Hello one and all and welcome back to Dief’s weekly installment of Premier League Matchweek preview, where I cover the details and what to expect from this absolutely crazy and surprising season. Today I’ll give you the recap of Matchweek 11 while giving you my outlook on what to expect from this weekend’s matches. With that, here’s the recap.
Starting in Manchester, United followed up on a promising 3-1 against Norwich just to fall to a goalless 0-1 defeat to Bournemouth away from home… pitiful. United sit in 10th place with just 13 points, tied with Tottenham.
City had a scare seeing Southampton take the early lead but came back to secure the 2-1 win. Fellow rivals Liverpool also had a scare going 0-1 down to Aston Villa before 2 VERY late goals from Robertson and Mane in the 87th and 90+5 secured a dramatic 2-1 win to stay 6 points above City.
Over in London, the “Emery Out” support has grown even more after a very narrow lineup was exposed by the quickness and direct play of Wolves 3-4-3 set-up. Arsenal disappointingly drew 1-1 to drop more points and fall 6 points out of the top 4. Chelsea have continued their recent perfect streak, with in-form duo Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic getting the goals to win 2-1 over winless Watford.
Tottenham dropped more points to stay level with Manchester United in the table after a gritty 1-1 draw left Andre Gomes with a horrific ankle injury and Heung-Min Son sent off in tears. Elsewhere, red-hot Leicester dominated in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion and Sheffield United both secured wins to both stay in the top 8 of the table! Okay, that was a long one but it had to be said, with that I now give you my take on Premier League matchweek 12.
LIVERPOOL VS MANCHESTER CITY (Anfield)
As if there was any choice. This is most certainly the fixture to watch this week. Last season, this proved to be Liverpool’s only loss of the season, a game many people look back at and see John Stones’s goalline clearance as what prevented Liverpool from snatching the title. With Liverpool up 6 points on City, it looks very reminiscent of last season’s matchup that saw Liverpool play the Citizens 7 points ahead. A win for either side makes this a much different table and I hope to see a winner. A draw will keep the table interesting but I want to see some action and I hope both teams go out all for this fixture in this absolute blockbuster of a match. City face a tough task coming into Anfield against an undefeated Liverpool side and that is why I say 2-1 Liverpool.
LEICESTER CITY VS ARSENAL
What a great fixture this has been over the past few seasons. Leicester-Arsenal have provided some wonderful thrillers and expect this to be exactly that. This time around we see a red-hot Leicester City going up against a stuttering Arsenal side. Even in Leicester’s 2015-16 title triumph, the Foxes failed to beat Arsenal both times. For some reason Arsenal hit unusual form when facing Brendan Rodger’s side and hopefully we can see more of the same (maybe another last minute header?) Last time out was not the case however, with Leicester effectively beating the Gunners 3-0 thanks to an early Maitland-Niles red card. With a win, Leicester City could potentially go 2nd while Arsenal could find themselves way out of a top-4 spot. A win for both sides is crucial, I expect Arsenal to sit in quite a bit but who knows what Emery has up his sleeve… I say 3-0 Leicester win.
TOTTENHAM VS SHEFFIELD UNITED (Tottenham Hotspur Stadium)
Who would have thought that after 11 weeks, Tottenham would be the underdog in this fixture. Sheffield (+4GD), the top relegation candidate at the start of the season currently sit SIXTH in the table while Tottenham(+1GD) reside in the bottom half at 11th place. Sheffield are putting together a miracle run largely due to the performances of star man John Lundstram. Tottenham have been in crisis mode lately and need to get their act together quickly before all hopes of a European spot are lost. To go from Champions League finalists to no European competition is not a good look… This is a huge match for Spurs and Sheffield will certainly give it their all away from home. Expect a heavy attack from Spurs and Sheffield to play off the counter and get goals against the run of play. I say 1-1 draw.
MANCHESTER UNITED VS BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION (Old Trafford)
Another week and another loss against a smaller club for Manchester United… a tale told too often this season. Ole is in the hot seat right now and needs to get this club on track. You can market Scott Mctominay’s performances all you want but this club plays to win and always has.. This club is developing a new culture and its not for the better. In Brighton they play a tactically defensive side that sit in the top half of the table and it honestly will be a difficult game for United given their recent performances. I say 2-0 Brighton win.
- Norwich vs Watford: 2-0 Watford (yes, their first win)
- Chelsea vs Crystal Palace: 3-1 Chelsea
- Burnley vs West Ham: 2-1 West Ham
- Newcastle vs Bournemouth: 3-2 Bournemouth
- Southampton vs Everton: 2-2 draw
- Wolves vs Aston Villa: 1-1 draw
THINGS TO WATCH
- Watford – Can they finally, after 12 weeks, finally… get their first win
- Arsenal’s lineup – How will they set-up against red-hot Leicester’s attack
- Liverpool vs Manchester City – You seriously need to watch this, enough said
Written by: Andrew Diefenderfer (@diefdorf)