After a round of European football, the Premier League returns with plenty to offer for the weekend. The top three clubs are looking stay ahead of the pack; we will see Antonio Conte return to London, this time to lead Tottenham; and Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer’s Man United hosts noisy neighbors and reigning champions of England, Pep Guardiola’s Man City.
Due to the Friday deadline, it’s difficult to receive the latest update of weekend teams, so let’s look at what injury news we have so far for GW-11, and everyone should tune back in during the countdown hour for updates.
Friday, November 5
Southampton v Aston Villa
The Saints come into this game with some confidence after their second win last week by a single goal in their previous three games. On the other hand, Villa was thrashed 4-1 by West Ham and is struggling for team cohesion.
Injuries: Jack Stephens is a confirmed absentee for the Saints but forward Armando Broja is available again. Konsa is suspended, midfielder Douglas Luiz faces injury, and striker Danny Ings will miss his homecoming after testing positive for COVID-19.
* Southampton has lost just one of the last nine Premier League games against Villa (W5 D3).
* Villa is looking to win consecutive away league games against Southampton for the first time since a run of four between 1995 and 1998.
Prediction: 0 – 1
Saturday, November 6
Man United v Man City
The biggest game of the week is certainly the Manchester Derby. The pressure on Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer has abated since the 3-0 win over Spurs and a massive CL draw at Atalanta, all thanks to the Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo who sprang to life just minutes after our editor Jeff released him from his Fantrax roster. Meanwhile, the Citizens’ shutout loss to Crystal Palace casts shade on expectations that they’ll take all three points this time around.
Injuries: Pogba is still suspended, and both Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof are huge injury doubts. Eric Bailly is likely to start after a great performance in the Champions League. City will be without Aymeric Laporte due to suspension as John Stones jumps in, and Ferran Torres still injured.
* United is unbeaten in four league games against City (W3 D1).
* City has won seven Premier League away games against United, the joint-most of any team at Old Trafford in Premier League history (tied with Liverpool).
* There have been eight red cards in 48 Manchester derby matches in the Premier League era, with United’s Cristiano Ronaldo the only player to have been sent off more than once in the series.
Prediction: 1 – 1
Brentford v Norwich
After a surprising loss to Burnley 3-1 last weekend, Brentford will surely rebound against league-doormat Norwich who are just misfiring on all cylinders. Their loss to Leeds means they have just two points from ten fixtures.
Injuries: Bryan Mbeumo is expected to be back in the Bees’ squad, but usual #1 David Raya is out for 5 months and Kristoffer Ajer is not ready yet. For Norwich, Sam Byram and Christoph Zimmermann will miss out, although Todd Cantwell could play a part.
* This will be the first match between Brentford and Norwich to be played at the top-tier of English football.
* Brentford has lost three of the last four home league matches (D1), as many as in the previous 33 combined (W19 D11).
* Norwich is only the second top-flight team to fail to score in its first five away matches of a season while conceding more than 15 goals – the other was Derby County in 2007-08. Norwich is being compared to Derby in several other stats too, none of them flattering.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Chelsea v Burnley
Top of the table Chelsea looks to secure three points despite facing a confident Burnley side coming off a victory over Brentford. The Blues are clear contenders for the title so should have enough to keep their winning momentum.
Injuries: Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Mateo Kovacic are still out. Mason Mount, who was unwell last weekend and midweek is a slight doubt but has returned to training. Christian Pulisic, after many weeks out with a lame ankle, made a 16’ appearance in the CL match midweek, so he will soon be pushing for a full return to the starting-XI. Burnley’s Dale Stephens is a confirmed absentee while Aaron Lennon is a doubt with illness.
* Chelsea has won the last four Premier League games against Burnley, scoring twelve and conceding twice during the run.
* Burnley has won just one of 14 Premier League games against Chelsea (D3 L10).
* Chelsea has scored 16 goals in the opening five home Premier League games this season (W4 L1), joint-most at this stage of a Premier League season.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Crystal Palace v Wolves
Palace under Patrick Viera has entertained in the front line and stayed solid at the back. After ther massive win against Manchester City, the Eagles look to do likewise against a dull Wolves side struggling with their performance despite their victory against Everton last week.
Injuries: Eberechi Eze could be involved against Wolves, however Nathan Ferguson remains unavailable. Fernando Marcal is likely to be named in the trip to London, but Pedro Neto and Jonny are still out.
* Palace is looking to record consecutive Premier League wins for the first time since January-February.
* Palace has lost just two of the first 10 Premier League matches this season (W2 D6).
* Wolves have won 10 points from their last four away league games (W3 D1), just one fewer than they managed in their previous 15 on the road.
Prediction: 2 – 1
Brighton v Newcastle
Brighton has been excellent under Graham Potter, playing a fantastic style of football and contending for a European qualifying spot in the table. With Newcastle missing out on Unai Emery to fill the vacancy at manager, the hunt continues. Performance on the pitch is also pretty much lost too.
Injuries: Seagulls Stephen Alzate and Danny Welbeck are still out through injury. Magpie Martin Dubravka is fit enough to return to the team sheet list, putting Karl Darlow on notice.
* Brighton has never lost in eight previous Premier League meetings with Newcastle (W4 D4).
* Newcastle has faced Brighton without ever winning more often than they have any other side in the Premier League (D4 L4).
* No player has created more chances from set plays in the Premier League this season than Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie (13).
Prediction: 2 – 0
Sunday, November 7
Arsenal v Watford
Arsenal is now on the way to a nine-game unbeaten run, really seeming to benefit from not having to play any European campaign. Watford is still looking for inspiration; perhaps new boss Claudio Ranieri should offer a pizza treat if the Hornets keep a clean sheet?
Injuries: Gunner Granit Xhaka remains out injured, but Kieran Tierney has returned to training but remains a doubt. Hornet Emmanuel Dennis returns from suspension.
* Arsenal has won 11 of the last 14 Premier League games against Watford (D1 L2).
* Watford has lost six of seven away Premier League games against Arsenal.
* Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored six goals in his five Premier League appearances against Watford.
Prediction: 3 – 1
Everton v Tottenham
Both teams are under massive pressure and playing extreme boring football, but it will be interesting to see how new-boss Italian Antonio Conte sets up his squad; he may very well surprise Everton this week.
Injuries: Spur Ryan Sessegnon is still out for two months, and Bryan Gil is not available. Toffee Lucas Digne has passed fit, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Abdoulaye Doucoure Andre Gomez and Yerry Mina will miss out.
* This will be Tottenham’s first league game under new manager Antonio Conte.
* Everton has won just one of the last 17 Premier League games against Tottenham (D8 L8).
* Tottenham striker Harry Kane has scored just one goal in nine Premier League appearances this season.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Leeds v Leicester
Leeds is another team that can turn up on a given day, and if that happens, then the Foxes’ back line will have some work to do. However, the same can be said about Bielsa’s defensive issues as well. Leicester is still trying to find consistency. Could this be the weekend?
Injuries news: Robin Koch is still out for long period; Luke Ayling and Patrick Bamford are likely to return in two weeks time, Junior Firpo is being monitored. Foxes Wesley Fofana, James Justin, Wilfried Ndidi, Marc Albrighton are still out injured while Harvey Barnes, James Maddison, Ayoze Perez are doubts.
* Leeds looks to win consecutive league games against Leicester for the first time since December 1999.
* Leicester has lost seven of its last 14 Premier League games (W5 D2).
* Leeds looks to win consecutive league games for the first time this season.
Prediction: 1 – 1
West Ham v Liverpool
The Hammers are in superb form, but their upcoming fixtures are rather tough, beginning with high flying Liverpool coming off an impressive victory over Atletico Madrid at Anfield. Also, it’s worth mentioning for a captaincy role, Mo Salah has a fantastic record against the Hammers with nine goals in eight games.
Injuries: So far, West Ham has no major injuries or suspensions. However, Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott, Thiago, James Milner, Joe Gomez, Naby Keita still face injuries; Roberto Firmino damaged a hamstring against Atletico mid-week that will rule him out, and Curtis Jones missed that match with an eye issue that Klopp now confirms will force him to miss the clash with the Irons as well.
* Since doing the league double over Liverpool in 2015-16, West Ham is winless in the last 10 Premier League games against the Merseyside club (D2 L8).
* Liverpool has won four of its last five away league games against West Ham (D1).
* Mo Salah has scored in each of Liverpool’s first five away league games this season.
Prediction: 2 – 2
What are your predictions for these fixtures? What are your thoughts and feelings on the Manchester Darby? What are your fantasy strategies for the week? Any popular player whom you hope will earn you points (or be someone else’s flop)? Whom are you adding and dropping? Who’s on your barn door watchlist? Please let us know in the comments below, and if you hear any late fitness news (e.g. Covid-19 or injury), please share!