Eyes and ears will be focused on the upcoming World Cup draw, but the English Premier League will still provide excitement and entertainment for soccer fans across the globe.
Here’s a look at the action that we’ll be treated to and some predictions for how it will unfold.
|Week 14 Schedule|
|Date||Home Team||Away Team||Time (GMT)|
|Tuesday Dec 3||Crystal Palace||West Ham United||8:00 p.m.|
|Wednesday Dec 4||Arsenal||Hull City||7:45 p.m.|
|Liverpool||Norwich City||7:45 p.m.|
|Manchester United||Everton||7:45 p.m.|
|Southampton||Aston Villa||7:45 p.m.|
|Stoke City||Cardiff City||7:45 p.m.|
|Swansea City||Newcastle United||7:45 p.m.|
|West Bromwich Albion||Manchester City||8:00 p.m.|
|Saturday Dec 7||Manchester United||Newcastle United||12:45 p.m.|
|Crystal Palace||Cardiff City||3:00 p.m.|
|Liverpool||West Ham United||3:00 p.m.|
|Southampton||Manchester City||3:00 p.m.|
|Stoke City||Chelsea||3:00 p.m.|
|West Bromwich Albion||Norwich City||3:00 p.m.|
|Sunday Dec 8||Fulham||Aston Villa||1:30 p.m.|
|Monday Dec 9||Swansea City||Hull City||8:00 p.m.|
Wayne Rooney has been carrying the load for Manchester United, ranking fourth in the Premier League with eight goals. He’s coming off a brace against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, so he’s in form and will be the focal point of United’s attack.
Facing his former club, Everton, and Newcastle United later in the week, Rooney will have plenty of opportunities to be among the goalscorers during the week. Given that he’s one of the best finishers in the game, he’ll be able to take advantage of any opportunities he’s given.
Roberto Soldado has scored four goals this season, and this week he faces two of the EPL’s worst defenses. Fulham and Sunderland have given up a combined 48 goals.
Soldado is certain to have many opportunities against such poor defenses, and he’s poised to have a big week.
Fulham Will Give Tottenham All They Can Handle
Fulham are currently in the relegation portion of the EPL table and have been outscored by 13 goals so far in their 13 matches. They have lost their last five games, and there have been no indications that their fortunes are going to change anytime soon.
Despite that, they’ll come out with at least one point when they host Tottenham Hotspur at Craven Cottage.
Tottenham have drawn attention for all the wrong reasons, as they’ve been disappointing after a summer of profligate spending. Now Andre Villas-Boas is receiving criticism for his comments and actions in recent weeks, according to the Guardian.
Furthermore, Tottenham’s defense has fallen apart in recent weeks. They’ve given up eight goals (out of their total 14 goals allowed) in their last two Premier League games.
Fulham have been through its own managerial controversy in recent weeks, and manager Martin Jol was sacked over the weekend.
The emotional boost that comes with such a high-profile personnel change and the matchup with an underwhelming Tottenham side will make for a close contest.
Prediction: Fulham 1, Tottenham 1
Southampton Will Outplay Manchester City
Southampton has been one of the surprise teams of the Premier League this year, but they’re coming off back-to-back losses against two of the EPL’s best teams: Arsenal and Chelsea.
They host Manchester City on Saturday in a game where the Saints will want to prove that their hot start isn’t a fluke.
They’ll do just that against a Manchester City squad that has been dominant at home but terrible away from Etihad Stadium.
Man City has picked up only four points in their last six away fixtures. Their chances of adding to that total don’t look very good against a stingy Southampton defense.
Prediction: Southampton 2, Manchester City 1
The Toon Army Leave Old Trafford With Points
Alan Pardew has Newcastle United playing inspired football at the moment, but many don’t expect their excellent form to continue. Despite the fact that they’re higher in the table than Manchester United, not many people will be giving the Magpies a chance to leave Old Trafford with anything but a loss.
The Red Devils haven’t been in the greatest form recently, taking two points from their last two matches against Tottenham and Cardiff City.
The Geordies have won four in a row, a streak that could be extended to five with a win over Swansea before they head to Old Trafford.
Prediction: Newcastle United 1, Manchester United 1