Saturday 10/28/17 (4:30 AM PT)
Manchester United vs. Tottenham (5)
This is a game chock-full of fascinating storylines. Jose Mourinho has had some success against Mauricio Pochettino, but his Manchester United team have lacked a cutting edge lately, which culminated in last week’s disappointing defeat to Huddersfield. It’ll be interesting to see how Mourinho approaches this one, as he had his team set out to frustrate the last top-six side it faced (Liverpool) and earn a draw. Meanwhile, Spurs are looking to move past a disheartening
(7 AM PT)
Crystal Palace vs. West Ham (2)
On the opposite end of the spectrum, a pair of desperate sides meet at Selhurst Park in dire need of a victory. Slaven Bilic relieved a bit of the pressure crushing down on him with the League Cup triumph over Spurs, but a league defeat to miserable Palace could signal the end of his reign while also dragging West Ham into the relegation zone. The Hammers are undeniably the more talented side, but Roy Hodgson has Palace finally putting in the effort they’ll need to survive this season, and this is as good an opportunity as any for the Eagles to get themselves on track. This is far from a must-watch, but with both teams feeling the heat, this could prove to be a spectacle in some fashion.
West Brom vs. Manchester City (3)
Manchester City’s opponent-shredding attack will have a tall task against West Brom at the Hawthorns. There’s little doubt that Tony Pulis will instruct his Baggies to defend deep and absorb pressure, and his players are capable of doing so and stymieing the best offenses in the league. However, City are a whole new type of beast, the sort of fire-breathing dragon that can torch anyone on any day. West Brom are out of form, and City are in form; combined with the fact that the Citizens might have the best attacking corps in Premier League history, that indicates that this game is City’s to lose.
Liverpool vs. Huddersfield (2)
Since the opening day of the season, Huddersfield have struggled to generate any sort of attacking threat away from home, with just one point and zero goals scored in their last three road games. Of course, Liverpool’s defensive woes have been well-documented, and the space should be available for Huddersfield to attack. Whether they’re able to defend is another matter, though. Liverpool may be entering on the back of a disastrous 4-1 defeat at Tottenham, but their attackers still have plenty of juice, and that gives the Reds a definite edge at Anfield. One intriguing subplot: David Wagner knows Jurgen Klopp’s playing style inside and out (the pair have been
Watford vs. Stoke (1)
Mark Hughes could well be in trouble. The Stoke boss has seen his team pick up just one point away from home this season, and with a league-worst defense that’s conceded 20 goals thus far, there’s little reason to expect that number to increase this weekend. Watford have overachieved early this season, but they’re nonetheless good value for their sixth-place league standing. Marco Silva has his Hornets side playing good football at the moment, and that should continue at Vicarage Road against the Potters.
Arsenal vs. Swansea (2)
Though the Gunners faltered against Watford two weeks ago, they bounced back strong last weekend against Everton, and there’s no reason to think they can’t pick Swansea apart as well. The Swans have won just one of their last six games (and only two all year) and haven’t played particularly attractive football at any point this season. At the Emirates, the hosts should really be able to cruise.
(9:30 AM PT)
Bournemouth vs. Chelsea (2)
Chelsea, too, are entering this fixture on the heels of a bounce-back performance, and like Arsenal, they should have little trouble navigating around one of the league’s weakest sides. Bournemouth have scored just six times all year, and that doesn’t make their prospects for breaking down Antonio Conte’s defense bright, even if the Cherries are at home. Chelsea should be able to take the fixture to Bournemouth from the opening kick, and they should control it all the way to three points.
Sunday 10/29/17 (6:30 AM PT)
Brighton vs. Southampton (3)
A couple of mid-table teams who are battling for early positioning meet for a South Coast derby. Brighton have been a bit of a revelation this year and have 10 points in their last four games, and if they keep up their pace, they could avoid any notion of a relegation scrap in the second half of the season. Meanwhile, Southampton — who looked a bit shaky at the start of the season — have done well to hold their own and sit dead center in 10th. Saints have an ever-so-slightly better squad, but Brighton are at home, so it's a true toss up.
Leicester vs. Everton (3)
On Thursday, we discussed the managerial situations of both of these sides, and those unknowns provide quite a bit of intrigue as they match up at the King Power Stadium. Leicester have hired Claude Puel, but how he will affect the squad in his first game is well up in the air. Everton, on the other hand, have no full-time boss at the moment, and they have struggled immensely this season, so how they look this weekend is equally unknown. Given the Foxes are coming off a win and have five points in their last three matches, they are surely the favorites, but Everton still have enough talent in their squad that it wouldn’t be a shock to see them capitalize against the Foxes.
Monday 10/30/17 (1 PM PT)
Burnley vs. Newcastle (4)
Just about no one would have predicted this as a top-half clash nine games into the season, but sitting at seventh and eighth respectively, Newcastle and Burnley have proven their chops so far. Burnley’s issue is the opposite of last year’s; they have been below average at home and stunningly great on the road, so the home-field advantage Monday can be thrown out. Newcastle come in with 11 points and just one loss in their last six games, and that form could well carry them to another result. It will be a tactical matchup between Sean Dyche and Rafa Benitez, with both sides having a good chance to come out on top.
Bonus European Game of the Week: Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig, Saturday 10/28/17, 9:30 AM PT
Borussia Dortmund have stalled in their last two fixtures, and that has allowed Bayern Munich to tie the Black and Yellows for the league lead, while Leipzig have moved to just a point behind. The trio could well produce a title race for the ages, and this could be a massive result when looking back at the campaign down the road. Bayern and RB met in a midweek DfB-Pokal match, which ended in a penalty-kick win for the Bavarians, and their matchup on Saturday should be similarly tight. This begins a two-game stretch for Bayern where they will face RB and Dortmund, so while it is not make or break, the Bavarians could either seize control stumble behind the two chasers. Bayern have looked vulnerable this season, so even at the Allianz Arena, they are certainly beatable.