Liverpool's top-of-the-table clash with Manchester City highlights the 12th gameweek of the 2019/20 Premier League season. The Reds hold a six-point lead over the champions, but City still have enough quality in the final third to go to Anfield on Sunday and earn a result.
Leicester City will be fancied to have overtaken the Citizens before the trip to Merseyside by beating an Arsenal team struggling for form under Unai Emery. By contrast, the Foxes have been clicking into gear in the attacking third thanks to the prolific rapport between playmakers Youri Tielemans and James Maddison and striker Jamie Vardy.
Defeat at the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening could leave the Gunners as many as nine points adrift of the top four, provided Chelsea beat away-day specialists Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge earlier in the day.
Week 12 Fixtures
Friday, November 8
- Norwich City vs. Watford: 8 p.m. GMT/3 p.m. ET, Sky Sports PL/NBCSN (2-2)
Saturday, November 9
- Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace: 12:30 p.m. GMT/7:30 a.m. ET, BT Sport 1/NBCSN (2-1)
- Burnley vs. West Ham United: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold (1-1)
- Newcastle United vs. Bournemouth: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold (1-0)
- Southampton vs. Everton: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold (1-2)
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Sheffield United: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET, NBCSN (2-1)
- Leicester City vs. Arsenal: 5:30 p.m. GMT/12:30 p.m. ET, Sky Sports PL/NBC (3-2)
Sunday, November 10
- Manchester United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion: 2 p.m. GMT/9 a.m. ET, NBCSN (2-1)
- Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Aston Villa: 2 p.m. GMT/9 a.m. ET, Sky Sports PL/NBC Sports Gold (3-1)
- Liverpool vs. Manchester City: 4:30 p.m. GMT/11:30 a.m. ET, Sky Sports PL/NBCSN (1-1)
Leicester to Dent Arsenal's Top-4 Hopes
Obviously aware of the threat posed by Leicester, Emery rested key players for Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Vitoria Guimaraes in the UEFA Europa League. Elegant No. 10 Mesut Ozil and primary goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang didn't make the trip to Portugal.
Aubameyang is the new captain in the wake of Emery's decision to take the armband off Granit Xhaka, following the midfielder's altercation with Gunners supporters during the 2-2 home draw with Crystal Palace last month, per Matt Maltby of the Daily Mirror.
Extra responsibility should come easy to Aubameyang, who is in fine form, having reached a half-century of goals for Arsenal by scoring in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers:
Ensuring Aubameyang remains supplied with chances will be crucial against a Leicester team adept at keeping the ball. Ozil has a vital role to play, having impressed during recent performances against Liverpool and Wolves. The 31-year-old had been frozen out by Emery, but he made his first start in the league since September on Sunday.
While Ozil had been pushed to the margins, Tielemans and Maddison are thriving in key roles for Leicester. Manager Brendan Rodgers has trusted both to pull the strings in support of Vardy, with Tielemans in particular impressing:
Combining Tielemans' vision with Maddison's flair ensures Leicester can play the kind of artful, possession-based football Rodgers believes in. His philosophy was put into practice brilliantly during Sunday's 2-0 win away to Palace:
Youri Tielemans > Ben Chilwell Ben Chilwell > James Maddison James Maddison > Youri Tielemans Your Tielemans > Jamie Vardy - Demarai Gray dummy Jamie Vardy > Demarai Gray Demarai Gray > Jamie Vardy Jamie Vardy > Goal Free. Flowing. Football. 😍 #LCFC https://t.co/po7QYRxBQl
The Foxes play with a style Arsenal were known for before Emery replaced Arsene Wenger in the dugout in 2018. Now the Gunners often cede possession and chances to the opposition, a trend highlighted against Wolves:
While Arsenal still have ample firepower, if they let Leicester fashion this many chances, Emery's men will be on the receiving end of a humbling defeat.
Liverpool to Keep 6-Point Lead
A 0-0 draw was the result when these two teams met on Merseyside last season, and another stalemate awaits the top two.
City have many injuries defensively, including left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko, centre-back Aymeric Laporte and holding midfielder Rodrigo. It may mean another game at the heart of the back four for converted midfielder Fernandinho. City won't be able to hold Liverpool at bay for 90 minutes with a threadbare back line and doubts over the fitness of goalkeeper Ederson.
He was withdrawn at the break during Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League. Pep Guardiola said City's stopper has a "muscular problem" and is a doubt for Sunday, per BBC Sport.
If Ederson is unavailable, it could mean Claudio Bravo starts despite looking nervy and getting sent off in midweek.
The Reds can count on Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane for goals, with the latter showing peak efficiency creatively and as a finisher. He assisted Andy Robertson's goal before netting a stoppage-time winner to see off Aston Villa in Liverpool's most recent league game:
Mane has been the source of controversy during the buildup, with Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp trading barbs:
Guardiola's attempt to play mind games comes with the 48-year-old dealing with another costly injury, this one to David Silva. The midfield schemer was withdrawn during the recent 2-1 win over Southampton with what Guardiola called a "muscular problem," something the manager believes could rule Silva out for "10-12 days," per Sky Sports.
Not having Silva will increase the burden on Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva. However, that trio is skilled enough to make Liverpool chase the the ball.
With strikers Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus both in form, City should still feel confident about packing enough punch to earn a point and at least keep Liverpool in sight in the title race.