As we head into an always crucial festive period, teams will be scrapping for points even more so than usual in the coming weeks, in a run of games that can shape a season for good or for bad. This weekend sees the start of a hectic schedule in the Premier League as teams look to start off as they mean to go on.
The stand out game of the weekend is the one that rounds off this weekend’s action as table toppers Arsenal play Chelsea at the Emirates. Arsenal are in a really testing period at the moment, a run of games that many are assessing their title credentials upon, and so far you must say they have failed most of the big tests. Last week’s mauling at Man City will have really hurt the Gunners, but they must bounce back this weekend against rivals Chelsea to keep their title bid on track. That defeat saw the chasing pack close in on top spot, including this weekend’s opponents Chelsea. The game really might make or break the North London side’s season.
Chelsea have been inconsistent this season and are yet to find their best form, but are still well in the hunt for the title, an excellent trait to have for any title contending side. The Blues have dared to get into top gear but shock defeats and poor performances are holding them back this season. You feel with the manager and squad they have, at some point they must hit top form and they will hope the Christmas period is just the tonic they need to build up some momentum. Chelsea’s record at the Emirates is good and Mourinho is yet to lose against Arsenal as Chelsea manager. The Special One’s side will feel confident of the win and I’m backing them to take the three points too.
Liverpool kick off the weekend’s action in the Saturday lunchtime kick off, and will have the chance to go top of the league. They face a Cardiff side who pick up most of their points at home, and so a trip to Anfield with Suarez in red hot form was not on the top of their Christmas list. Expect a comfortable home win in that one. Man City travel to Craven Cottage to take on strugglers Fulham. Fulham will be hoping to recapture their strong home form of seasons gone by after a win last time out at home, but with Pellegrini’s side ever improving on the road, you can’t look past an away win. With City unpredictable on the road though, you might be better off having an early look at the World
Southampton will be hoping to get a win under their belts after a poor run and they take on a managerless Tottenham. With Spurs in disarray I would fancy the Saints to pile on the misery for them. Roberto Martinez goes back to the Liberty Stadium as he takes his side Everton to Swansea. With Everton in fine form and Swansea’s form patchy this season, I would back Everton to take the win and keep up with the leading pack.