Big weekend for the top four!
Premier League MW 18
Everton vs. Arsenal
A win for Everton could take them a point behind Arsenal who go to Everton on Saturday. The clubs will have new managers in the dugout by Monday with Ancelotti now taking over at Everton and Arteta taking over at Arsenal. Honestly the managers should have been switched but this is football today. Everton have done well over the last few weeks and Arsenal have been extremely poor. Everton to win and Arsenal to suffer a defeat before Arteta takes over.
Aston Villa vs. Southampton
Another relegation battle as the winner would climb out of the relegation zone with the loser dropping in. Southampton have lost their last two as they sit 18th while Villa have lost their last three as they sit 17th. Villa had a decent win against Liverpool’s 3rd team an Southampton had a week of rest with Ings back in form in recent weeks. A close game is expected and at the moment it could swing either way.
Bournemouth vs. Burnley
Bournemouth finally manage to win a game last weekend as they beat Chelsea to move into 14th. They welcome 12th placed Burnley this weekend who also managed to win last weekend after a run of 3 straight losses. With Bournemouth at home and a win behind them momentum could be in their favour but I expect this game to be a draw.
Brighton vs. Sheffield United
13th placed Brighton entertain 7th placed Sheffield United as the Blades look to take advantage of the teams around them playing tough fixtures. Brighton have drawn their last three games and are unbeaten in their last three as they tend to play better at home than away. Sheffield have won their last two games after a period of poor form and head into this game with good momentum. Two exciting managers and a tough game for both teams.
Newcastle vs. Crystal Palace
11th placed Newcastle take on 9th placed Crystal Palace in a top ten battle. Newcastle lost last weekend after a run of good games while Palace have drawn their last two but are unbeaten in their last four. Palace have played well this season but have had glitches in form while Newcastle have done well in recent weeks to climb up the table. Newcastle at home is always tough and the crowd will be up for it looking to bounce back with a win. Another game that is too close to call.
Norwich vs. Wolverhampton
19th placed Norwich welcome 8th placed Wolves with two teams at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Norwich started the season brilliantly but drew last weekend and have won none of their last four games while Wolves also had a poor start but went through a great period of form which saw them climb into the top ten, they lost last weekend though. Wolves find it tough to beat the lower teams and Norwich do have the skill to beat better teams. A high scoring potentially and maybe a draw.
Man City vs. Leicester
3rd vs. 2nd as City invite Leicester with City in need of a big win. The teams have a 4 point gap at the moment which would cut down to 1 if City win but if Leicester win then the gap goes up 7 points. Leicester ended their winning run last weekend with a draw against Norwich while City bounced back from losing to United by beating Arsenal 0-3. City have not been great this season but Leicester have not turned up against the bigger teams this season either. If Leicester lose then it is curtains on the title race for sure and so the rest of the leagues hopes are on the Foxes to finally beat City and cut their gap to Liverpool back to 7 points.
Watford vs. Man United
20th placed Watford have only won one game all season as they entertain United who sit 6th and drew last weekend but are on an unbeaten run. United have found it extremely tough against weaker opposition and this would be a typical game in which Watford snatch a win. I expect this game to be a draw but it would be great for Nigel Pearson to beat United at home to gain some momentum.
La Liga MW 18
Sevilla travel to Mallorca, Barcelona entertain Alaves, Atletico travel to Real Betis, and Real Madrid play Athletic Bilbao. Decent games for Sevilla and Barcelona but Atletico and Real play against tougher opposition. The clasico was boring so let’s hope La Liga spices up once again this weekend with Barcelona and Real neck and neck.
Serie A MW 17
Juventus already played Sampdoria and beat them 1-2 with Ronaldo managing to fly and head the winner. Roma travel to Fiorentina, Inter entertain Genoa, Atalanta take on Milan, and Napoli travel to Sassuolo. Tough games for the sides this weekend with Juventus leading at the moment with three points. Inter can go level with a win while the rest play catchup.
Bundesliga MW 17
Dortmund travel to Hoffenheim, Leverkusen take on Mainz, Schalke play Freiburg, Bayern take on Wolfsburg, Leipzig take on Augsburg, and Monchengladbach travel to Berlin. Tough games for the top teams as Dortmund and Bayern look to cut the gap between them and Leipzig.
Ligue 1 MW 19
Monaco take on Lille, Marseille take on Nimes, Lyon travel to Stade Reims, and PSG take on Amiens. Halfway point in Ligue 1 with the last gameweek before the Christmas break. PSG are probably going to win the league with the rest playing catch up and fighting for 2nd.