Bournemouth vs. Liverpool (4:30 AM PT, NBCSN)
Manchester United vs. Fulham (7:00 AM PT, NBCSN)
Burnley vs. Brighton (7:00 AM PT, NBC Sports Gold)
Arsenal vs. Huddersfield (7:00 AM PT, NBC Sports Gold)
Cardiff City vs. Southampton (7:00 AM PT, NBC Sports Gold)
West Ham vs. Crystal Palace (7:00 AM PT, NBC Sports Gold)
Chelsea vs. Manchester City (9:30 AM PT, NBC)
Leicester vs. Tottenham (11:45 AM PT, NBCSN)
Newcastle vs. Wolverhampton (8:00 AM PT, NBCSN)
Everton vs. Watford (Noon PT, NBCSN)
Top Three Games
3. Everton vs. Watford
This game will be all about revenge, particularly from a Watford point of view. It wasn’t long ago that Marco Silva had the Hornets flying, sitting in the top half of the Premier League and looking like a fringe European contender. Then, an unwanted approach from Everton later, Watford hit the skids. Silva was dismissed by the club in mid-January before turning up again in links to Everton, which became reality when the Toffees hired the Portuguese manager on
2. Bournemouth vs. Liverpool
It’s been a brutal stretch of fixtures for Bournemouth lately with four losses in their last five games, three coming to the Manchester sides and Arsenal. However, a win against Huddersfield last time out snapped a four-game losing streak as the seventh-place Cherries continue to show they belong inside the top 10. Liverpool present another chance to nab points against the cream of the crop, but the Reds are still rolling. After falling behind in the midweek, Liverpool stormed back with three unanswered against Burnley to cruise to three points. It could be a very good time for the Cherries to catch Jurgen Klopp's side, as the German boss has some big decisions to make with a must-win Champions League game against Napoli lingering on Tuesday. It wouldn’t be a shock at all for the second-place Reds to rest a handful of their top talents. Their backups are no pushovers by any means, but Bournemouth’s team-oriented style has the ability to halt a Liverpool B side, especially with the home support at their backs.
1. Chelsea vs. Manchester City
If Chelsea want to preserve their slightly dwindling hopes of keeping pace with Manchester City and Liverpool and turning the title race into a three-team fight, they absolutely need all three points Saturday at Stamford Bridge. The Blues’ unbeaten start to the season is well and truly in the rearview mirror as two losses in three games have put Chelsea in position to battle for the top four rather than the trophy come season’s end. They still have depth and quality, both of which have gotten a boost from improving youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek over the past week, but this is
Under-the-Radar Game to Watch
Leicester vs. Tottenham
It’s not really under-the-radar per se when both teams are bringing class to the table, but Leicester and Tottenham are worth more than a peek this weekend, especially if you like goals. Ever since Spurs tried to chase down the Foxes during their title-winning season, the two have had somewhat of a mini-rivalry, and that has produced goals galore. In their last three fixtures, both teams have scored, and two of those games ended 6-1 and most recently 5-4 to Tottenham. The middle was a 2-1 victory by the Foxes, showing they still have plenty of bite on their side. Of the 17 matchups played since 2001, only one ended without both sides scoring, and there’s really not much reason to think that won’t be the case again. Best of all, it’s a lunchtime kickoff on the West coast, and that is tough to pass up.
European Games of the Week
Schalke vs. Borussia Dortmund (Saturday, 12/8/18, FS1, 6:30 AM PT)
The Revierderby is one of Germany’s most fervent rivalries, and the two combatants tend to put on a show when they meet up. Last year’s remarkable 4-4 draw in Dortmund (in which Schalke came from 4-0 down to snatch a point at the Westfalenstadion) was evidence of that, and while it’s unlikely that another contest of that nature will develop Saturday at the
Atlanta United vs. Portland Timbers, MLS Cup Final (Saturday, 12/8/18, FOX, 5 PM PT)
We usually try to stay on the European side of the pond in this section, but this is the one MLS game that deserves the mention, and it should be a fantastic one. Atlanta United have taken the American soccer world by storm during their first two years as a franchise, and they can put a cherry on top of the second of those seasons by triumphing Saturday night in front of what’s certain to be a packed and rocking Mercedes-Benz Arena. But Portland are no slouches; the Timbers came through the difficult Western Conference Playoffs despite entering as the No. 5 seed, and they have one of the league’s most consistent stars in Argentine Diego Valeri, who tallied 14 goals and 12 assists this season. While Atlanta (the league’s highest-scoring side this year) are the certain favorites, especially at home in one of the best atmospheres in the league, Portland will make this quite the battle. With silverware on the line, expect the best MLS has to offer on Saturday night.
River Plate vs. Boca Juniors, Copa Libertadores Final, Second Leg (Sunday, 12/9/18, Telemundo, 11:30 AM PT)
Sticking with the not-European theme, this was our game of the week two weeks ago despite being a South American fixture. Then, the infamous bus attack took place before the second leg in Buenos Aires, and South America’s premier tournament final was delayed. Now, being played in Madrid, it can actually claim its place as one of our European games of the week, and there’s no doubt that it will live long in the memory, not only for the result. Boca-River makes a case for the fiercest rivalry in the world, in any sport, and the fact that River was set to host this match before it was moved to a neutral site, the Santiago Bernabeu, is its own side story to a thickening plot. As a reminder, the first leg, which was played at Boca’s home, La Bombonera, ended 2-2. There is no away-goal rule in the final, so these teams will play until the deadlock is broken or penalty kicks are required after 120 minutes. It hopefully won’t be a fight off the field this time, but there certainly will be one between the lines as these powerhouses take their rivalry to new territories in one of the most important games in the two teams’ histories.