Premier League is back from the international break and with a bang too, bringing up some very exciting fixtures for the week number 12. It all kicks off with a mouth-watering North London derby.
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur
The time has come for Spurs to change the colour of North London and a win on Saturday would be a massive motion of intent. There’s been a bit of a power shift of late as Mauricio Pochettino led his side to their first finish above the Gunners for the first time in over two decades. However, although they are looking the better team, it’s only if they can win trophies will they be the better club.
Arsenal have it all to do to prove to their fans they can still compete for the title. A 3-1 defeat to Manchester City was a blow for Arsene Wenger’s title hopes but they can be buoyed by their performance, having lost by some poor refereeing decisions on the day. It’ll be a massive clash and a really exciting game, one which I expect to see goals from both sides.
The Gunners’ record at home is impressive but unfortunately for them, Tottenham are in good form and will take the game to the hosts.
Tottenham to win: 1-2
Bournemouth v Huddersfield
After a very poor start to the season, Bournemouth have managed to stop the rut and get things going again. It’s only due to the impressive defence that the Cherries have shown a great improvement, losing only 1-0 to current Champions Chelsea before beating Newcastle United away from home by the same scoreline.
They are now at home to high-flying Huddersfield who are having a great time in their debut season in England’s top division. Aside from silently picking up points against lower opposition, their incredible 2-1 win over Manchester United proved they can make it in the big league. They may have struggled against Liverpool and Tottenham, but against Bournemouth, this should be a win.
Huddersfield to win: 0-2
Burnley v Swansea
If you had told any Burnley fan that they would have the same number of points as Arsenal and Liverpool after 11 games, they would have laughed in your face. But this is a reality and Sean Dyche has actually managed the Clarets superbly, with great wins over Chelsea, Everton and Southampton in the bag, including impressive draws to Liverpool and Tottenham. Now, they face a Swansea side who are not having the best of seasons.
Continuing to play the way they have done all season, with a sturdy defence and with pinpoint tactics from Dyche, Burnley can easily see this win out, especially considering how poor the Swans have been away from home. They may have their chances to survive the relegation battle, but this isn’t one of them.
Burnley to win: 2-0
Crystal Palace v Everton
A tale of two teams who have really hit rock bottom in terms of performances. Both Palace and Everton have had dreadful starts to the campaign and with two new managers at the helm, there’s not much hope of any change. Aside from the 2-1 victory over Chelsea, Roy Hodgson hasn’t managed to win a game since and needed an extremely late goal by Zaha to nick a point in their last game.
For Everton, this has truly been a season to forget. Out of Europe and really struggling in the league, the Toffees are in one of the worst runs they’ve ever faced. The 3-2 win over Watford was the Merseyside club’s first win in their previous five games. If anything, this game is going to show which of these clubs will finish above the other. It’s an early game, but it could be the game that helps decide which team stays up, and which goes down.
Leicester City v Manchester City
For Pep Guardiola, this season is looking like a dream come true as only 11 games in, they find themselves eight points clear at the top. I fully expect that to still be the case as they are in the mood where they can face anyone and win. People have spoken of another Invincibles, and you wouldn’t put it past this side of achieving that. Only injuries can stop that.
For Leciester City, even though they are in good form, with one defeat in six games, they have been quite lacksadasical at the back and against City, they will struggle. It won’t be easy playing the counter-attacking system they love to play and they’ll struggle here.
Manchester City to win: 1-4
Liverpool v Southampton
The Reds are having a topsy-turvy season as we are seeing both sides of atypical Jürgen Klopp side, great attacking but poor defending. As of late, Liverpool have turned things around for the better, and barring that defeat to Spurs, have played well too. At Anfield, they are monsters and this will be another game for them to attack, attack and attack.
The Saints on the other hand aren’t doing too badly themselves but have found wins hard to come by as they’ve only won once in their last six games. I don’t expect them to put up much of a fight here and could cause trouble with an early goal, but Liverpool’s home advantage is enough to see them through.
Liverpool to win: 2-1
West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea
West Brom have not won a game since their first two opening matches of the season. Since then, they’ve drawn 4 and lost 5, keeping them just above the relegation zone. Every point will be tough for the Baggies and Tony Pulis will really have to pull off something special to get a result here, which I don’t think will happen.
Chelsea may have had a few blips recently, especially with that shock 2-1 defeat to Palace but they are a very good side with a great manager in Antonio Conte. That 1-0 win over Manchester United last weekend was a morale-boosting one and they will continue that good form here.
Chelsea to win: 1-3
Manchester United v Newcastle United
The good thing about Jose Mourinho is that even though you may get dull experiences, you’ll always get results at home. He’s had hugely impressive records at home with his prior clubs managed and just this season, Mourinho has guided United to a 100% home record, winning all five previous games at Old Trafford – the only team to match that is Arsenal. Again, it will be a good performance from the Red Devils against a side they should be beating.
Newcastle have started off brightly and even though they’ve just been promoted, Rafa Benitez is making it look like they never left. In 11th place, you can see the Spaniard is doing well with the resources that he has and this game will be a real test for the relatively young side to show what they can do. I think they’ll battle hard but ultimately succumb to United’s power.
Manchester United to win: 2-1
Watford v West Ham
When the Hornets beat Arsenal 2-1 and went up 2-1 at Chelsea, you could see how much talent this side has. But for a late Chelsea double, they could have drawn at Stamford Bridge but getting 3 points from those two fixtures is a good feat. Furthermore, they’re sitting in 9th place, an excellent position for Marco Silva to be in.
Travelling to Vicarage Road won’t be an easy task however as Watford have already beaten the Gunners and drawn to Liverpool. Of course losing 6-0 to Man City may look bad but they are clearly on another level. West Ham have been on such a poor run that they’ve only won once in their last seven games and things are looking bad. They’ll be desperate for a win but I just don’t see it.
Watford to win: 2-1
Brighton v Stoke City
Brighton have not looked like newcomers to the Premier League this season, having had some impressive games recently, and avoiding defeat in their last four games. They look comfortable on the pitch and their midfield is capable of taking on most of the clubs in the league. For Stoke City, it’s a different story as they don’t have a good record away from home.
I think Brighton will prove their worth again here as they march on to another three points, staking a real claim to remain in the Premier League.
Brighton to win: 3-1