Saturday 11/21/15 (4:45 AM PT)
Watford vs. Manchester United (2)
Two of the better defensive sides in the league meet at Vicarage Road in the early game Saturday in what should be an interesting encounter. While United will undoubtedly be the favorites to get three points, they could be in for a sting in the tail against a surprising Watford side. Though the Hornets have struggled at home, with just two home wins thus far, they have held their own for long stretches against
(7:00 AM PT)
Chelsea vs. Norwich (3)
Chelsea’s fall has been fascinating to watch so far this year, and they’ll host a Norwich team Saturday that’s actually a point ahead of them in the Premier League table. The Canaries broke a four game losing streak with a win over Swansea before the international break, while Chelsea enters this matchup on a three game skid of their own. With the pressure on the Blues mounting and the volatility of Chelsea so far this season, this one should provide a fair few fireworks, but this is one that the Blues will expect to win. It’s also one they’ll have to win if they’re to break out of the rut that’s seemingly engulfed the club, which should mean the tension at Stamford Bridge will be at a peak.
West Brom vs. Arsenal (2)
This has all the makings of a simple game for Arsenal, who haven’t lost to the Baggies since 2010 and are on a six game BPL unbeaten run. Over the past month, the Gunners have been able to seemingly score at will in the league, but their explosive attack will be tested by a West Brom defense that’s kept six clean sheets in 12 games. They’ll have a tough time repeating the task against the high-flying Gunners, who have been kept off the scoreboard just three times thus far, but it won’t be an impossible ask. Either way, though, a challenge awaits the Baggies at home on Saturday.
Swansea vs. Bournemouth (1)
Both of these teams come into Saturday’s contest with some big problems. Four straight losses have dragged Bournemouth into the drop zone, and they have scored in BPL play since the first minute of their 5-1 loss to Tottenham three games ago. Meanwhile, Swansea also haven’t scored in their last two games, both losses, and they’ll need to take points off the bottom teams to avoid getting dragged into a relegation fight. Neither of these teams has been particularly exciting in recent weeks, and with some intriguing battles elsewhere at the same time, this is a fairly easy pass.
Everton vs. Aston Villa (2)
After ending Villa’s lengthy losing streak in the last game before the international break against Manchester City, Remi Garde will look for his first win with the Villains at Goodison Park. It won’t come easy, as Everton’s only losses have been to three of the league’s top four teams, and last-place Villa certainly don’t fit that bill. But they did look like a different team in Garde’s first game in charge, and that provides at least a little bit of intrigue into what
Newcastle vs. Leicester (3)
One of the league’s somewhat surprising strugglers hosts the BPL’s early season high flyers in what could be a very good fixture. Newcastle fought their way out of the relegation zone two weeks ago with an undeserved, but vital, win at Bournemouth, and they’ll hope they can keep it going against a Leicester side that’s lost just once this season. For the Foxes, this game will be all about Jamie Vardy, who is looking to tie a BPL record with a goal in his 10th straight game. Leicester is the unquestioned favorite against the mediocre Magpies, but this is the type of game they could overlook with Manchester United coming to town next weekend, and the Foxes will need to avoid that if they want to take all three points with them.
Southampton vs. Stoke (3)
Southampton and Stoke have been two of the BPL’s better sides in recent weeks, as the Saints have gone six in a row without a loss while the Potters have four wins in their last six league games. As a result, this has become an important matchup between two teams hoping to bust through the upper mid-table positions that they’ve occupied in recent seasons. Each of these sides possesses a solid defense, with Southampton having conceded just 13 goals and Stoke having allowed 12, so chances could be at a premium in what has the potential to be a very tense affair.
(9:30 AM PT)
Manchester City vs. Liverpool (5)
Undoubtedly the best game of the weekend pits the leaders against the team they pipped to the title two seasons ago. Things have changed for the Reds since they nearly lifted the BPL trophy in 2013-14, but Liverpool remains one of the league’s biggest names. They’ve been better since the hiring of Jurgen Klopp, a loss to Crystal Palace just before the international break aside, but they’ll have their hands full with a
Sunday 11/22/15 (8:00 AM PT)
Tottenham vs. West Ham (4)
Having gone unbeaten since the opening day of the season, Tottenham are becoming a popular pick to finish fourth with Chelsea struggling. On Sunday, they’ll welcome one of the competitors for that spot, although most are expecting West Ham to slip a bit following an injury to Dimitri Payet that should keep the Hammers’ talisman on the sidelines for at least a month. West Ham have been phenomenal away from home thus far, but they did lose their last game on their travels at Watford. With Spurs in such terrific form and having scored nine goals in their last three BPL games, they’ll feel confident they can make it two road defeats in a row for Slaven Bilic’s side in what has the potential to be another cracking London derby.
Crystal Palace vs. Sunderland (1)
Palace have fallen off the pace of the top four a bit after a splendid start to the season, but a win at Liverpool two weeks ago cements them as favorites against a struggling Sunderland side that has just one win so far this year. Neither of these sides scores a ton of goals, although the Black Cats have conceded a league high 26 tallies and will be hard pressed to slow down the Eagles’ terrifying trio of Wilfried Zaha, Yannick Bolasie, and Bakary Sako. The Eagles will expect to nab all three points in the Monday game, but there may not be a lot of drama to go around at Selhurst Park, which doesn’t make this all that enticing of a contest.
Bonus European Game of the Week: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, Saturday 11/21/15, 9:15 AM PT
El Clasico is unquestionably the game of the weekend, but since we already covered it in depth here, we’ll choose another one that should be high in quality and drama…
Extra Bonus European Game of the Week: Schalke vs. Bayern Munich, Saturday 11/21/15, 9:30 AM PT
Although it’s on at the same time as City-Liverpool and Barca-Real, the Bundesliga matchup between unbeaten Bayern and Champions League challengers Schalke is plenty interesting as well. If anyone wants to reel in the defending champions, Bayern will need to drop points against the better teams in the league, and that includes fifth-place Schalke. The hosts need to get victories to pull themselves into a Champions