Week 12 of the Premier League features Southampton making the trek to Emirates Stadium in an effort to erase its three-point deficit to Arsenal.
If Southampton can accomplish the difficult task of picking up three points, Liverpool will have a shot at standing alone in first place. The second-place Reds will travel to take on Everton this week.
Those two matches highlight what is a solid week of fixtures, including Manchester City and Tottenham battling while trying to work their way back into the top five of the table. Also, we have surging Manchester United traveling to take on Cardiff City.
A full schedule for the week is available here. Below, I have the week's top matches, and I'll offer up a closer look at the one I'm most looking forward to.
|Time and Date (GMT)||Home||Prediction||Away||Draw Odds|
|Nov. 23, 12:45 p.m.||Everton (+105)||0-2||Liverpool (-135)||+230|
|Nov. 23, 3 p.m.||Arsenal (-185)||1-0||Southampton (+500)||+325|
|Nov. 24, 1:30 p.m.||Man City (-150)||1-0||Spurs (+400)||+300|
|Nov. 24, 4 p.m.||Cardiff (+500)||0-2||Man Utd (-180)||+310|
Odds via Bovada
Arsenal vs. Southampton
When: Saturday, Nov. 23, at 10 a.m. ET/3 p.m. GMT
Where: Emirates Stadium
Arsenal will return to the friendly confines of Emirates Stadium as it tries to rebound from a 1-0 setback to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Nov. 10.
Not only will the Gunners enjoy the home pitch in this contest to help boost their confidence, but they will also enjoy the return of Theo Walcott to the starting lineup. The winger has been nursing an abdominal injury for the past two months.
He will be a welcomed addition for this match against third-place Southampton.
The Saints have been a pleasant surprise this campaign and will enter this match fresh off of a 4-1 trouncing of Hull City.
At the heart of Southampton's success has been a stingy defense. The Saints have allowed just five goals in this EPL season.
However, after posting five straight clean sheets in EPL action, they have allowed a single goal in three of their last four EPL matches.
While the Gunners were blanked last time out, they have had no problem scoring this year and are second in the EPL with 22 goals. With Walcott adding a spark to the attack and Southampton allowing a few goals as of late, I see the Gunners pulling out the home win.
|Player, Team||Opponent||Goals Prediction||To score in 90 mins||To score 1st|
|Luis Suarez, Liverpool||Everton||2||9-2||7-5|
|Wilfried Bony, Swansea City||Fulham||2||5-1||7-4|
|Robin van Persie, Manchester United||Cardiff||2||4-1||6-5|
Odds Source: bet365.com
Robin van Persie, Manchester United
Opponent: Cardiff City
Robin van Persie is finding his scoring groove, and Manchester United is not coincidentally playing much better. After a relatively slow start, the Red Devils have won their last three EPL matches and haven't lost a Premier League match since the shocking 2-1 defeat to West Brom on Sept. 28.
Van Persie has seven goals in 10 EPL matches this season, and that ratio is improving. The Dutch striker has netted a goal in each of his last four EPL matches.
Now, he will lead his surging team into Cardiff City Stadium to take on Cardiff.
Sitting in 14th in the table, Cardiff is minus-six in goal differential. It has allowed 15 goals in 11 matches and now faces the prospect of holding down one of the world's premier scorers.
Manchester United will be able to dominate possession in this game and create looks for van Persie. He will not let his teammates down, as he will escape the match with a brace.