Friday 11/24/17 (Noon PT)
West Ham vs. Leicester (3)
Leicester currently sit in 12th place in the Premier League table, but the Foxes are just four points ahead of 18th-place West Ham. The Hammers are looking for their first win under David Moyes after losing his debut last weekend to Watford, and a win at the London Stadium would tighten the bottom half of the table significantly. It won’t be easy for the struggling hosts, as Leicester were on a five-game unbeaten run before falling to Manchester City last weekend. But Moyes knows he needs to start getting points in a hurry, and at home under the lights, the Hammers will be under a ton of pressure to start righting the ship.
Saturday 11/25/17 (7 AM PT)
Manchester United vs. Brighton (2)
Crystal Palace vs. Stoke (3)
Despite Stoke’s current three-match unbeaten streak, this game has a whiff of desperation about it. Even after getting five points in three games, the Potters sit in 15th place largely due to their porous backline, which has allowed 24 goals in 12 games. That’s the same tally for woeful Palace’s rearguard; along with Everton, the pair have allowed the joint-second-most goals in the league, ahead of only West Ham. Whether either team’s attack can take advantage of the other’s defensive frailties will determine the winner of this contest; Stoke have been more dangerous in attack so far this season, but Palace will have the home-field advantage in a very important game.
Tottenham vs. West Brom (2)
The biggest bit of intrigue for this one is the new face in the West Brom dugout. After Tony Pulis parted ways with the club on Monday, caretaker manager Gary Megson takes over temporarily just in time for a trip to Wembley. Spurs have had some trouble with the Baggies in recent years — three of the last four matchups ended 1-1 — but that should have little bearing on the outcome this time around. Against an interim manager who will ask his team to sit deep and defend, Spurs will dictate the game; it’s up to them whether or not they go out and win it.
Swansea vs. Bournemouth (1)
Swansea need to arrest their free fall quickly, and a visit from Bournemouth provides a chance to do so. The Cherries have been playing decent football of late, most recently throttling Huddersfield 4-0, and they’ll take confidence from that result with them to Wales. Against a Swans side that’s lost four in a row, that momentum is enough to make Eddie Howe’s team the favorite. Swansea are desperate for a win that could turn their tide around, but they’ll need to be sharp to get it Saturday.
Newcastle vs. Watford (3)
Though neither Newcastle or Watford is going to bridge the gap to the top six, both have been well in consideration for best of the rest this season, and their matchup Saturday is about as good as it gets for non-elite sides. The Magpies come in needing a boost following three losses in which they have scored just a single goal combined. The Hornets haven’t been much better themselves as of late either, as they recently snapped their own three-game losing streak. Still, this contest has plenty of talent on display and is probably the most balanced game in the time slot.
(9:30 AM PT)
Liverpool vs. Chelsea (5)
An absolutely critical cracker closes out Saturday as Liverpool and Chelsea battle for top-four positioning. Liverpool are riding a three-game winning streak, having scored 10 times in that run, and they look like the scary offense that has the PL on alert. Chelsea are riding a four-game winning streak of their own, so both sides come in ready to battle. The stakes are high, with the winner staying in or jumping into the top four while the loser will drop out, at least for now. Expect a no-holds-barred offensive battle at Anfield.
Sunday 11/26/17 (5:30 AM PT)
Southampton vs. Everton (2)
A few years ago, this would have been a highly touted
(6 AM PT)
Burnley vs. Arsenal (4)
Burnley have been downright deadly against top sides this year, having poached off more than a few points against the league’s best. Arsenal have no easy task this weekend, especially considering Burnley haven’t lost in their last five home games. The Gunners come in off a huge win against Tottenham but also faltered this week in the Europa League and will be on short rest. It’s hard to tell which Arsenal side will come to play, but either way, it should be a tight, gritty match at Turf Moor.
(8 AM PT)
Huddersfield vs. Manchester City (3)
Huddersfield have done incredibly well this season to be sitting in 10th place, but they will get a taste this weekend of what they are truly up against in the Premier League. The City train looks impossible to stop, and there's no reason to think the Terriers will do so, even at home. Pep Guardiola’s men are coming in off a Champions League week, but that hasn’t slowed them down in the past, and it should again be smooth sailing for the Citizens, who have dropped only two points all season.
Bonus European Game of the Week: Valencia vs. Barcelona, Sunday 11/26/17, 11:45 AM PT
It might sound a little bit ridiculous at this stage, but this game could genuinely be Spain’s last chance of disrupting Barcelona’s jaunt to a title. The Catalans lead the chasing pack by four points, and a win over Valencia would push that number to seven. That would make catching the leaders an uphill task for any side. At the moment, however, if there’s anyone who should be feeling good about their chances of knocking off the Blaugrana, it’s Valencia. Los Che are on fire, with eight consecutive La Liga wins, 32 goals scored in 12 games, and multiple players finding their form at the right time. Should they grind out a result in what’s certain to be a rocking Mestalla, Valencia can almost single-handedly pull Barca into an actual scrap — for now, anyway.