By Niall Clarke
- Five questions on our minds ahead of match-week 12 of the Premier League season
- Predictions for all 10 of the weekend’s games.
An old rivalry is renewed as the Premier League returns from the International break with a bang. Here are five burning questions ahead of Match-Week 12.
Will Mourinho or Wenger win the next chapter in their rivalry?
As if Manchester United vs Arsenal was not already one of the biggest rivalries in the Premier League, it now has the added spice of Jose Mourinho vs Arsene Wenger. The pair have had their touchline squabbles, but on the field the statistics very much favour the Portuguese and his side.
Mourinho has only lost one game to Wenger and that was in the 2015 Community Shield final. United in turn have lost only one of their last ten meetings against the Gunners, winning six of them.
However, in a lot of the previous Wenger vs Mourinho meetings, The ‘Special One’s’ teams have often been the favourites, this time it could be argued Arsenal are the team to beat. The Gunners are currently six points ahead of their rivals in the table and could finish the weekend top of the table if results go their way.
It is a fixture that will undoubtedly have a lot of fire and will have big implications on the title race. Can Wenger claim his first League win over Mourinho, or will the United boss keep his special record against the Frenchman?
Can Chelsea and Liverpool keep up their good form?
Prior to the International break, Chelsea and Liverpool enjoyed a surge in momentum that took the latter to the top of the table. The Blues lie second, and could finish the weekend top if they can claim a victory at Middlesbrough and Liverpool fail to beat Southampton.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have been free scoring as of late, putting six past Watford in their last League game. The devastating strike-force travel down south to face a potential banana skin in Southampton. The Saints are currently sitting in 10th and will hope to once again finish in the European places. It is a tough game for Liverpool, but in their form it is hard to look past them.
Antonio Conte’s decision to switch to three at the back as so far yielded perfect results. They are 100% without conceding a goal, and that scary form has brought them right back into the title race. Chelsea travel to Middlesbrough on Sunday looking to keep that streak going. It is possible that they travel to the Riverside with the opportunity to top the table, and with their recent form three points will be expected.
These are the two in form sides in the Premier League at present. Will the International break affect their momentum? Or will Liverpool and Chelsea continue to blow away the opposition?
Can Spurs get back to winning ways?
Four draws in a row have left Tottenham Hotspur trailing the leading pack by three points and leaders Liverpool by five. The lack of attacking impetus has cost Mauricio Pochettino’s side dearly over the past four games, but with striker Harry Kane back from injury, they will be hoping for more potency up top.
That is the only issue as Spurs are the only undefeated side in the League. They just need to turn these draws into wins and they will be right up there at the top of the Premier League. They host struggling West Ham in Saturday’s team time kick off so a win will be expected.
They will need it, especially if Liverpool and Chelsea manage to claim victories.
Will Sunderland or Hull take a big step towards survival?
Both Sunderland and Hull have been stuck at the foot of the table for a number of weeks, but big wins for both sides prior to the International break will have no doubt boosted their confidence.
The two sides now meet in a real six point affair at the Stadium of Light on Saturday. A win for Hull will surely lift them out of the relegation zone, whilst Sunderland will look to lift themselves from the bottom of the table.
Whilst there are plenty of big games affecting the top of the table, this one should not be forgotten as come the end of the season, it may decide who stays in the English top flight. No pressure then!
What else is happening?
Speaking of struggling sides, Swansea are level on points with Sunderland at the foot of the table and they travel to Everton who are keen to bounce back from the Chelsea hammering a few weeks a go.
Manchester City will be hoping to put their draw against Middlesbrough behind them against Crystal Palace. Stoke host Bournemouth and Watford face Leicester to round off the 3PM kick offs two mid table clashes.
The weekend finishes with Monday night Football as West Bromwich host Burnley.
Man United 1-1 Arsenal
Crystal Palace 0-2 Man City
Everton 3-1 Swansea
Southampton 2-2 Liverpool
Stoke 2-1 Bournemouth
Sunderland 1-1 Hull
Watford 1-1 Leicester
Tottenham 2-0 West Ham
Middlesbrough 0-2 Chelsea
West Brom 1-0 Burnley
The Premier League continues on the weekend of the 19th-21st November
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