World Football

EPL Table Week 12: Big Games That Will Shake Up the Standings

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11:  Daniel Sturridge of Chelsea competes for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on February 11, 2012 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Greg JohnsonSpecial to Bleacher ReportNovember 16, 2013

The competition for top four places in the Premier League could be blown wide open in Week 12 as the contenders for Europe battle it out for the points they need.

With Everton hosting Liverpool in the first Merseyside derby of the season, Tottenham Hotspur travelling to Manchester City, and Arsenal taking on Southampton at the Emirates, six of those teams will face each other.

The repercussions of those clashes could well reshape the standings of the league in dramatic fashion.

Below is a full rundown of the fixtures in Week 12 with predictions of how each game could go.

Premier League Week 12 Fixtures and Predictions
Time and Date (GMT)HomePredictionAway
Saturday November 23, 12:45 p.m.Everton1-2Liverpool
Saturday November 23, 3 p.m.Arsenal2-1Southampton
Saturday November 23, 3 p.m.Fulham0-3Swansea
Saturday November 23, 3 p.m.Hull1-1Crystal Palace
Saturday November 23, 3 p.m.Newcastle2-0Norwich
Saturday November 23, 3 p.m.Stoke2-2Sunderland
Saturday November 23, 5:30 p.m.West Ham1-3Chelsea
Sunday November 24, 1:30 p.m.Man City1-0Spurs
Sunday November 24, 4 p.m.Cardiff0-2Man Utd
Monday November 25, 8 p.m.West Brom1-2Aston Villa
BBC Sport

 

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool scores the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on October 28, 2012 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Everton vs. Liverpool—Saturday Nov. 23, 12:45 p.m. (GMT)

Roberto Martinez's first Merseyside derby is likely to be an entertaining fixture, with the Toffees currently one of the league's best-liked and most attractive sides.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21:  Brendan Rodgers, manager of Swansea City looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Swansea City at Goodison Park on December 21, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Imag
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Liverpool are further along a similar path with Brendan Rodgers now well into his second season in charge and have been impressive so far this campaign.

Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have ignited as arguably the league's finest striker partnership, and the pair will be looking to overwhelm Everton's defence at Goodison Park.

Watching Leighton Baines fail to cover Alexis Sanchez for Chile's opener while on England duty hints at the full-back's frailty at the back sometimes with Seamus Coleman also suspect in defence at times.

Both players prefer to go forward on the overlap and will be a major threat to their visitors, although Rodgers' team will win if the form book is anything to go by.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09:  Manager Roberto Martinez of Everton looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Everton at Selhurst Park on November 9, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Everton have struggle to get results out of derby games over the last few years, regardless of how the two Merseyside clubs have performed going into this fixture.

Martinez could be the man to change all that. At Wigan Athletic, he was underrated as a tactician in one-off games, as evidenced by the way he set his team up to overcome opponents on their way to a historic FA Cup last season.

Liverpool remain the favourites, however, even if they are playing away from Anfield.

 

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15:  Lukas Podolski of Arsenal on the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Southampton at Emirates Stadium on September 15, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Arsenal vs. Southampton—Saturday Nov. 23, 3 p.m. (GMT)

It's unlikely that Arsenal will be able to record another 6-1 victory over the Saints as they did in last year's meeting between the two teams, but the Gunners look well suited to combatting Mauricio Pochettino's heavy pressing style.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10:  Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on November 10, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

With a mobile defence and extremely technical midfield, they should be able to duck and weave through the Saints' relentless pressure.

Questions remain over Arsene Wenger and his team's temperament, however, and following their loss against Manchester United, the North Londoners have to prove they have the mentality to snap back into form immediately.

Southampton will be able to score a major upset if Arsenal are unsettled with a raid of the Emirates for a point or three on the cards, but the hosts should come good here.

 

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01:  Ramires of Chelsea battles with Winston Reid of West Ham Unitedduring the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Chelsea at the Boleyn Ground on December 1, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDon
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

West Ham vs. Chelsea—Saturday Nov. 23, 5:30 p.m. (GMT)

While Norwich's 3-1 win over West Ham may prove to be the turning point in the Canaries' season; that result also stood as confirmation that not all is well at Boleyn Ground this season.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17:  Frank Lampard of Chelsea celebrates scoring the opening goal with his team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by S
Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Having lost to Newcastle, then drawn with West Brom in their past two league outings, Jose Mourinho will be ensuring his players are ruthless and well prepared to punish the Hammers' falling standards.

The Portuguese is unlikely to allow his team's incompetence and complacency to stretch into a third consecutive game.

With West Ham at home, however, this is unlikely to be a cricket score contest yet Chelsea should rally to produce a strong and solid win with a one- or two-goal winning margin.

 

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21:  Vincent Kompany of Manchester City fails to stop Jermain Defoe of Tottenham Hotspur scoring their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at White Hart Lane on April 2
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotpur—Sunday Nov. 24, 1:30 p.m. (GMT)

Judging by City and Spurs' goals for and against in the league table, this tie would usually qualify for the unstoppable force meets immovable object cliche, yet with both teams coming into this game off the back of shock defeats, it may turn out to be far less convincing than such a billing.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Joe Hart of Manchester City gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at White Hart Lane on April 21, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

City lost 1-0 away to Sunderland in the previous batch of fixtures while Spurs went down 1-0 at home to Newcastle.

Much could come down to goalkeepers with Hugo Lloris set to the return to action for Tottenham after recovering from concussion while the question of whether Joe Hart will play for City hovers over the hosts' defence.

Sergio Aguero has been Manuel Pellegrini's player of the season so far and needs to be feeling sharp against Andre Villas-Boas' impressively defiant defensive set-up, which has conceded just six goals as opposed to City's 12, as per BBC Sport.

A win for Spurs could see them fired into the top four, although with others set to win in Week 12, three points may just be enough to keep in touch of the leaders. However, with a home crowd on their side, this one should go the way of City.

Currently in eighth place, and touted as genuine title contenders before the season kicked off, the Sky Blues also arguably need a win more.

 

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09:  Cardiff fans hold up a banner in support of their manager Malky MacKay during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Cardiff City at Villa Park on November 9, 2013 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by M
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Cardiff City vs. Manchester United—Sunday Nov. 24, 4 p.m. (GMT)

Following their victory over Arsenal, United must face a different sort of examination away to Cardiff City, with Malky Mackay's promoted team having so far been able to make the most of their home advantage.

An opening day 0-0 draw with Everton has been followed by a 3-2 win over City and a 1-0 South Wales derby victory over Swansea City.

Moyes will be hoping his players re-emerge from the latest international break still full of intensity and fight in order to hold off and beat the Bluebirds at Cardiff City stadium.

Once again, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie will be key, especially since United will not be able to take controlling the match for granted in the absence of the injured Michael Carrick.

If their strikers perform, a professional 2-0 victory is likely.

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