As a congested fixture list looms we have a full lineup of mid-week matches starting today – so a chance for those shooting up the league to make a pitch for top spot, and those near the bottom to get back into the contention. On the other hand things may not pan out and you may head into the weekend games worse off than you started!! Time will tell…
TUESDAY 30TH NOVEMBER
Newcastle United 19:30 Norwich City (UK time)
This batch of games begin at 7:30pm with a bottom of the table clash between Newcastle United and Norwich City. Norwich's form has picked up recently thanks to the legendary ‘new manager’ bounce - a win and a draw since Dean Smith has been in charge. Newcastle haven't been so lucky with Eddie Howe, losing last time out against Arsenal. Lascelles and Richie banned for this one after racking up 5 yellow cards.
Leeds United 20:15 Crystal Palace
The other Tuesday match is an 8:15pm kick-off and involves Leeds United against Crystal Palace at Elland Road. Leeds are 17th, sat just above the relegation zone. They've collected 6 points from a possible 15 and need to turn draws into wins. Ayling and Bamford still injured. Palace are comfortably mid-table but lost at the weekend against Villa. Andersen and McArthur out, Eze back though.
WEDNESDAY 1ST DECEMBER
Southampton 19:30 Leicester City
Four 7:30pm games, the first of which alphabetically features Southampton and Leicester City. The Saints are 15th and suffered a heavy defeat against Liverpool last time out. Stuart (not Adam) Armstrong may be missing for this one. Leicester are now 10th and beat Watford 4-2 in the snow on Sunday. No Tielemans or Pereira for the Foxes. Vardy looked sharp at the weekend.
Watford 19:30 Chelsea
Next 7:30pm match is Watford versus Chelsea at Vicarage Road. Recently promoted Watford are 16th but are not at risk of relegation at the moment. Foster and Sarr injured, Dennis has a knock. The Blues are top of the League but drew against Man Utd last time out. Chelsea have Chilwell and Kante missing for this one.
West Ham United 19:30 Brighton & Hove Albion
West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion is the third 7:30pm game. West Ham are still 4th but have suffered back-to-back defeats. Antonio is noticeably off the boil. No Ogbonna and Cresswell is a doubt. Brighton haven't won in their last 5 games and have only collected a measly 3 points. No new injuries to report for the Seagulls.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 19:30 Burnley
The last of the 7:30pm games is Wolverhampton Wanderers against Burnley. Wolves are on a good run of results and sit in 6th, sandwiched between Arsenal and Spurs. Neves is banned, Podence is ill with Covid. Burnley had the weekend off to build snowmen of Sean Dyche so should be revitalised for this game. Tarkowski and Westwood both banned for this one.
Aston Villa 20:15 Manchester City
Two 8:15pm games, the first of which features Aston Villa v Manchester City at Villa Park. Stevie G has picked up a couple of wins in his first few games in charge but Man City will be a sterner test. No fresh injury concerns. Man City are 2nd, a point behind Chelsea. Kevin De Bruyne may be back after illness, and both Foden and Grealish are apparently "much better" according to Pep.
Everton 20:15 Liverpool
The last Wednesday game is the Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool. Everton have collected a single point in their last 5 matches and are still without injured Calvert-Lewin plus the suspended Holgate. Liverpool in contrast are in fine form and are within a couple of point of top. Firmino still not back for the Reds but Jota was looked good against Southampton.
THURSDAY 2ND DECEMBER
Tottenham Hotspur 19:30 Brentford
Thursday's games kick off at 7:30 and features Tottenham Hotspur versus Brentford. Spurs had the weekend off due to the snowy weather. Hopefully they'll be nice and rested for this London derby. Romero still out. Brentford have a draw and a win in their last two and Toney has rediscovered his shooting boots. Norgaard and Henry should be fit.
Manchester United 20:15 Arsenal
The final game before the weekend is at 8:15pm and takes place between Manchester United and Arsenal. Someone called Ragnarok or some such is taking charge soon but Carrick is still in the dugout for this one. Cavani, Pogba and Varane missing, not sure if Shaw back. Arsenal are up to the heady heights of 5th, collecting an impressive 12 from 15 points in their last 5. Saka an injury doubt.
So there you go – no rest for the wicked before the weekend games – I’ll be sending out reviews and previews at pretty much the same time this week! Back soon ....