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Football

Spurs out to examine Chelsea’s tittle credentials as Premier League returns

Brighton and Hove Albion vs Leicester City

American Express Community Stadium, East Sussex

Saturday, 24-11-2018 @06: 00 pm

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Brighton midfielder Pascal Gross is fit to face Leicester after a 12-week absence with an ankle injury. Davy Propper has recovered from a similar problem but Dale Stephens starts a three-match suspension.

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy is nursing a groin injury and is a major doubt for Saturday’s game. Harry Maguire remains out but James Maddison is back in training after a knee problem and will be assessed, along with Rachid Ghezzal.

Leicester won 2-0 in both Premier League meetings last season, beating Brighton away for the first time in five matches. Brighton have only lost one of their eight Premier League home fixtures since a 2-0 defeat against Leicester on 31 March (W4, D3). They could equal the club top-flight record of three consecutive home victories, which they achieved most recently in March. The Seagulls could also match the club top-flight record of three home clean sheets in a row, set in 1979.

The Foxes could go four matches unbeaten in the league for the first time since March. Leicester have won three of their past five Premier League away games, one more than in their previous 11 attempts. Claude Puel’s side are unbeaten in all seven league fixtures this season against teams currently below them (W5, D2).

Everton vs Cardiff City

Goodison Park, Liverpool

Saturday, 24-11-2018 @06:00pm 

Referee: Paul Tierney

It is 92 years since Cardiff’s last win away to Everton, which was a top-flight game on 11 December 1926. Hughie Ferguson scored the only goal. The Bluebirds have not won a league game against the Merseysiders since 1956, drawing four and losing three of the subsequent seven meetings.

Going into Saturday’s game, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andre Gomes and Ademola Lookman are all available for Everton despite being ruled out of international duty because of injuries. Loanee Kurt Zouma returns after being ineligible against parent club Chelsea.

Cardiff captain Sean Morrison was forced off against Brighton because of a broken nose but has been passed fit. Harry Arter returns after a ban and Jazz Richards may be available after a hamstring problem, but a calf injury is likely to sideline Kenneth Zohore.

Everton have lost just one of their past nine Premier League home games (W5, D3). They have won their last three top-flight matches at Goodison Park, scoring eight times and conceding just once.

Fulham vs Southampton

Craven Cottage, London

Saturday, 24-11-2018 @06: 00 pm 

Referee: Michael Oliver

New Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri says Joe Bryan is available after overcoming a hamstring injury, though the left-back may struggle to play 90 minutes. Midfielders Kevin McDonald and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa remain sidelined by injuries.

Southampton striker Danny Ings is doubtful because of a muscle problem. Saints are hopeful Mohamed Elyounoussi and Mario Lemina will overcome minor injuries, but left-back Ryan Bertrand is suspended.

Southampton are unbeaten in their past six league and cup games against Fulham, winning the last three encounters without conceding. Fulham have only lost one of their last 14 home league fixtures against Saints, though that came in the most recent top-flight clash on 1 February 2014.

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday, 24-11-2018 @06: 00 pm

Referee: Lee Mason

Losing to Man City before the international break means that United start the day 12 points behind the leaders and will be eager to put up a noticeable performance going into the Champions League midweek fixture.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has recovered from the muscle problem that ruled him out of the derby defeat. Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Marouane Fellaini have also been passed fit, but Luke Shaw serves a ban for accumulating five bookings.

Crystal Palace have Wilfried Zaha, James Tomkins and Aaron Wan-Bissaka available following recent knocks. Defender Mamadou Sakho has overcome a back injury sustained playing for France during the week.

Manchester United are on a six-match winning streak against Palace. The Red Devils are unbeaten in 20 league meetings since a 3-0 away loss in May 1991 (W17, D3). United have never lost in 18 Premier League matches versus Palace, which is a competition record for a team against a single opponent. Palace have lost 11 successive league matches at Old Trafford, with their last win coming in December 1989. However, the Eagles did win a League Cup tie away to United in November 2011.

Defeat by Manchester City in their last match ended United’s three-game winning run in all competitions. The Red Devils could equal a Premier League club record of conceding for a ninth straight game. They have kept only one league clean sheet this season, in their 2-0 win at Burnley in September. United have conceded 21 Premier League goals, the most by the club after 12 fixtures of a top-flight campaign since 1966-67.

Watford vs Liverpool

Vicarage Road, London

Saturday, 24-11-2015 @06: 00 pm

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Liverpool will be out to maintain their unbeaten start to this year’s campaign but most importantly, keep in arms reach of defending champions-City when they head to London on Saturday afternoon.

Liverpool have won nine of the past 11 encounters in all competitions, keeping seven clean sheets (D1, L1). Watford were 3-0 Premier League winners at home to Liverpool in December 2015 but have subsequently earned just one point and conceded 17 goals in five games. There has never been a goalless draw in 22 previous top-flight meetings.

Watford midfielder Etienne Capoue is available after suspension, while Sebastian Prodl has recovered from a leg injury. A fully fit Troy Deeney could start for the first time since 6 October, but Adalberto Penaranda won’t feature despite receiving a work permit.

Adam Lallana will miss out for Liverpool because of a minor injury. Jordan Henderson has overcome the hamstring complaint that caused him to return early from international duty.

Liverpool’s total of 30 points from 12 games is their joint-highest in the Premier League, matching their record in the 2002-03 season. They are vying to remain unbeaten in their opening 13 league matches of a season for the first time since 2007. The Reds have only conceded five goals, equalling the club record for this stage of a top-flight campaign. However, their solitary win in the last five away matches in all competitions was 1-0 at Huddersfield Town on 20 October. Mohamed Salah has scored five goals in two Premier League games against Watford, while Roberto Firmino has four goals and three assists in his last five league appearances in this fixture.

West Ham United vs Manchester City

London Stadium, London

Saturday, 24-11-2018 @ 06: 00pm

Referee: Andre Marriner

West Ham have lost all three meetings at the London Stadium in all competitions, scoring one goal and conceding 13. City have won all four of their league games against the Hammers under Pep Guardiola, recording an aggregate score of 13-3. West Ham have won just two of their last 16 league games against City (D3, L11). Current Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini was in charge of City for both of those matches.

West Ham captain Mark Noble returns from suspension but fellow midfielder Robert Snodgrass serves a one-game ban after accumulating five yellow cards. Fit-again striker Andy Carroll could be named as a substitute, while Jack Wilshere is also back in training and may come into contention. Full-back Ryan Fredericks is sidelined until the New Year with a shin injury.

Manchester City left-back Benjamin Mendy is out for up to 12 weeks after having knee surgery. City are also without midfielder Bernardo Silva, who missed Portugal’s game against Poland on Tuesday because of an injury, although the problem is not believed to be serious. Centre-back Nicolas Otamendi is in contention after recovering from an Achilles injury.

City can become only the second non-London club to win six consecutive top-flight games in the capital, following in the footsteps of Portsmouth (from 1950 to 1951). City are unbeaten in their last 34 Premier League matches which have kicked off at 3pm on a Saturday (W30, D4), a record in the competition. Pep Guardiola’s side have conceded just five goals in their last 12 away league games, and have not let in multiple goals on the road since the 4-3 defeat at Liverpool in January. City have yet to concede in the final half hour of a Premier League game this season, scoring 12 times themselves in that period.

Tottenham Hotspurs vs Chelsea

Wembley Stadium, London

Sunday, 24-11-2018 @08:30 pm

Referee: Martin Atkinson 

Tottenham have won three of their past seven Premier League games against Chelsea, as many as they had won in the previous 49 top-flight meetings (D18, L28). Spurs are looking to win consecutive league matches against Chelsea for the first time since August 1987. Chelsea have kept 21 Premier League clean sheets against Tottenham – a joint-high for the Blues against a particular opponent.

Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen may return from a hamstring injury but Davinson Sanchez faces a spell on the sidelines with a similar problem. Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose and Mousa Dembele are also ruled out. Christian Eriksen, who has been managing an abdominal injury, could reclaim a starting spot.

Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic should be available despite missing Croatia’s defeat by England on Sunday because of an ankle problem. Blues head coach Maurizio Sarri also has a number of undisclosed injury doubts following the international break.

Spurs have lost four of their seven Premier League matches at Wembley against established top-six opposition. They were unbeaten in their final 10 league fixtures at White Hart Lane against those sides (W6, D4). Tottenham have won four successive games in league and cup, and have claimed victories in their last six Premier League London derbies. Spurs’ tally of 27 points after 12 games is their second highest at this stage of a Premier League season. They were one point better off after a dozen matches in 2011-12.

The Blues have kept clean sheets in four of their five away league games this season. The only goal they have conceded on the road was scored by Newcastle’s Joselu in August. Chelsea are unbeaten in 12 league games under Maurizio Sarri, and are two matches short of equalling their longest undefeated run at the start of a top-flight season (set in 2014-15). The Blues have only won one of their last eight league games away to established top-six rivals (D3, L4) – their 2-1 victory against Spurs at Wembley in August 2017. Chelsea have attempted 8,706 passes in this season’s Premier League – in excess of 400 more than any other side prior to the weekend fixtures.

AFC Bornemouth vs Arsenal

Vitality Stadium, Dorset

Sunday, 25-11-2018 @04:30 pm 

Referee: Craig Pawson

Joshua King could return for Bournemouth having missed their last four Premier League games due to an ankle injury and will be assessed by Howe. Meanwhile, full-back Adam Smith is definitely out and faces a long spell on the sidelines after sustaining a knee injury in the defeat at Newcastle before the international break.

The visitors will be without a quartet of defenders for their trip to the south coast. While Sokratis Papastathopoulos has recovered from an ankle injury to give Emery more options at the back, Koscielny (Achilles), Konstantinos Mavropanos (groin), Nacho Monreal and Stephan Lichtsteiner (both hamstring) are all still missing. Danny Welbeck (ankle) is a long-term absentee, but Mohamed Elneny is fit again following a thigh complaint.

Bournemouth have won just one of their six Premier League meetings with Arsenal (D1 L4), though it was in their last such match (2-1 in January). Arsenal have never failed to score in their seven previous meetings with Bournemouth in all competitions, netting 17 goals in total. Bournemouth have lost their last two Premier League games, as many as they had in their previous 12 in the competition (W8 D2 L2). After a run of 25 Premier League games without a draw, Arsenal’s last three in the competition have all ended level. The Gunners have conceded first in all three. Arsenal have scored at least twice in each of their last five Premier League away games. Only once have they had a longer such run in the competition (7 between December 2010 and April 2011). Bournemouth lost their last home Premier League match against Man Utd – they’ve not lost consecutive games at the Vitality Stadium since August 2017. Arsenal have scored more goals via substitutes than any other team in the Premier League this season (7). Indeed, six of their last 10 goals in the competition have been scored by subs.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Huddersfield Town

Molinuex Stasium, West Midlands

Sunday, 25-11-2018 @07:00 pm

Referee: Kevin Friend

Wolves will be without Jonny, who has been ruled out for six weeks with a knee injury he sustained while playing for Spain. However, fellow wing-back Matt Doherty has recovered from the facial injury that saw him miss out for the Republic of Ireland’s matches during the international break.

As for Huddersfield, the visitors will be missing defenders Mathias Jorgensen and Chris Lowe for Sunday’s trip to Molineux. Jorgensen sits out a one-game ban after reaching five yellow cards and left-back Lowe sustained a shoulder injury in the recent home draw against West Ham. Jon Gorenc Stankovic and Erik Durm could fill the respective gaps, while midfielder Danny Williams has recovered from a long-term knee injury.

Wolves have won just two of their last 16 league games against Huddersfield (D2 L12), with both wins coming in 2015 (February and October). Huddersfield have won 10 of their last 12 league meetings with Wolves (L2), winning each of the last three by a 1-0 scoreline. In the top-flight, Wolves have won six of their last seven meetings with Huddersfield (D1), though this is their first such match since April 1972 (1-0). After an unbeaten run of six Premier League games (W4 D2), Wolves are winless in their last four (D1 L3). Wolves have scored a league-low 17% of their Premier League goals in the first half of games this season (2/12), while Huddersfield have scored a league-low 17% of theirs in the second half (1/6). Huddersfield haven’t scored more than once in any of their last 22 Premier League games, netting just nine goals in total. Only Sunderland have ever had a longer such run in the competition (25 games without scoring more than once ending in September 2005). Huddersfield are without a win in their last 10 Premier League away games, drawing five and losing five.

Burnely vs Newcastle United

Turf Moor, Burnely

Monday, 26-11-2018 @11:00 pm

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Steven Defour is expected to be fit for Burnley, Defender James Tarkowski is likely to miss out after undergoing hernia surgery but Johann Berg Gudmundsson (calf) is fit. Ben Gibson (hernia), Stephen Ward (knee) and goalkeeper Nick Pope (shoulder) are all making good progress.

Newcastle defender Paul Dummett has been ruled out. Dummett suffered a calf injury during Wales’ Nations League match against Denmark in midweek, with tests yet to reveal the extent of his setback. Magpies boss Rafael Benitez will give late tests to captain Jamaal Lascelles (shoulder), Jonjo Shelvey and Yoshinori Muto (both calf).

The home side has opened the scoring in all four Premier League meetings between Burnley and Newcastle, but have only gone on to win once (W1 D3 L0) – Burnley winning 1-0 in this exact fixture last season. Newcastle are winless in their last five top-flight matches against Burnley (D3 L2), last beating them at this level in December 1975. Burnley have alternated between defeat and victory in their last seven Premier League games played on a Monday (W3 D4), losing last time out against Liverpool in January. Newcastle’s last 12 Premier League games played on a Monday have all been away from home – the Magpies have lost 11 of these, winning only at Stoke in January. Burnley have won just one of their last eight Premier League home games (D2 L5), beating Bournemouth 4-0 in September. Newcastle have won both of their last two Premier League games, having failed to win any of their first 10 this season.

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