Week 11 in the English Premier League has the potential to be season-defining for several of the sides involved. We are now at a point where good starts cannot be dismissed as luck and, indeed, under-performing sides must be asked serious questions.
Chelsea have opened a significant lead at the top of the league, so chasers will hope Liverpool can halt their progress at Anfield. Likewise, Manchester United and Liverpool will be struggling to reel in the top four if they fail to win this weekend.
Results are becoming crucial as the season nears its one-third completion mark; here's the latest fixture information and predictions below:
Television and Streaming Information
|Premier League Week 11 Fixtures|
|Fixture||Date||Kick-Off (GMT)||Prediction||UK TV Info||US TV Info|
|Liverpool vs. Chelsea||Sat, Nov. 8||12.45 p.m.||0-2||BT Sport 1||NBCSN|
|Burnley vs. Hull||Sat, Nov. 8||3 p.m.||0-3||NBCSN|
|Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace||Sat, Nov. 8||3 p.m.||4-1||NBCSN|
|Southampton vs. Leicester||Sat, Nov. 8||3 p.m.||2-1||NBCSN|
|West Ham vs. Aston Villa||Sat, Nov. 8||3 p.m.||2-0||NBCSN|
|QPR vs. Manchester City||Sat, Nov. 8||5.30 p.m.||1-2||Sky Sports 1||NBCSN|
|Tottenham vs. Stoke||Sun, Nov. 9||1.30 p.m.||1-0||NBCSN|
|Sunderland vs. Everton||Sun, Nov. 9||1.30 p.m.||1-3||NBCSN|
|West Brom vs. Newcastle||Sun, Nov. 9||1.30 p.m.||1-2||Sky Sports 1||NBCSN|
|Swansea vs. Arsenal||Sun, Nov. 9||4 p.m.||2-1||Sky Sports 1||NBCSN|
Game of the Week: Liverpool vs. Chelsea
There are some potentially cracking games this weekend, with the visit of under-fire Arsenal to Swansea on Sunday a fixture that really stands out. However, it is difficult to look past Liverpool vs. Chelsea as the weekend's key encounter.
Neither team earned a win in Champions League action in midweek, but the Blues are flying in the Premier League. Even at this early stage, they are four points clear of second-placed Southampton and 12 points ahead of this week's hosts Liverpool.
Brendan Rodgers' side have won just two of their past five league games—close-fought affairs with West Brom and QPR—while they are also in a delicate position in Europe. As such, the manager chose to rotate on their visit to Real Madrid on Tuesday night, to many protests such as the following:
Ian Ladyman @Ian_Ladyman_DM
To me, the narrowness of defeat doesn't vindicate the selection. Rodgers came not to win and that's just weird. #lfc2014-11-4 23:07:40
Liverpool's rotated XI played reasonably well at the Bernabeu, but there were many fans unhappy with what was seen as a selection not designed to win the game. It was a gamble by Rodgers ahead of his side's clash with Chelsea, one which must now be followed up with a strong league showing.
The two managers are, of course, old colleagues, with Rodgers leading Chelsea's youth setup under Mourinho in his first spell at the club. It was also Mourinho's side who so famously damaged Liverpool's title hopes late last season. Liverpool should be craving revenge.
We know what Chelsea will offer; they are machine-like in their success so far this season. It is up to Liverpool, then, to prove that they have the character required to revive their campaign at this early stage.
Unfortunately for Reds fans, it is hard to look past what is a dominant and powerful Chelsea side given Liverpool's frailty in midfield areas over recent weeks.
One To Watch: Swansea City
Garry Monk's Swansea have lost a bit of momentum of late, yet they are a side that could really cause Arsenal problems if they get into rhythm at the Liberty Stadium.
Arsenal have taken a battering in the media since conceding a 3-0 lead to draw at home to Anderlecht on Tuesday night and, while losing just once, have won only four of 10 league games this season.
This is a vulnerable Arsenal side, and Swansea's mix of ability on the ball, speed and power in attack has the ability to trouble their visitors—as they did when claiming an away draw last season.
The Swans need to believe in themselves once again and allow Ki Sung-Yueng and Jonjo Shelvey to dictate play in the centre. If they play with the freedom they showed early in the campaign, Arsenal's makeshift defence is there for the taking.