By Niall Clarke
- Five questions on our minds ahead of match-week 14 of the Premier League season
- Predictions for all 10 of the weekend’s games.
Can Manchester City stop Chelsea’s winning run? That is just one of our five burning questions for match-week 14 of the Premier League.
Can Manchester City end Chelsea’s winning run?
The footballing weekend begins with a bang as table toppers Chelsea travel to fellow title contenders Manchester City in a blockbuster Saturday lunch time kick off.
The Blues are perfect since switching to the 3-4-3 formation, but with six matches playing the same system, will a change be in order? You can almost be assured that Pep Guardiola will have a plan to counter Antonio Conte, but City have yet to perfect their own style under the Spaniard, and they have struggled to get home wins in the Premier League.
With just a point separating the two sides, the winner (if there is one) could be sitting at the top of the table at the end of the weekend. A victory for Chelsea would see them extend their lead over City to four points which could be huge heading into the busiest period of the season.
So can City end Chelsea’s winning? History says they certainly can. Chelsea have lost six of their last eight games away to Manchester City in league and cup, and when the Blues last had a winning streak this long it was ended by the Citizens.
There will be plenty of interesting battles taking place on the pitch and off it, and it promises to be a great tactical battle. It is a great way to kick off the weekend.
Will West Ham score their first big win at the London Stadium?
West Ham’s move to the London Stadium which hosted the 2012 Olympic Games has so far not gone to plan. The Hammers have struggled in their new home, winning only two league games since the switch.
The Hammers welcome London rivals Arsenal in Saturday’s tea time kick off. The Gunners have a good record against their hosts, but maybe the their Upton Park success will turn to failure at the London Stadium. West Ham have yet to record a big win in the league at their new ground so you would feel they are maybe due.
Arsenal will be looking to keep In touch with their title rivals Man City and Chelsea who play earlier in the day and pile extra pressure on Liverpool who travel to Bournemouth on Sunday. West Ham on the other hand will be looking to clear themselves from the relegation scrap.
Can Leicester get back on track?
To say Leicester City’s title defence has not gone to plan would be an understatement. Nobody expected the Foxes to replicate their miracle of last season, but they were expected to be pushing for a European place or at least be mid-table. Currently they sit in 14th place, only three points clear of the relegation zone.
The warning signs are there, they can ill afford another defeat as they travel to struggling Sunderland on Saturday. A win will be expected for the Foxes, but Sunderland are in a better place now than they were a few week a go.
It will interesting to see how Leicester respond to what was a poor draw against Middlesbrough last week.
Will Alan Pardew save his job?
Crystal Palace can not buy a win at the moment, or even a draw. Six straight defeats has left them on the brink of the relegation zone, and the pressure is starting to weigh on Alan Pardew.
The Palace manager could be fighting for his job when his side host Southampton this weekend. Quite frankly a win is needed and anything less will not do. They are worst form team in the league, and many fans are crying for a change in management.
The best word to describe Southampton this season is average. The Saints have not set the world alight but they have been solid as their 10th position shows. They will head to London as the favourites for this match against their out of form opponents.
It feels like Palace are not playing as bad as their results suggest, but it means nothing if they can not pick up points. It is time for them to turn their performances into results starting with Southampton.
What else is happening?
In short, lots. Stoke host Burnley in a mid table clash on Saturday. A win for either side could propel them into the top half of the table. Swansea will travel to Spurs full of confidence after their last gasp win last weekend. Can Bob Bradley cause an upset at White Hart Lane? Or will Tottenham find enough sharpness up front to recover from their loss to Chelsea? West Brom host Watford in another Saturday mid-table battle.
‘Super Sunday’ kicks off with Liverpool travelling to Bournemouth. It could be a potential banana skin for Jurgen Klopp who could send his side back to the top of the table if results go their way. Talking of tough matches, Manchester United travel to Everton to complete Sunday’s football action with Jose Mourinho back on the touchline.
Middlesbrough host Hull City on Monday night to complete the match-week.
Man City 1-1 Chelsea
Crystal Palace 1-1 Southampton
Stoke 2-0 Burnley
Sunderland 1-2 Leicester
Tottenham 2-1 Swansea
West Brom 1-0 Watford
West Ham 1-3 Arsenal
Bournemouth 2-2 Liverpool
Everton 2-1 Man United
Middlesbrough 2-1 Hull
The Premier League continues on the weekend of the 3rd-5th December
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