After a lengthy, yet eventful international break, football fans will be gleeful when they wake up in the morning of the weekend after Thanksgiving, knowing club competition has finally returned.
As we get closer to the end of the first half of the Premier League, some teams will be trying to change their fate. In this quest, there are three largely-exciting matches this weekend to follow. The first of which being tomorrow’s clash between West Ham and table-leaders Manchester City. Next, will be Tottenham Hostpurs pushing to overtake Chelsea at Wembley, finalized by Sunday’s neck-to-neck match-up between Bournemouth and Arsenal.
West Ham vs Manchester City
West Ham honestly hasn’t been impressive this season, sitting in twelfth place with just three wins from twelve matches. However, before one gives up faith, one of those victories came against Manchester United. One of West Ham’s three draws did come against Chelsea. Both were at West Ham’s home fortress, the London Stadium, where tomorrow’s match will be held.
Unfortunately for West Ham, Manchester City may be on a whole other level. In Manchester City’s last three visits to the London Stadium, they’ve scored a whopping THIRTEEN times.
To add to West Ham’s issues, they’ll have to deal with a few injury concerns. Winston Reid, Carlos Sánchez, Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko all have injuries to worry about. Former Manchester City manager, now West Ham manager, Manuel Pellegrini has announced key players Andy Caroll and Jack Wilshire will be on the bench. However, former Manchester City full-back Pablo Zabaleta is expected to start.
Although Manchester City themselves do have a few players out with injuries, involving the likes of Iklay Gundoğan, Benjamin Mendy and Kevin de Bruyne, considering the Citizens are undefeated this season, this should not be of large concern to manager Pep Guardiola. Brazilian Ederson will likely continue an excellent run in goal. John Stones and Kyle Walker will make up the defense. Also xpect in-form players Raheem Sterling and Sergio Agüero to start along-side Leroy Sané, who had a positive international break with Germany.
Manchester City’s past against West Ham, along with the home sides’ insecurity, may lead to a leak in West Ham’s fortress. With a win, Manchester City could gain a possible five-point lead at the top of the table, one which will be very hard to diminish.
Prediction: West Ham 1-4 Manchester City
Tottenham Hotspurs vs Chelsea
Although the two teams are just one point apart, everything Tottenham has done well this season, Chelsea has done far better. Chelsea has scored seven goals more than Tottenham. That’s largely due to Eden Hazard’s seven goals from eleven appearances. To add on to Tottenham’s possible worries, Chelsea has no imminent injury issues. That is, other than Mateo Kovacic’s ankle, which is also improving.
Tottenham will perhaps field a near fully-fit squad, but will have to be without Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier. Mousa Dembélé and Davinson Sanchez will also not be able to feature for Spurs Saturday.
With three points, Chelsea could perform a much-needed task in overtaking Liverpool. They’re in second, while Tottenham can run away from fifth-placed Arsenal and jump to second from fourth with a win. Chelsea’s squad looks to be the stronger one and will probably fulfill a difficult, yet achievable task.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspurs 1-2 Chelsea
Bournemouth vs Arsenal
Neither team is where they’re supposed to be. Arsenal should have broke into the top four weeks ago, but have failed due to a large number of drawing matches. Bournemouth, positively, is having a remarkable season right now. They’re sitting in sixth, on the verge of European football, thanks to manager Eddie Howe.
Before the break, Arsenal forced a disappointing draw against Wolves. That was their fifth draw in a row. Despite being the visitors and having conceded first in their last three matches, Arsenal’s firepower has provided 26 goals in just 12 matches for them. Along with this, the regular Premier League line-up for the Gunners is at full fitness. Danny Welbeck and Dinos Mavropanos are the exceptions.
For the home side, Bournemouth, Joshua King is back to training. Unfortunately, Adam Smith will have to miss out.
This game can go any way possible. Arsenal could see their sixth consecutive draw, Bournemouth could get back to winning ways or Arsenal could convert their sixteen-match undefeated streak into a seventeen-match streak. If Arsenal wins and Tottenham loses, that will happily put Arsenal in fourth place. Bournemouth will not want to give up their sixth-place spot to a number of teams. Being home at Bournemouth, in the south of England along with a strong squad, Arsenal, realistically, will only find a hard time on Sunday.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-2 Arsenal
Other English Premier League Predictions:
Everton 3-0 Cardiff City
Brighton and Hove Albion 1-2 Leicester City
Manchester United 3-1 Crystal Palace
Watford 0-1 Liverpool
Fulham 1-2 Southampton
Wolves 2-0 Huddersfield
Burnley 1-1 Newcastle United