Saturday 11/28/15 (7:00 AM PT)
Bournemouth vs. Everton (2)
In the first ever league meeting between these sides, a red-hot Everton visits struggling Bournemouth with three important points on the line. The Toffees have scored 11 goals in their last three games, two of which they’ve won, and they’ll need three points at Dean Court if they hope to challenge for a European spot. Romelu Lukaku is in frightening form with seven goals in his last seven Premier League games, and
Aston Villa vs. Watford (1)
Conversely, these are two of the lowest-scoring teams in the BPL, and that could lead to a dull affair at Villa Park. Watford have seen a league-low 26 goals (total scored and conceded) in their 13 games, while Villa’s 10 goals scored are last in the league. Remi Garde knows he needs to start winning games ASAP if the Villains are to stay in the Premier League, so this should be a desperate, smash-and-grab contest, one that will be high in tension if not quality.
Sunderland vs. Stoke (1)
Both of these teams are playing much better of late, with Stoke winning five of their past seven games and Sunderland taking two of their past four. This is a game the Potters should win, particularly since they have 10 points in their last four away games, but it’s also one the Black Cats need to win. Sam Allardyce and Mark Hughes both have been known to try to win ugly games, so there may not be a lot of chances in what should be a tight contest.
Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle (2)
Alan Pardew’s old team pays a visit to his current one with both sides coming off bad losses. Palace dominated Sunderland on Monday night, but couldn’t find a way past the Black Cats and lost 1-0 on a late Jermain Defoe goal. Meanwhile, Newcastle were blown away 3-0 by a rampant Leicester squad, and they sit precariously just one point above the drop zone. This might look like an easy win for the home-standing Eagles, but Palace have struggled at Selhurst Park with just two wins there this season, while the Magpies won their last road game. It may not be as cut-and-dried as it looks, and the Pardew angle should add a bit of extra intensity to what might otherwise be a boring fixture.
Manchester City vs. Southampton (4)
Two good, interesting teams meet at the Etihad with both looking to avenge home losses in their last games. City were torn apart in a 4-1 defeat to Liverpool a week ago, then lost to Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday, but they will still be favorites Saturday against a Southampton team coming off a 1-0 loss to Stoke. The Saints haven’t won at City since 2004, but they’ve yet to lose away from home this season. Something has to give in what is easily the best game in the Saturday afternoon time-slot.
Leicester vs. Manchester United (5)
Stunningly, Leicester against Manchester United is a top-of-the-table clash in late November. The Foxes are in first place in the BPL, a point ahead of the Red Devils, and the King Power Stadium will undoubtedly be rocking in Saturday’s primetime kickoff. Last season, this fixture was one of the most exciting of the season, with Leicester coming from 3-1 down to win 5-3, and there are few who would argue against a similarly thrilling contest this time around. Oh, and there’s the matter of Jamie Vardy having the opportunity to break Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record with a goal in his 11th straight BPL game against van Nistelrooy’s former team. Basically, all of the elements are in place for a classic contest, and the great kickoff time makes this a must-watch.
Sunday 11/29/15 (4:00 AM PT)
Tottenham vs. Chelsea (5)
Speaking of last year’s best games, Spurs host Chelsea in Sunday’s early game in a rematch of Tottenham’s fantastic 5-3 New Year’s Day win. The roles slightly different this time around, though, as Spurs are one of the league’s most dynamic sides, while Chelsea are scuffling, but coming off two wins, over Norwich in the BPL and Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champions League. Mauricio Pochettino’s men will
(6:05 AM PT)
West Ham vs. West Brom (1)
After last week’s 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Spurs, West Ham will look for a much better performance against a West Brom side that’s won three of its six away games this year. The Baggies aren’t the most exciting team in the league, but manager Tony Pulis knows how to grind out results away from home. Expect a very tight contest, as the Hammers didn’t show much quality last week without Dimitri Payet, while West Brom has allowed just four goals on their travels thus far. Don’t expect much in the way of excitement, though.
(8:15 AM PT)
Liverpool vs. Swansea (3)
A week after their best win under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool hosts Swansea looking for a first home BPL win since September. It won’t come easy against a talented, but struggling, Swansea side that needs to start winning games to ease some of the pressure on manager Garry Monk. One point from their last three games has seen the Swans drop into 14th place, and a few more losses could put Swansea in a difficult spot. They need a point Sunday, and that desperation could make this a very interesting game to watch.
Norwich vs. Arsenal (2)
Last week’s defeat at West Brom, combined with a potentially very costly injury to Francis Coquelin, makes this weekend’s contest with Norwich a lot more interesting from an Arsenal perspective. Looking at this game a week ago would have yielded a major mismatch, and likely another simple stepping stone for the Gunners. But they showed some fragility last Saturday at the Hawthorns that wasn’t previously apparent, and that means this weekend’s fixture with a struggling Norwich side that’s lost five of six BPL games takes on a new face. The Canaries need to gather some wins quickly to gain some breathing space on the bottom three, and this suddenly looks like an opportunity, if not a great one, to do so.
Bonus European Game of the Week: Napoli vs. Inter Milan, Monday 11/30/15, 12 noon PT
This Monday afternoon fixture should be one of the most compelling anywhere this weekend, with the top two teams in the Serie A table doing battle in Naples. The hosts currently sit two points behind Inter, but they’ve been a lot more dangerous in the attack than the leaders, with 24 goals scored to Inter’s 16. That doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be a ton of goals in this one, as the teams have the two best defenses in Italy. Inter have conceded just seven goals this year, to Napoli’s eight, with the