A magnificent Sunday of Premier League action is on offer this weekend, as well as many other intriguing top-flight clashes.
Liverpool continued their impressive league form with a fifth win in six attempts last Saturday, dispatching of Brighton 5-1 at the Amex Stadium. The 7-0 demolition of Spartak Moscow wasn’t bad, either.
There are 10 matches on the horizon this weekend, and while Saturday sees some interesting fixtures on offer, the action to really keep an eye on takes place 24 hours later.
Crucial Manchester derby at Old Trafford
Pep Guardiola’s side have, incredibly, still only dropped two Premier League points this season—their single draw, against Everton, came with 10 men—and they look head and shoulders above anyone else in the country.
A few slight cracks have appeared in the last fortnight or so, however, and it would be typical of Jose Mourinho to end City’s unbeaten league run in 2017/18.
United picked up a big victory at Arsenal last time around, and they have the quality to hurt their bitter rivals, should they actually see any of the ball.
You know that City will dominate possession and Mourinho will try and dog out a 1-0 win via a set-piece; whatever happens, it will mean at least one of Liverpool‘s top four rivals dropping points.
Liverpool aim for another Anfield rout against Everton
On paper, everything should point to a Reds win, but this is a match where Jurgen Klopp‘s men must be very careful of taking their opponents lightly.
Sam Allardyce won his first game in charge last weekend, and for all his faults as a manager, he will ensure his team are hard to beat at Anfield.
They will cause Everton‘s defence, like so many others, all sorts of problems.
If this wasn’t a derby, a Liverpool win would be a no-brainer, but their local rivals have picked up enough draws in the fixture lately to suggest they will be no pushover and the ‘new manager bounce’ could aid them.
The first goal is massive.
In-form Chelsea visit London Stadium
While the Manchester clubs unsurprisingly earn plenty of media attention, Chelsea are just going under the radar in their own effective way.
The champions are unbeaten in seven league and European matches, winning five of them, and they look such a solid unit again.
On top of that, Eden Hazard has found a frightening level of form, and Alvaro Morata is still showing what a top signing he was from Real Madrid.
Chelsea visit West Ham on Saturday lunchtime, and although the Hammers did produce a spirited display at Man City last weekend, it really is hard to see David Moyes’ side having enough quality to get anything from this game.
The big London Stadium pitch caters to the visitors’ counter-attacking brilliance, and they are too strong at the back to be troubled by a fairly toothless Hammers outfit.
A win for Chelsea would take them level on points with second-place United, until Sunday at least, as they look to just about stay in touch with City.
Important games for fragile north London pair
Just as Arsenal had seemingly picked up a head of steam, they go and gift United two early goals then somehow fail to convert endless chances at the other end.
In fairness, the Gunners played excellently in an attacking sense last weekend, but you just wonder what that defeat will have done to their confidence.
We will find out on Sunday when they make the trip to Southampton, in a game they should win but could easily come unstuck in. An easy victory would suggest they are here to stay in the top-four battle this season.
They are in genuine danger of falling away from those ahead of them if things don’t improve soon, and they must win at home to a struggling Stoke City side on Saturday.
You would back both Arsenal and Spurs to earn victories this weekend, but dropped points would raise question marks against them.
Fixtures, UK TV Info & Predictions
Huddersfield vs. Brighton – 3pm
Swansea vs. West Brom – 3pm
Tottenham vs. Stoke – 3pm
Newcastle vs. Leicester – 5:30pm, BT Sport 1