We have had the final break for International fixtures of 2019 just gone by and now we have a lengthy period of just over four months before we have the next international break. This next set of fixtures in the Premier League season heralds the start of what is the busiest, and often the most crucial, period of the season; the time around Christmas and the New Year.
With teams set to play a number of key games over this period, added to commitments in the Carabao Cup, Champions League and Europa League for some, then with the FA Cup starting at the third round stage in early January, it is a hectic and often decisive time of the season. Getting a good start over the next few rounds of games is crucial for teams as we head towards the festive football calendar.
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Let’s now quickly recap the dramatic action from a fortnight ago, which saw Liverpool increase their gap at the top of the table to eight points after their fine home win over Manchester City.
Premier League Matchday 12 Results
- Norwich City 0-2 Watford
- Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace
- Burnley 3-0 West Ham United
- Newcastle 2-1 Bournemouth
- Southampton 1-2 Everton
- Tottenham 1-1 Sheffield United
- Leicester City 2-0 Arsenal
- Wolves 2-1 Aston Villa
- Manchester United 3-1 Brighton
- Liverpool 3-1 Manchester City
With just one draw in the ten games, this was a huge weekend for a number of teams, particularly Liverpool who defeated second place Man City 3-1 at Anfield to open up a nine point gap on their rivals. Leicester and Chelsea leapfrogged Manchester City in the table on the back of solid 2-0 wins apiece, while there were key wins for Burnley, Everton, Newcastle, Wolves and Manchester United in particular. Watford also picked up their first win of the season away at Norwich.
Premier League Table
Premier League Matchday 13 Fixtures
All kick offs are 3pm Saturday unless stated. All odds shown are courtesy of bet365 and were correct as of 12.15pm on Tuesday 19th November.
- West Ham v Tottenham (12.30)
The recent form of both these teams leaves a lot to be desired with West Ham losing four of their last five and Spurs without an away win in the Premier League since January 2019 and without a win in any of their last five Premier League games. This means it is 16th facing 14th in the table here on Saturday, positions which are not representative of the quality both these teams possess. The pressure is on both Manuel Pellegrini and Mauricio Pochettino to get a result here but with this being a Hammers home game, and the up and down nature of this fixture in the past, I think a draw (13/5) is the bet to back.
- Arsenal v Southampton
Another two sides with poor recent records, Arsenal are without a win in four EPL games, while Southampton haven’t won in their last six. Of the two, Arsenal are by far the more talented side, but Unai Emery is struggling to see his team produce anything like their best form. The only positive is that Southampton are a bit of a shambles at the moment and Ralf Hassenhuttl is another manager under real pressure, as is Emery. Back the Gunners to land the win here at 4/9.
- Brighton v Leicester City
Brighton’s defeat to Manchester United last week dropped them to 11th in the table but that still represents a solid start by the Seagulls. Leicester’s fourth win in a row since losing at Anfield moved them into second behind Liverpool and saw Arsenal drop to nine points behind the Foxes. Brendan Rodgers team are hugely impressive this season and I think they could well be a Champions League team next year. I am backing Leicester to win this comfortably at even money.
- Bournemouth v Wolves
Bournemouth have produced their best form at home this season in general against the better teams, recording wins over Everton and Manchester United, while Wolves have recovered from a poor start to climb the table effectively. The visitors have lost just two games this season, but have drawn seven which is why they are not higher in the table. I can make a case for both sides to win this, but I have a feeling that this one is going to end in a draw (23/10).
- Crystal Palace v Liverpool
Liverpool’s confidence must be sky-rocketing after the win over Manchester City but with injury worries over Mo Salah and Andy Robertson, this could be a changed team for a tricky trip to Palace who have given Liverpool plenty of problems over the years. Roy Hodgson’s team won’t make it easy for the Reds here, but I do feel Liverpool still have just too much quality for the Eagles to cope with. Back Liverpool to win and both teams to score at 2/1 with bet365.
- Everton v Norwich City
After a fine win away at another relegation threatened team Southampton last time out, Everton will want to get back to winning ways at Goodison Park against bottom of the table Norwich City. The Canaries have not win since their incredible win over Manchester City and their defensive issues are what is proving to be their achilles heel and I think that will be the case here again today. Back Everton for a comfortable home win at 4/11.
- Watford v Burnley
Having picked up their first win of the season on the road at Norwich a fortnight ago, Watford will be itching to add a second win to their belt here, but I feel they could struggle to impose themselves against Burnley as they did Norwich. Sean Dyche’s team lie 10th in the table and ended a run of three defeats with an impressive win at home to West Ham last time out. I am backing the Clarets to put together back to back wins here with a win at Vicarage Road too. Take Burnley to win at 23/10.
- Manchester City v Chelsea (5.30pm)
The biggest game of the weekend is now a crucial one for both teams if they hope to keep apace with Liverpool at the top of the table, defeat for City could see them 12 points adrift of the Reds, whereas a Chelsea loss may see them 11 points adrift should Liverpool win. City won this fixture 6-0 last season but I can’t see a repeat of that here. City however rarely lose two games in succession and despite Chelsea winning all their last six in the EPL, I think that run comes to an end here. Back City to win at 2/5.
- Sheffield United v Man Utd (4.30pm Sun)
It is strange to think that after 12 games, Sheffield United come into this game one point and two places above Manchester United in the Premier League table, but Chris Wilder’s team have done superbly well this season to earn that 5th placed spot in the table. United have won four of their last five in all competitions though but were beaten last time on the road in the EPL at Bournemouth and I can see them struggling for goals here. I think this has 0-0 written all over it to be honest, so I am backing the draw at 11/5.
- Aston Villa v Newcastle United (8pm Mon)
Monday night’s game sees in form Newcastle, who have collected seven of the last nine points available, taking on an Aston Villa side that have lost all of their last three games. The Villains have been a little unlucky at times this season but they do tend to concede late goals in games and that has been a real problem for them this year. Newcastle are on a good run and I can see that continuing here, but I do feel Villa will stop the rot and pick up a draw, which is a 12/5 option at bet365.