Friday, November 3, 2023

Premier League Week 11 Preview

Arsenal puts its undefeated Premier League record on the line when the Gunners travel to Newcastle on Saturday. The Gunners are one of two undefeated clubs and trail similarly undefeated rival Tottenham Hotspur by two points in the table. The Magpies, meanwhile, have won four of their five matches this season at St. James Park, stumbling only in a one goal loss to Liverpool.

League leading Spurs must wait till Monday to take the pitch in the much-awaited Mauricio Pochettino derby. The Chelsea manager returns to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to face his former side, which is experiencing wild success, so far, under Manager Ange Postecoglou. The Australian manager has delighted fans with an aggressive attacking style that has more than compensated for the departure of striker Harry Kane. After experimenting early on with Richarlison leading the line, Postecoglou has been playing Son Heung-min at center forward with the Korean international notching eight Premier League goal so far this season, joint second in the league. Pochettino, meanwhile, is yet to find a consistent scoring threat at Chelsea. Raheem Sterling leads a floundering attack with three goals for the Blues. While Postecoglou has Spurs leading the table, Pochettino’s side are struggling in 11th place with a return to the European places seeming to be a longer project than expected.

Third place Manchester City and league leading scorer Erling Haaland host Bournemouth on Saturday. The Cherries, winners in the league for a first time last week, face a daunting challenge against a Manchester City club which has won all its 21 Premier League and Cup matches played at the Etihad in 2023. It’s unlikely that Bournemouth will find its first ever win against Manchester City this weekend.

The other current top four club, Liverpool is on the road but will also be a heavy favorite Sunday at newly promoted Luton Town. The Reds will be seeking a fifth consecutive victory across all competitions and have scored at least twice in their last six matches. Luton Town has scored nine times in the Premier League this season versus the 23 league goals of Liverpool.

Aston Villa is only a point behind Liverpool in the table as Manager Unai Emery’s side travels to Nottingham Forest for Sunday’s other Premier League match. Villa’s seven wins in its first 10 matches marks the best start by the club in a top tier league season in 70 years. Nottingham Forest, however, can be stubborn at home as they currently have a seven-match unbeaten league run at the City Ground.

Brighton has failed to win in its last four league matches, dropping the Seagulls from the top four into their current seventh place position in the league. Injuries to Solly March, Pervis Estupian, and Danny Welbeck have factored in slowing the momentum of Manager Roberto De Zerbi’s side. Only Estupian is expected to return anytime soon but even that won’t happen this weekend when the Gulls face a resurgent Everton side which has won three of its last five Premier League matches. The Toffees’ recent trio of wins is more than they had accomplished in their previous twenty league games. The return to fitness and form of striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been a key to Everton’s recent success.

West Ham, 1-0 losers to Everton last weekend, travel to Brentford on Saturday. The Hammers have lost two in a row and have only a solitary win over relegation bound Sheffield United to their credit over their last six league matches. Manager David Moyes will hope that a midweek Carabao Cup win over Arsenal can change the trajectory of his squad in the league. The task won’t be easy against a Bees’ side which has won its last two Premier League matches by an aggregate 5-0 margin. Each of the Bees’ last eight league wins have been against London sides as they enter Saturday’s derby versus the Hammers.

Manchester United will be in London Saturday hoping to improve on its current eighth place position in the table. The capital city hasn’t been kind to the Red Devils as they’ve won just once in their last 11 visits to London. That one victory, however, was against Fulham last November and Craven Cottage will again be the site when the two sides face off on Saturday.

The bottom two clubs in the table will both be at home this weekend as they try to improve their lot. Burnley will host Crystal Palace. Both the Clarets and Eagles have struggled to score eight goals this season. Burnley, however, has conceded 25 times versus the 13 goals allowed by Crystal Palace.

Bottom of the table Sheffield United, meanwhile, has scored a league low seven goals and conceded a league high 29 goals as one of the worst Premier League sides of all time. The Blades are home to Wolverhampton on Saturday. Wolves will be trying to extend its unbeaten run in the league to six matches against the cellar dwelling Blades. 

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