This weekend is a big one in the Premier League, as Chelsea and Arsenal have to negotiate tricky away tests, plus Sunday sees a day full of top four contenders battling it out as Southampton host Manchester City and Everton take on Tottenham. The last games of November will set things up rather nicely for the busy festive period approaching.
After consulting my crystal ball, here’s how I see things panning out…
BASICALLY, FREE MONEY
Manchester United vs. Hull City – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBCSN)
United are really finding their groove and that win at Arsenal last weekend will give Louis van Gaal’s side a swagger in their step. Hull will give it their all, but they lack United’s firepower. Home win.
Manchester United 2-0 Hull City
West Ham United vs. Newcastle United – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime)
This will be the game where the Magpies’ bubble finally bursts. They have had an incredible run, but a return to one of his former clubs will not be a happy one for Alan Pardew. Expect the Hammers to be more lively in attack with Downing and Kouyate back.
West Ham United 2-0 Newcastle United
Sunderland vs. Chelsea – (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC)
Imperious. Sensational. Majestic. Jose Mourinho’s boys are breezing through the competition this season and don’t expect that to stop at the Stadium of Light. True, Sunderland were the last team to beat Chelsea in the PL back in April… but after a 5-0 shellacking of Schalke in the Champions League on Tuesday, Chelsea are far too good for the Black Cats.
Sunderland 0-3 Chelsea
QPR vs. Leicester City – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime)
The R’s lost to Newcastle last week but are improving all the time, so expect Harry Redknapp’s men to run riot at Loftus Road as they welcome fellow newly-promoted Leicester to west London. QPR have plenty of firepower, while the Foxes haven’t scored in five games. Only one winner here.
QPR 3-1 Leicester City
DON’T TOUCH THIS…
Burnley vs. Aston Villa – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime)
Despite the Clarets winning two-straight games and Villa winless in eight, I expect this to be a very tight battle at Turf Moor. Villa defended for their lives to secure a draw vs. Saints on Monday and Burnley are just as good at the back. Tense, tight… just do yourself a favor and stay clear.
Burnley 1-1 Aston Villa
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Everton – (Sunday, 11 a.m. ET, NBCSN)
Both teams secured their passage into the last 32 of the Europa League on Thursday and despite poor starts they are only two points off Manchester United who currently occupy fourth spot. Both these teams just missed out on Champions League qualification last term and they will look to put down a marker for this season at White Hart Lane this weekend. Spurs could shade it, but too close to call.
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Everton
Southampton vs. Manchester City – (Sunday, 8:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN)
Second-place Southampton host third-place Man City… yes, that’s actually happening. The Saints have been flying this season but this is their first big test. Following on from their late heroics against Bayern Munich in midweek, City will need to churn up every ounce of energy for this tough clash at St Mary’s. Expect a cracker.
Southampton 2-2 Manchester City
“SO YOU’RE TELLING ME THERE’S A CHANCE…”
West Bromwich Albion vs. Arsenal – (Saturday, 7:45 a.m. ET, NBCSN)
Given Arsenal’s recent form, defeat at West Brom would not be a shock. The Gunners have lost back-to-back PL matches to Swansea and Manchester United, but a midweek win over Borussia Dortmund could boost their morale. As for the Baggies, they need points desperately as they are just three points off the bottom three. Score draw.
West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Arsenal
Swansea City vs. Crystal Palace – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime)
Following their impressive demolition of Liverpool last week, expect Neil Warnock and Palace to be flying high. Swansea have played well for most of the season, but aren’t getting the results their performances deserve. The Eagles are clinical, and I expect another big win for the south London side.
Swansea City 1-2 Crystal Palace
Liverpool vs. Stoke City – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime)
Brendan Rodgers needs a win big time at Anfield, but it will be tough going against Stoke. Liverpool have lost three-straight matches in the PL and are without a win in four. As for Stoke, inconsistency has riddled the Potters all season. After a long midweek trip to Bulgaria, expect Stoke to catch Liverpool cold.
Liverpool 1-2 Stoke City