Saturday 11/18/17 (4:30 AM PT)
Arsenal vs. Tottenham (5)
There isn't much of an introduction needed when these two heated North London rivals square off. The points are much more critical this time around for the sixth-place Gunners, who need to keep pace with the top four before they slip away from the Champions League race. On the other hand, if Tottenham want
(7 AM PT)
Bournemouth vs. Huddersfield (2)
Tenth-place Huddersfield should be beaming at the moment as they come back from the international break having won two of their last three, including one over Manchester United. They have a great chance to add to their run, too, against a languishing Bournemouth outfit. The Cherries are second-worst in the league with seven goals scored, but Huddersfield have only tallied eight of their own, so don't expect much offense here. The defensive advantage largely swings towards the Terriers, though, and that will help them significantly on the road.
Burnley vs. Swansea (2)
The Swans are in deep trouble having lost four of their last five; they now sit second to last in the table and badly need something to right their ship. The Clarets, meanwhile, have been a breath of fresh air this season, and despite having scored 10 and conceded nine, they sit in seventh place and are tied with both Arsenal and Liverpool on points. A win here would also prove they are not just the road warriors they were made out to be at the start of the year. It's a little too early to believe they are going to keep the form up, but it’s certainly been an impressive run so far.
Crystal Palace vs. Everton (1)
This game could easily be dubbed the misery bowl. Everton have been a shadow of the side they have been in recent years, and Palace have easily been the worst team in the league so far. The Eagles have only won points at home this season, and Everton are second worst in the league in away points (only in front of Palace), so that might be a small advantage for the hosts. However, given both teams’ immense struggles and lack of consistency, it's almost impossible to pick an outcome, although if it's displayed, Everton have the class to take the game to the Eagles.
Leicester City vs. Manchester City (3)
After a tough start to the season, the Foxes have turned it around lately with a five-game unbeaten run. They will face their biggest test so far, though, when Pep Guardiola’s juggernaut visits the King Power Stadium. There aren't enough superlatives to describe the 2017-18 Citizens, but their 38-7 goal differential through 11 games speaks for itself. The rest of the top six would love for Leicester to claw out a result, and given the international break, some weirdness could happen, but it's definitely a tough ask for the Foxes.
Liverpool vs. Southampton (3)
On paper, Liverpool will like their odds, but this game could be trickier than it looks for the Reds. Southampton are in a decent vein of form, and they’ll likely sit back and let Liverpool dictate the game. As
West Brom vs. Chelsea (3)
Two teams in contrasting form meet at the Hawthorns in an important game for both, albeit for very different reasons. Chelsea have won three in a row, including two by 1-0 margins, but they still sit in fourth place in a very tight battle for the Champions League spots. At the other end of the table, West Brom are hovering just above the drop zone (by a single point), and they’ve lost three in a row in the midst of a nine-game Premier League winless run. Both of these teams rely on their defenses, so that could cause a tense, low-scoring affair. Chelsea are the favorites, but the Baggies should get an extra boost from playing in front of their home fans.
(9:30 AM PT)
Manchester United vs. Newcastle (4)
Newcastle have been one of the surprise packages of the early portion of the season (although they lost their last two before the break), and they’ll hope to continue that run by grinding out a result at Old Trafford. It won’t be easy; even a less-than-dynamic United side will expect three points against the Magpies. However, Rafa Benitez is a fantastic manager who knows how to pull out unexpected points now and again, and he’ll have a plan for how to deal with Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils. Like in the two games above, United will expect to get a win, but it might not be as simple as it looks.
Sunday 11/19/17 (8 AM PT)
Watford vs. West Ham (2)
Monday 11/20/17 (12 noon PT)
Brighton vs. Stoke (2)
Each of these sides got four points in the two games prior to the international break, and both will think this match provides a solid chance to keep their runs going. The Seagulls are unbeaten in their last four games and have risen all the way up to eighth in the table thanks to a back line that has quickly acclimated to the top flight. Meanwhile, Stoke started slow, and their defense hasn’t been nearly as solid as Brighton’s, but the Potters have the talent to turn their form around at the drop of a hat. Neither side is all that exciting going forward, and that lessens the intrigue of this clash, but it still has the potential to be a tight one at the AMEX Stadium.
Bonus European Game of the Week: Roma vs. Lazio, Saturday 11/18/17, 9 AM PT
In one of two big capital derbies in Europe this weekend (along with the Madrid one we discussed Thursday), fifth-placed Roma host their fourth-placed rivals Lazio. On top of both teams needing points to keep touch with the Serie A and Champions League races, both know there could be points to be gained as well with the top three teams in the league all playing solid top-half opposition. Lazio have been much more proficient on the offensive end than their neighbors having scored 31 goals so far, 10 more than Roma. However, the hosts have allowed a league-low seven goals so far, meaning their stout defense could well hold up against their opponents’ rampant attack. It will be a tight and tense one, to say the least.