Premier League returns for mid-week action. Let’s take a quick look at the top teams and their match-previews.
There’s excitement about the potential return of midfielder Erik Lamela, with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino saying he may be in line for his first appearance since October last year. Danny Rose will return to the side after his public dissatisfaction with being left out of the squad which faced West Brom at the weekend, while Harry Winks is a doubt as he struggles to shake off illness. Toby Alderweireld (hamstring) and Victor Wanyama (knee) remain sidelined.
Manchester United –
The Red Devils face a difficult away clash against Marco Silva’s upwardly mobile Hornets, who have already beaten Arsenal and Newcastle this season. Manchester United can close the gap on Manchester City – temporarily at least – when they take on Watford at Vicarage Road on Tuesday evening. Jose Mourinho’s side scraped a 1-0 win over Brighton at home on Saturday, but City restored their lead with a hard-earned comeback victory against Huddersfield on Sunday. Watford will not be a walkover for the Red Devils though, having strung together impressive consecutive wins over West Ham and Newcastle United in their last two matches.
Watford will be without Craig Cathcart and Younes Kaboul, who have been sidelined with knee and hamstring injuries respectively, while Nathan Chalobah and Isaac Success are out of action too. However, Marco Silva will be able to call upon the services of Troy Deeney, who is available again after serving a suspension.
Manchester United are boosted by the return to full fitness of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo. Michael Carrick is working towards making a recovery from a heart procedure, while Eric Bailly and Phil Jones are unlikely to play a part.
Kick-off: Tomorrow 1:30 a.m
Arsenal and Huddersfield Town go head-to-head in the Premier League on Wednesday night after experiencing contrasting fortunes from their respective fixtures on Sunday afternoon.
There was late joy for the Gunners at Turf Moor as Alexis Sanchez converted a stoppage-time penalty to give Arsene Wenger’s men all three points against Burnley. It was heartache for Huddersfield as Raheem Sterling’s late winner gave league leaders, Manchester City, victory at John Smith’s Stadium. Arsenal has won four of their last five outings in the league, only losing to leaders City in that span, and things are looking up for the Gunners. While the title race already appears over, the battle for a top-four finish and a ticket to next year’s UEFA Champions League looks like it will be a close one.
Arsenal will go into this match in good spirits and in fine form, for they have been beaten in just one of their last nine Premier League fixtures, having come out on top in six of their last seven matches in the top tier.
Huddersfield’s first season in the Premier League has been a successful one so far. The team sits well above the relegation zone after 13 matches. Points difference between the bottom teams and the mid-table sides aren’t massive, though, and a minor slide could quickly change their outlook.
As reported by Tom Doyle of the London Evening Standard, manager Arsene Wenger has already confirmed Mesut Ozil will not play due to illness―he previously sat out the win over Burnley as well. Rajiv van La Parra was sent off after the loss to Manchester City and will be suspended for the Terriers.
Swansea City has scored fewer goals than any other side in the Premier League this season, leaving Paul Clement’s side to 19th place after 13 games.
Michy Batshuayi remains unlikely to play after suffering an ankle injury while with the Belgium national team. Charly Musonda and Kenedy have been out with minor injuries sustained in training. Victor Moses has recovered from his hamstring injury and made the bench against Liverpool on Saturday. He was an unused substitute, but he could start against Swansea on Wednesday.
Swansea is going to be without their top scorer Tammy Abraham, who is ineligible to play against his parent club due to the terms of his loan from Chelsea. Kyle Bartley is a long-term absentee as he suffers from a knee injury. Swansea captain Federico Fernandez missed his side’s recent 0-0 draw against Bournemouth due to the death of his father, and it is unclear whether he will be back to play at Stamford Bridge.
Kick-off: Thursday 1:15 a.m
Manchester City –
Manchester City host Southampton at the Etihad Stadium in the first of two games on home soil in the run-up to December’s Manchester derby. City plays the Saints on Wednesday night before welcoming West Ham on Sunday, and with United travelling to Watford and Arsenal in the same period it could be an important week in this season’s title race. Pep Guardiola may rotate his squad for the two upcoming games, especially with two key players at risk of suspension ahead of the game at Old Trafford on December 10.
John Stones and Benjamin Mendy will both miss out through injury. David Silva has been playing with a neck injury in recent weeks but is showing few, if any, outward effects.
Matt Targett is the only player to miss out through injury, while Oriol Romeu is back from suspension and Mario Lemina returned from a month-long absence with a 12-minute cameo against Everton on Sunday.
That win against the Toffees was just Southampton’s fourth of the season so far, with their other three coming against West Ham, Crystal Palace and West Brom. Their only away win came against Palace, and that was during the Eagles’ seven-match run without a point or a goal at the start of the campaign. But Pellegrino is hoping for an upset against the runaway league leaders.
Kick-off: Thursday 1:30 a.m
Liverpool will travel to Stoke with the intention of closing the week with a victory after surrendering leads in their previous two fixtures over the past seven days. Draws away to Sevilla and at home to Chelsea – usually creditable results – were doused with disappointment after Jurgen Klopp’s side took control in both fixtures before having to settle for a share in the points.
Stoke have lost seven of their last eight games against Liverpool in the Premier League and are yet to win in the league this month. Mark Hughes will consider shaking up his selection against the visitors, whom he plans to “nullify.”
“We are facing a player in Mohamed Salah who is clearly in the best form of his Liverpool career. We can’t be overly concerned with one player though because they have match winners all over the pitch.
Kick-off: Thursday 1:30 a.m
Kick-off timings are according to the Indian Standard Time. Please note that.