It is time for Week 12 of a Premier League season that is beginning to bubble nicely. The big guns – other than Arsenal – are rising to the top, while the likes of Southampton and Leicester City are still punching above their weight.
Here is a look at the five best matches of the weekend:
Wolves vs. Aston Villa (Saturday)
The West Midlands derby was dominated by Wolves last year as they did the double over their local rivals. This is, however, not the same Wolves team, with the loss of Diogo Jota to Liverpool being further complicated by the horrific injury suffered by Raul Jimenez against Arsenal. Villa will be without the inspirational Ross Barkley, but with Jack Grealish in top form and Ollie Watkins scoring goals I like them to take at least a point here. Take the draw at 2.24 with BetXChange.
Manchester United vs. Manchester City (Saturday)
United have been very strong in the Premier League – they have on four in a row to climb back onto the edge of the muddled title race – and they were able to secure a double over their noisy neighbors last season. Their Champions League exit was a bitter blow for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his troops and they will be looking to pacify their fans with a win here. This could go either way as both squads are close to full strength and the array of attacking talent on show is scary. I’d consider a flyer on the home side to win at 3.45 because that gap in quality feels closer than that price.
Everton vs Chelsea (Saturday)
A win here would take Chelsea top of the table with Spurs not playing until Sunday. Everton has lost two in a row at home and the early season shine feels like a long time ago already. The Toffees have secured just one win from seven league games after opening the season hot and that is a worrying sign. Olivier Giroud is on a tear – ably supported by the likes of Timo Werner and Mason Mount – and the Blues have to be the pick here at 0.71 as part of an acca.
Crystal Palace vs. Spurs (Sunday)
Palace are a weird team, but their 5-1 win over West Brom last time out that boosted them to 11th in the table was the kind of result that can set a mid-table side up for a big season. Spurs haven’t won the league since 1961, but this looks to be their best chance in decades – 2015-16 aside – as Jose Mourinho has the likes of Harry Kane and SonHeung-Min is scintillating form. The visitors should win this, but be aware of the trap game element if the Spurs players are looking ahead to their clash with Liverpool next weekend.
Arsenal vs. Burnley (Sunday)
Arsenal will be without a pair of potentially important players as the club looks to kickstart its season after falling to 15th in the table. Thomas Partey is out with a thigh issue suffered against Spurs, while Nicolas Pepe is serving the final match of his ban after getting sent off against Leeds. Burnley remains without the injured quartet of Phil Bardsley, Dale Stephens, Jack Cork, and Johan Berg Gudmundsson, and manager Sean Dyche will be hoping to pile the misery on an Arsenal team that has scored just 10 goals in 11 matches this season. The visitors are going to sit in a defend knowing that the Gunners have struggled to break anyone down during the 2020-21 campaign. Take the draw, but be ready for a few nervous moments.