Another week of Champions League and Europa League fixtures completed means another weekend of the Premier League is here!
There are quite a few important games that will be played out over this weekend, but today I will pick out the three that Premier League fans should keep their eye on.
Friday: Southampton vs Newcastle United
Southampton have made quite a statement for themselves in the league so far. Being the first time since the 2015-16 season, the Cherries placed in the top six, and they will enter the match coming off a 4-3 win against Aston Villa. It wasn’t a pretty victory, however, after almost blowing a four-goal lead in the second half. But given the fact they haven’t lost a game since playing Tottenham on Sept. 26, it’s worth considering how good of form Southampton have managed.
James Ward-Prowse will continue his hot form after netting a brace last game as well as providing an assist. Ward-Prowse also scored in the game prior, against Everton. One key player Southampton will miss out on is Danny Ings due to him having knee surgery on Thursday. In this season so far, Ings is Southampton’s top goal scorer (five) and also provided two assists. A win would grant the Cherries to be on top of the table until the other games are played out, otherwise they’ll gradually go down the table.
Newcastle on the other hand could see themselves jump from 10th to the top four area should they win until the other games played out. Coming off a 2-1 against Everton, thanks to a Callum Wilson brace, the Magpies will look to add another win to their current 3-2-2 overall. Newcastle haven’t performed the greatest, when on the road, however, given their 1-2 away record. One weakness of theirs that Southampton could exploit is keeping possession of the ball. If Newcastle don’t step up at the St. Mary’s, they’ll start to sink themselves in the lower half of the table.
Saturday: Manchester City vs Liverpool
This is quite honestly a must-watch this weekend. There’s nothing quite like seeing England’s supergiants fight it out in a 90-minute game.
City will try everything to win this game as they currently sit in 10th. They’ll be in good form after a 1-0 win against Sheffield United as well as a 3-0 win in the Champions League against Olympiacos. Kevin De Bruyne will be a key player for the Citizens, as in both games he assisted three of their four goals. A win at home could see them jump to the top six.
As for Liverpool, they’re back at the top of the table. A win at the Etihad will prevent any other team to climb above them for this week. While they got a 2-1 win against West Ham, thanks to Diogo Jota scoring in the final minutes of the full 90, their form increased after a 5-0 Champions League win against Atalanta. Jota will be targeted by City, as he provided the Reds four goals across the two games. Liverpool are still without Virgil van Dijk due to an injury picked up in their derby against Arsenal, but so far they’re proving that a vital player taken out of their defense is not as big of a deal as many projected.
Sunday: Leicester City vs Wolves
The 2015-16 Premier League winners could see themselves on the top of the table once more should everything go to plan—aka, Liverpool losing to City.
Leicester will be in pretty great form this week: a 4-1 win against Leeds last week and winning 4-0 against Sporting Braga in the Europa League on Thursday. While Youri Tielemans and Jamie Vardy will be the obvious players to watch, Kelechi Iheanacho will be another player entering the match in decent form after netting a brace and provided an assist against Sporting Braga.
As for Wolves, a win for them should move them up a couple of places up the table. They still remain a fairly strong team, as the last time they lost was towards the end of September against West Ham. A pretty well-rounded team, any player can be effective in Sunday’s clash, especially Raúl Jiménez with four goals so far in the season.
Honorable mention: Tottenham vs West Brom (Sunday)
To be honest, there isn’t a whole lot to say about this game as Spurs will be dependent on both a Liverpool and Leicester upset, as well as them winning, to move to the top of the table. Regardless of those two games’ outcomes, the north London club should see an easy win to stay in the top four.
Looking at Spurs, they managed to get a 2-1 win against Brighton. It wasn’t their greatest performance, but their three points sent them up to third. They will also be fresh off a 3-1 win from the Europa League against Ludogorets. Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son will be the most lethal duo to perform on Sunday, as both have been in incredible form since the start of the season. Combined, both have scored 14 goals and 10 assists.
As for West Brom, they’re in the relegation zone of 18th, and still have yet to win a match…. That’s it. There really isn’t much hope for the Baggies this season.