Saturday 1/20/18 (4:30 AM PT)
Brighton vs. Chelsea (3)
There's no doubt that Antonio Conte’s men are going through a rough patch — just one goal scored in their last four games — so Brighton are catching the Blues at a good time. Unfortunately, the Seagulls have been poor lately as well, and it'd be hard to picture them mustering up more than a draw. The Blues may have heavy legs after their FA Cup replay went a full 120 minutes on Wednesday, so that could prove a factor as well. However, their quality should show through in the end.
Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace (3)
Arsenal too are a top-six team in a bad spot with just one win in five, and Palace generally come to play against their London rivals. They have been much better recently as well after their miserable start to the season and they’re hot again with two wins, two draws, and one loss in their last five. That lone loss, however, was to the Gunners.
Burnley vs. Manchester United (4)
Since their immaculate start, Burnley have dipped and have just three points from their last six games. That doesn't mean anything will come easy for United on Saturday, though, as Turf Moor will provide a definite test. United failed to beat the Clarets on Boxing Day, pulling back a 2-2 draw in stoppage time, and Burnley could easily earn a result again. For the first time in a while, the Clarets are in danger of dropping out of seventh, so they might have a little extra motivation as well.
Everton vs. West Brom (2)
Everton surged in the second quarter of the season, but Sam Allardyce has had a difficult time finding the winning formula as of late. West Brom, meanwhile, rediscovered that formula themselves last weekend against Brighton after it deserted them for four months. They have had by far their most disappointing campaign in recent memory, but all is not quite lost yet. Given the Toffees’ recent struggles, this could actually be a pretty even affair.
Leicester vs. Watford (3)
This is about as midtable as matchups, get but it could be an eventful one nonetheless. Neither side has played particularly good defense this year, and both, especially Leicester, have playmakers in the attacking third to capitalize on opponents’ weaknesses. Expect and open, attacking fixture as each side tries to hang on for dear life at the back.
Stoke City vs. Huddersfield (2)
West Ham vs. Bournemouth (3)
These sides sit in 11th and 13th place, with the Hammers a point in front of Bournemouth and five off the bottom three. Normally, that’s a recipe for a bore; this game definitely matters for both teams, but the stakes aren’t too high. Two factors make this game different, though. First, neither of these teams likes to play defense much, and both are capable of playing wide-open, attacking football. That probably has something to do with the second reason why this matchup isn’t your average mid-table clash: the five Premier League games between these two since Bournemouth’s promotion have contained 23 goals (almost five a game). Playing well and in front of their home fans, West Ham are the favorites, but this could be a thriller.
(9:30 AM PT)
Manchester City vs. Newcastle (1)
With Manchester City’s record winning streak over, there’s not a ton of luster left in the majority of the Citizens’ matches this season. Pep Guardiola will want his team to get back to winning ways this weekend and not miss a beat, so in that regard this is an important fixture for City, especially with it coming in front of their home fans at the Etihad. Truthfully, though, even with Newcastle’s recent improvement (a win and two draws in their last three EPL games), this will almost definitely be a simple win for the league-leading hosts.
Sunday 1/21/18 (8 AM PT)
Southampton vs. Tottenham (3)
Spurs sit just out of the top four, while Saints reside just out of the bottom three; that alone makes this a massive game at both ends of the table. Nonetheless, even away from home, Tottenham are huge favorites. Spurs are riding a five-game league unbeaten run and enter on the back of a 4-0 thrashing of Everton, while Southampton haven’t won in 10 league games and conceded five times when these sides met on
Monday 1/22/18 (12 noon PT)
Swansea vs. Liverpool (4)
This game could go in a whole bunch of different directions, which makes it about as intriguing as a matchup between the last-placed side and the third-placed one can be. Liverpool enter with a ton of confidence after their pulsating 4-3 win over Manchester City last weekend (LINK), and in theory, that should push the Reds to another victory in their quest for a Champions League spot. However, Swansea have been improving rapidly under Carlos Carvalhal (four points in three games doesn’t sound great, but it’s a big change for the struggling Swans), and they’ve started to pick up just a little bit of momentum. This matchup could easily produce a let-down performance from the Reds, who have lost to Swansea in each of the past two seasons; considering Swansea’s desperation level, this is a much trickier fixture than it looks for Jurgen Klopp’s club.
Bonus European Game of the Week: Lyon vs. PSG, Sunday 1/21/18, 12 noon PT
It would take a lot for PSG to be caught in Ligue 1 at this point, but they will face one of their biggest tests and challengers to the title race when they visit second-place Lyon on Sunday. Lyon (unlike PSG) hasn’t lost in their last six, recording five wins across that period. PSG, however, are coming off a ridiculous eight-goal performance against Dijon in the midweek, so they are awfully close to top gear. Ultimately, the Parisians’ quality should take them to all three points, buy it won’t be a cakewalk against a side that has been solid in just about every area of the pitch this season.