Jose Mourinho's debut as Tottenham Hotspur manager will draw the most attention in Week 13 of the 2019/20 Premier League season, but facing West Ham United away in a London derby is a tough start.
The Hammers have been faltering recently, but Manuel Pellegrini's team still have enough quality in midfield to take points off a Spurs side facing major transition.
Tottenham losing yet more ground in the race for a top-four finish will hand the initiative to Sheffield United and Arsenal. The Gunners host Southampton on Saturday and have the firepower to emphatically beat a side mired in the bottom three.
Meanwhile, the Blades will feel confident about adding Manchester United to a list of high-profile victims that already includes Arsenal.
Week 13 Fixtures (TV Schedule and Picks)
Saturday, November 23
- West Ham United vs. Tottenham Hotspur: 12:30 p.m. GMT/7:30 a.m. ET, BT Sport 1/NBCSN (Draw)
- Bournemouth vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold (Wolves)
- Arsenal vs. Southampton: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET, NBCSN (Arsenal)
- Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Leicester City: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold (Leicester)
- Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold (Liverpool)
- Everton vs. Norwich City: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold (Everton)
- Watford vs. Burnley: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold (Draw)
- Manchester City vs. Chelsea: 5:30 p.m. GMT/12:30 p.m. ET, Sky Sports PL/NBC (City)
Sunday, November 24
- Sheffield United vs. Manchester United: 4:30 p.m. GMT/11:30 a.m. ET, Sky Sports PL/NBCSN (Sheffield)
Monday, November 25
- Aston Villa vs. Newcastle United: 8 p.m. GMT/3 p.m. ET, Sky Sports PL/NBCSN (Draw)
Mourinho Era Set for Tricky Start
West Ham have slipped to 16th because of an inability to score goals, but Mourinho will know there are still players capable of upsetting his Spurs debut. Chief among them is winger Andriy Yarmolenko.
The Ukraine international caused problems when the Hammers beat Mourinho's Manchester United side 3-1 at the London Stadium last season. So did Felipe Anderson, who got on the scoresheet in the same game.
Yarmolenko has scored three times and provided an assist in league action already, while Anderson has created three goals.
Along with Pablo Fornals, Pellegrini has enough creative talent to puncture a Tottenham defence that's conceded 17 times through 12 matches.
Mourinho needs to fortify things, and his plan usually involves trusting a back four with ample protection from midfield. Eric Dier can provide the latter, but Mourinho is under the spotlight after being out of work since being sacked by United in December 2018.
The 56-year-old has been talking up how he's more humble after past mistakes:
Mourinho won't stay shy for long, but he knows the immediate challenge is a daunting one. Making up an 11-point gap to the top four won't be easy, but a derby win away from home would be the ideal start.
Arsenal Primed to Overwhelm The Saints, but United Likely to Struggle
Southampton's defence isn't likely to resist an Arsenal attack still led by Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Their on-pitch rapport is sure to yield goals against the leakiest defence in the division.
Their chances will be more frequent if Nicolas Pepe can make his presence felt. Arsenal's record signing hasn't started the last two matches since Mesut Ozil returned to the fold, but Pepe showcased the kind of threat he can pose on international duty with the Ivory Coast:
The Saints pose their own threat from the flanks thanks to Mali star Moussa Djenepo. His combination with Nathan Redmond and Danny Ings should make Arsenal wary about getting caught on the break.
If the Gunners stay secure at the back, their goal potential will eventually make the difference. Arsenal need a win to ease the doubts about head coach Unai Emery's future and apply pressure on Sheffield United.
The Blades will be favourites at Bramall Lane, but they may worry about their defensive strength after John Egan suffered a calf problem on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, per Danny Hall of The Sheffield Star.
The Red Devils will arrive in Sheffield armed with ample pace up top thanks to Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James. However, they will struggle to get beyond a well-drilled Blades back five led by left wing-back Enda Stevens and centre-back Jack O'Connell.
Chris Wilder has seen his versatile and intelligent team punch above its weight so far this season. It won't be a surprise if the Blades again defy the odds on Sunday.