*Pretty much everyone really could use a striker. Apologies in advance.
Jack Wilshere‘s return to form and fitness helps their center midfield, but Arsene Wenger seemingly hasn’t found his answer in the middle of the park whether the addition of Mohamed Elneny in the past or Granit Xhaka this season. Laurent Koscielny‘s surprising recent struggles also show just how few answers the club has behind him at center back.
Need to find that leading scorer either Jermain Defoe or Joshua King was supposed to be, or find the playmaker who puts them in position to start burying goals again.
Brighton and Hove Albion
Offensive players of any kind, as the league’s worst offense has allowed teams to focus on Pascal Gross.
A versatile midfielder who can play centrally or on the left would solve multiple problems. Center back insurance would help, too.
Cheekily, we’d suggest bringing some of its many stars back from loan, as Kurt Zouma (Stoke) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace) have been mighty influential at their clubs. It’s more about personage than positions with Chelsea, as Alex Sandro of Juventus has been mentioned often. Will Ross Barkley change his mind about the Blues, or vice versa?
The Toffees have made no secret of their need for a finishing center forward. No other team needs a positional upgrade more than Everton at CF.
An upgrade at center back seems the prime need for David Wagner‘s men.
A center back to pair with Harry Maguire, and depth down the right side. Both become secondary to playmaker if Riyad Mahrez leaves the King Power Stadium.
Virgil Van Dijk solves a lot, but the club could stand to upgrade the position beyond him and Joel Matip. Instead, Jurgen Klopp might buy more attackers. An alternative to Jordan Henderson would be nice, but would also be superfluous with Naby Keita arriving in the summer.
Center forward depth in the short-term with Gabriel Jesus injured, and left back cover might be on Guardiola’s mind. Another center back seems likely to arrive this month or this summer.
Jose Mourinho could add anywhere outside of goalkeeper and his attacking trident. Left back remains a priority, especially if he sells Luke Shaw.
The Magpies need a more effective Premier League striker than Joselu or Dwight Gayle, an improved left back, and a box-to-box center midfielder. Rafa Benitez will reportedly hunt for a goalkeeper, too.
Still need a center back, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Mauricio Pellegrino attempt to find a solution for any spot besides the one occupied by Oriol Romeu.
The Potters have allowed a league-worst 47 goals, and it’d be worse without Jack Butland. A left back is needed, as is either a defensive mid or right back depending on where they want to deploy Geoff Cameron (which means they also could use cover for both in case injury).
With a new manager you can pick a position, and Swans may want to improve it. The priority will be players who can produce goals, as Fernando Llorente and Gylfi Sigurdsson were not adequately replaced.
Another winger? Spurs may have the least amount of needs in the league outside of Man City.
Full backs might be top of the list.
West Bromwich Albion
The Baggies have to find a better way to utilize big forward Salomon Rondon, who is quite gifted. Maybe it’s a partner striker, maybe a playmaker.
West Ham United
Up the middle, besides forward. The Hammers will look to address center back and center midfield. They are alright out wide and across the top.
Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur — FULL RECAP
What’s left to say about Man City at this point? Christmas is still nine days away, and their lead in the title race has already ballooned to 14 points. Pep Guardiola‘s side will have such an advantage that they’ll be able to choose between chasing the elusive unbeaten PL season, or resting key players with an eye toward winning the UEFA Champions League. Or, you know, he might just choose to do both, because he can.
Marcos Alonso scored a stunning free kick — what else? (WATCH HERE) — to give Chelsea a 1-0 victory over Southampton at Stamford Bridge. The Blues had ample opportunity to put the game to bed, but much like fellow top-four chasers Arsenal, couldn’t do so and were made to sweat all the way through the game’s final moments. The victory pulls Antonio Conte‘s side level with Manchester United for second in the PL table, though United don’t play until Sunday.
Mesut Ozil scored one of the goals of the season (WATCH HERE), and it was all Arsenal needed to edge past Newcastle and leave Rafa Benitez‘s side sitting in the relegation zone another few days, at least. Thanks to points dropped by Tottenham and Burnley (yes, Burnley), Arsenal now sit fourth in the league table with only Liverpool capable of leapfrogging them this weekend.
The good times were really rolling for Leicester, who entered Saturday’s clash with Palace riding a five-game unbeaten streak (four straight wins) under new manager Claude Puel. Oh, how quickly fortunes can change in the PL. Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha had the visitors 2-0 up by halftime, and Bakary Sako added another goal during second-half stoppage time, just for good measure. Speaking of fortunes changing quickly, Palace now sit 14th in the league table, four places and two points clear of the relegation zone.
Huddersfield will stave off relegation quite comfortably if they can continue picking up lopsided wins every second or third game for the rest of the season, even if they’re sandwiched by blowout defeats. Saturday’s romp past Watford will surely go down as the most straightforward all season, as the Terriers went 2-0 up in 23 minutes, then went a man up after Troy Deeney was sent off in the 33rd. It was 3-0 after five second-half minutes, and 4-0 with more than 20 minutes still to play. Back up to 11th, David Wagner‘s side is six points clear of relegation just one game shy of the halfway mark.
Marko Arnautovic haunted his former club, Stoke City, as he scored a goal and was a constant threat throughout West Ham’s 3-0 victory at the bet365 Stadium. That makes three games without a loss, including two wins, for the Hammers under new manager David Moyes. Like Palace, they are also now two points clear of the relegation zone.
Burnely, who began the weekend level with Tottenham and Liverpool (and ahead of Arsenal) for fourth place, dropped points for the first time in three games. Brighton, meanwhile, haven’t won in their last seven PL games and have slowly but surely slid back to the relegation-fighting pack.
Sunday’s PL schedule
West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United — 9:15 a.m. ET
Bournemouth vs. Liverpool — 11:30 a.m. ET
Crystal Palace beat Leicester City 3-0 at the King Power Stadium on Saturday as first half goals from Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha set Roy Hodgson’s side on their way to a first away win of the season with Bakary Sako hammering home another goal in stoppage time.
Leicester’s run of four-straight wins came to an abrupt end as Claude Puel‘s side struggled from start to finish and Palace looked dangerous on the break with Benteke scoring one, setting up another and making amends for his missed penalty kick late on against Bournemouth last weekend.
To add to Leicester’s woes Wilfried Ndidi was sent off in the second half for picking up two yellow cards.
With the win Palace move on to 17 points and push out of the relegation zone and into 14th place, while Leicester remain on 26 points.
Neat build-up play on the right saw the ball fall to Andros Townsend and his delightful inswinging cross found Benteke who nodded home Palace’s first away goal of the season.
There was a sense of relief for Benteke and a deserved lead for the Eagles, but soon after Benteke almost headed into his own net but his defensive clearance flew inches wide and then Jamie Vardy went close for the hosts.
Benteke then created Palace’s second goal as he drove forward with the ball, played in Zaha and the Ivory Coast international drilled home. 2-0.
1106 – Christian Benteke has just ended a run of 1106 minutes and 28 shots without a goal in the Premier League for @CPFC. Finally. pic.twitter.com/PDnPX1yFdt
Palace sat back and soaked up plenty of Leicester pressure in the second half, with the Foxes going close with Riyad Mahrez having a low shot saved well by Julian Speroni and Benteke heading wide at the other end.
On the break the Eagles threatened as the second half wore on and Leicester pushed to get back into the game, but Ndidi then picked up two yellows cards with the second for a shocking dive in the box.