2016: Tottenham Hotspur's manager Mauricio Pochettino during the Football League Cup 4th Round match against Liverpool at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Chelsea look in ominous form at the moment, winning their last six league games without conceding a goal. Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 formation is working wonders, and it is tough to pick out a genuine weakness in their team.

Tottenham, on the other hand, are really struggling to get going this season and their midweek Champions League exit will have hurt.

The two sides do battle at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening, in a match that will show what both London outfits are made of – and mean at least one of Liverpool’s rivals drop points.

In truth, Chelsea have had a relatively kind run of fixtures, but if they overcome Spurs in convincing fashion, their title chances will only be enhanced.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side are dangerous, though – they are only four points off the top, despite not finding top gear – and they will want to avenge the 2-2 draw that ended their title dream last season.

A Spurs win would be nice, but looks unlikely.

 

Can Burnley Do Liverpool A Favour?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 4, 2015: Burnley's manager Sean Dyche during the Premier League match against Liverpool at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Burnley suffered a miserable Monday evening, with Sean Dyche’s men hammered 4-0 by a West Brom side famed for not scoring many goals.

The Clarets had been enjoying an above-par start to the campaign until that point, and they must now avoid going on a wretched run of form.

Up next for them is the daunting visit of Man City, who have recovered from a wobble to sit joint-second in the table with Liverpool.

Toure’s aforementioned match-winning display came out of nowhere, and if the Ivorian can find his top level again, he will feel like a new signing.

City’s rivals at the top will hope Burnley can do what they did to both Liverpool and Everton at Turf Moor, and walk away with all three points.

They are not a team you want to go 1-0 down against, and should they strike early, it will be interested to see how City respond.

 

Crucial Game At The Liberty Stadium

SWANSEA, WALES - Wednesday, January 23, 2013: A general view of Swansea City's Liberty Stadium as snow falls before the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match against Chelsea. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It may not be the most mouthwatering game of the weekend, but in terms of importance, Swansea’s clash with Crystal Palace is right up there.

Alan Pardew is reported to be on the verge of losing his job at Selhurst Park, having endured a miserable 2016, and defeat to the Swans could be the final nail in his coffin.

Palace are five points clear of their bottom-placed opponents as things stand, but if they lose to Bob Bradley’s team, they will be dragged right into the relegation mix.

In many ways, Swansea look too good a side to go down, but defensively they are poor and Bradley is taking time to get used to the Premier League.

This is sure to be tense 90 minutes in South Wales.

 

Return To Winning Ways For Arsenal?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 18, 2015: Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger during the Premier League match against Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arsenal are such a peculiar side. They don’t feel as though they are hitting top gear, yet they have only lost once since March, in all competitions.

The 1-1 draw away to United was a poor performance from the Gunners, and having drawn three of their last four in the league, victory is required at home to Bournemouth.

These are usually the games in which Arsenal come to the fore and display their ruthlessness, although their form at the Emirates has not always been convincing this season.

Eddie Howe is doing a superb job at Bournemouth, with the Cherries currently 10th, and he will feel his side can cause an upset. They will be without Jack Wilshere, however, who is ineligible to face his permanent club.

A failure to win would see a bit of pressure cranked up on Arsene Wenger again, but it would be a surprise if they didn’t register all three points.

 

United & Everton In Need Of Momentum

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 13, 2016: Everton's manager Ronald Koeman during the FA Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Much to the delight of Liverpool fans, both Man United and Everton have been struggling of late.

Both have suffered a string of disappointing results, and the respective reigns of Jose Mourinho and Ronald Koeman have not ignited to date.

United host West Ham on Sunday afternoon, and if they have genuine title aspirations, they cannot afford to lose much more ground on those at the top. The gap between themselves and Chelsea is already nine points.

At the same time as that game, Everton will be taking on Southampton at St Mary’s, in what could be an entertaining contest.

Koeman’s team have won just once in their last seven attempts in the league, and more dropped points against Saints are a distinct possibility.

 

Fixtures & UK TV Info

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 22, 2014: A general view of Chelsea's Stamford Bridge before the Premiership match against Everton at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Burnley vs. Man City – Saturday 12:30pm, BT Sport 1
Prediction: 0-2

Hull vs. West Brom – Saturday 3pm
Prediction: 0-1

Leicester vs. Middlesbrough – Saturday 3pm
Prediction: 2-1

Liverpool vs. Sunderland – Saturday 3pm
Prediction: 4-0

Swansea vs. Crystal Palace – Saturday 3pm
Prediction: 2-1

Chelsea vs. Tottenham – Saturday 5:30pm, BT Sport 1
Prediction: 2-1

Watford vs. Stoke – Sunday 12pm, Sky Sports 1
Prediction: 1-1

Arsenal vs. Bournemouth – Sunday 2:15pm, Sky Sports 1
Prediction: 2-0

Man United vs. West Ham – Sunday 4:30pm
Prediction: 2-1

Southampton vs. Everton – Sunday 4:30pm, Sky Sports 1
Prediction: 1-1

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