Arsenal have opened up a five-point lead in the Premier League table with the quarter pole of the season now in the rearview mirror. A combination of strong play from the Gunners and a lack of dominance from other clubs has created an early gap.
That said, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool are all likely to make a charge in the coming months. Arsenal are going to have to fend off all of those challenges to win the title, which sets up a very interesting campaign.
For now, clubs are just looking to score a positive result this weekend before players head off for the next international break. Let's check out the full set of fixtures for Week 11 along with picks for each match and a breakdown of the top games.
Week 11 Fixtures and Picks
|Date||Time ET||Time GMT||Matchup||Pick|
|11/9||10 a.m.||3 p.m.||Aston Villa vs. Cardiff||1-1|
|11/9||10 a.m.||3 p.m.||Chelsea vs. West Brom||Below|
|11/9||10 a.m.||3 p.m.||Crystal Palace vs. Everton||1-2|
|11/9||10 a.m.||3 p.m.||Liverpool vs. Fulham||3-1|
|11/9||10 a.m.||3 p.m.||Southampton vs. Hull||2-1|
|11/9||12:30 p.m.||5:30 p.m.||Norwich vs. West Ham||1-1|
|11/10||7 a.m.||12 p.m.||Tottenham vs. Newcastle||Below|
|11/10||9:05 a.m.||2:05 p.m.||Sunderland vs. Manchester City||0-2|
|11/10||11:10 a.m.||4:10 p.m.||Manchester United vs. Arsenal||Below|
|11/10||11:10 a.m.||4:10 p.m.||Swansea vs. Stoke||1-0|
Predictions for Top Matches
Chelsea vs. West Bromwich Albion
Last week, Chelsea controlled most of the first half against Newcastle but couldn't manage to find the net. The lack of finishing ability, an issue that's repeatedly popped up over the past few seasons, allowed the Magpies to build confidence coming out of halftime, and they capitalized to earn the win.
The Blues could really use a strong showing heading into the break to help their own confidence. While they are a side with more than enough talent to capture the title, top form has been fleeting, mostly because the attack is struggling to produce consistently from match to match.
A meeting with West Brom should be a good test. The Baggies allowed four goals in a loss to Liverpool but just six goals in their other nine matches. Chelsea can score a big win if they live up to their potential. The Blues can't afford another performance like last week if they want three points, though.
Prediction: Chelsea 3, West Brom 1
Tottenham vs. Newcastle United
Tottenham continue to fly under the radar as the silent contenders. Thanks to some terrific defending, Spurs are sitting in fourth place and are well within striking distance of the top spot. More importantly, they have the potential to get much better.
What will be the week's most exciting match?
The rebuilt attack is still very much a work in progress. There have been some positive signs, though, even in the scoreless draw with Everton last week. Tim Howard made some key stops of Roberto Soldado net two or three goals. Eventually, the attacking group should break through.
Newcastle are coming off an impressive showing against Chelsea. The club's form prior to that victory was lackluster, however. The biggest question heading into this match is whether the Toon have turned the corner or just had a really good match. It's likely the latter case.
Prediction: Tottenham 2, Newcastle 0
Manchester United vs. Arsenal
After a slow start, Manchester United are finally starting to pick up some steam. They dominated Fulham last week, scoring three times within the first 25 minutes, which is the type of display supporters had been waiting for since the campaign began.
Now, United have an opportunity to start closing the gap on Arsenal. Although it's still early in the season, they really need to earn three points at home to stop the Gunners' surge. Even a draw makes the comeback even tougher moving forward.
On the flip side, Arsenal know a win at Old Trafford would be one of those season-defining moments it takes to win a championship. The terrific play of Aaron Ramsey has provided a nice boost and Mesut Ozil was a great addition. That said, expect a desperate United side to pull through after a great battle.
Prediction: Manchester United 2, Arsenal 1