Southampton vs Sheffield United
St. Mary’s Stadium, Hamphire
Sunday, 13-12-2020 @3pm
Ref: Andy Madly
Southampton striker Danny Ings could be recalled to the starting line-up after making his comeback from a knee problem as a substitute at Brighton. Boss Ralph Hasenhuttl says Saints have no injury problems to contend with.
Sheffield United remain without long-term absentee Jack O’Connell. Enda Stevens, Lys Mousset and Ethan Ampadu all missed the defeat by Leicester but Blades manager Chris Wilder is hopeful the trio will be in contention for Sunday’s game.
Sheffield United’s most recent top-flight win at Southampton was by 4-2 at The Dell in January 1992. Saints won both meetings last season and could record three consecutive victories in this fixture for the first time since a four-match sequence in 1950.
Southampton’s tally of 20 points from their opening 11 matches is five more than their combined total at this stage of the previous two seasons. They have only been beaten in one of their past nine league fixtures (W6, D2). Saints have scored at least twice in six successive top-flight home games, their longest such run since a club record eight-match sequence in 1984. Danny Ings has been directly involved in eight goals in eight Premier League appearances this season, scoring six and assisting two. Ings is one short of 50 Premier League goals.
The Blades have made the second worst start in the history of the English top flight, with only Manchester United having taken fewer points from their opening 11 games (they had zero in 1930-31). No team has taken fewer than four points from their opening 12 Premier League fixtures and avoided relegation. Sheffield United are winless in 14 league matches dating back to July, losing 13 times – including each of the last six. Eight of their 10 league defeats this season have been by a single-goal margin. Defeat would mean United begin a top-flight campaign with six consecutive away defeats for the first time since the 1975-76 season, when they went on to finish bottom.
Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur
Selhurst Park, London
Ref: Kevin Friend
The 1-1 draw in last season’s corresponding fixture in July ended Crystal Palace’s nine-match Premier League losing streak against Spurs. Jeffrey Schlupp’s equaliser in that game is the Eagles’ only goal in 13 hours versus Tottenham. Palace’s solitary victory in the past 14 Premier League meetings was 2-1 at home in January 2015.
Crystal Palace’s injury list continues to ease, with young left-back Tyrick Mitchell the only doubt due to a cold. Nathan Ferguson, Wayne Hennessey and Connor Wickham remain long-term absentees.
Tottenham will again be without Erik Lamela because of an ongoing foot injury, while Serge Aurier is being assessed. Midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was rested in the Europa League but is expected to return on Sunday.
Crystal Palace have equalled their highest points tally after 11 matches of a Premier League season. They also had 16 at this stage in 2015-16. However, Palace have only won two of their past nine home fixtures. The Eagles are on a 17-match winless home run against established top-six opposition in the Premier League. Roy Hodgson’s side had scored a league-high five goals inside the opening 15 minutes of games prior to the weekend. They have led for 453 minutes this term, second only to Tottenham’s tally of 510. Wilfried Zaha has scored seven goals in nine league games for Palace in 2020-21. Christian Benteke scored two goals last weekend, as many as he managed in his previous 31 league outings.
This is the first time Tottenham have been top of the table at this stage of a season since 1984-85. The Premier League leaders are unbeaten in 10 games, winning seven and drawing three. Tottenham can equal the club top-flight record of five consecutive clean sheets. Spurs are 11 points better off than this stage of last season. Mauricio Pochettino was sacked after their 12th game. Jose Mourinho has won 40 of his 63 Premier League London derbies. Son Heung-min has scored 10 league goals after 11 games. He is the first Spurs player to reach double figures this early in the season since Gary Lineker scored 13 in 1991-92. Son and Harry Kane have combined for 11 of Tottenham’s 23 Premier League goals in 2020-21. Kane has scored 20 goals and assisted 11 others in 29 league appearances under Mourinho.
Fulham vs Liverpool
Craven Cottage, London
Sunday, 13-12-2020 @7:30pm
Ref: Andre Mariner
Fulham boss Scott Parker has reported no new injuries so could name the same side for a third consecutive match. This game comes too soon for full-back Kenny Tete, who made his comeback from a calf strain by playing for the under-23 side on Friday.
Liverpool will monitor Alisson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, both of whom could come back into contention. Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas suffered minor problems against Midtjylland in midweek and will be assessed.
Liverpool have won six successive Premier League games against Fulham, scoring 18 goals and conceding just four times. The Whites’ last victories in this fixture came in the 2011-12 season, when they won home and away. None of Fulham’s 14 Premier League home games against Liverpool have finished level, with the Cottagers claiming five wins to the Reds’ nine.
Fulham have lost four of their opening five home league matches in a season for the first time. The Whites have conceded seven goals in the first 15 minutes of Premier League matches this season, three more than any other side prior to the weekend. They also have the joint-worst record in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, conceding six unanswered goals. Fulham are winless in 11 Premier League games against the reigning champions since a 3-0 victory versus Manchester United on 19 December 2009. Scott Parker has lost 15 of his 21 top-flight matches since taking charge of Fulham, initially as caretaker manager. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa has completed 38 dribbles in the Premier League this season, more than any other player after 11 match rounds.
Liverpool are winless in their past four Premier League away games (D3, L1). Their solitary away victory this season came at Chelsea in September, and going into this weekend they rank only 16th for most points earned on the road this season. Jurgen Klopp’s side can keep back-to-back Premier League clean sheets for the first time since June. Liverpool have won their 18 most recent league matches against newly-promoted teams, nine short of the top-flight record set by Chelsea between 2002 and 2006. The Reds are the only club to have scored in all of their Premier League fixtures this season. Mohamed Salah has scored just once in his last 12 Premier League appearances in London, with that strike coming at West Ham in January
Arsenal vs Burnley
Emirates Stadium, London
Sunday, 13-12-2020 @10:15pm
Ref: Graham Scot
Arsenal have won their past nine home games against Burnley in all competitions. The Clarets are winless in 15 league matches away to the Gunners since Peter Noble earned them a 1-0 victory at Highbury in September 1974 (D4, L11).
Arsenal will assess David Luiz, who has not featured since suffering a head injury against Wolves, while Thomas Partey is absent with a thigh problem. This game is likely to come too soon for Gabriel Martinelli, who made his comeback from a serious knee injury by playing for the under-23s on Tuesday.
Burnley are hopeful Phil Bardsley will return to contention for Sunday’s game. Dale Stephens and Johann Berg Gudmundsson will also be monitored, but Jack Cork is not yet ready to play.
The Gunners could lose four consecutive home league games for the first time since 1959, a sequence which included a 4-2 defeat by Burnley. Arsenal’s total of 13 points from 11 matches represents their worst start to a top-flight season since 1981, when they had 12 points at this stage. Mikel Arteta’s side have lost six of their past nine league games. The Gunners’ total of 62 chances created from open play is the third lowest in the Premier League this season, with only Burnley (57) and Newcastle (60) ranking lower. They have gone 656 minutes without scoring a top-flight goal from open play. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored a career-high seven Premier League goals against Burnley in just five matches. David Luiz is one short of becoming the fourth Brazilian player to make 200 Premier League appearances, emulating Lucas Leiva, Willian and Fernandinho.
Burnley have won one of their past 11 league games, losing seven times. The Clarets have registered 27 shots on target, the lowest figure in the Premier League this season. Their total of five goals is the joint lowest in the division prior to the weekend. Burnley could fail to score in four consecutive top-flight away matches for the first time since December 2016.
Leicester City vs Brighton and Hove Albion
King Power Stadium, Leicestershire
Sunday, 13-12-2020 @10:15pm
Ref: Martin Atkinson
Leicester’s James Maddison is fit despite missing Thursday’s win against AEK Athens with a minor knee problem. Defenders Timothy Castagne and Caglar Soyuncu are back in training but both are more likely to be involved in Wednesday’s match against Everton.
Brighton’s Adam Lallana is again expected to miss out because of a groin problem. Fellow midfielders Alexis Mac Allister and Davy Propper are nearing returns and will be monitored.
Leicester are unbeaten in all six of their Premier League meetings with Brighton (W4, D2), keeping a clean sheet in four of those matches. Brighton’s solitary victory in their past eight away games against Leicester in all competitions came in April 2014, when the Foxes had already sealed promotion from the Championship (D3, L4).
Leicester have lost four of their past six league matches at the King Power Stadium, as many defeats as they suffered in their first 23 top-flight home games under Brendan Rodgers. The Foxes have scored 10 goals in the final 20 minutes of Premier League matches this season, more than any other side prior to the weekend. Leicester have been awarded eight Premier League penalties this season, while matches involving Brighton have featured 10 spot-kicks (five for, five against) – both totals are the highest in the top flight. Jamie Vardy has scored 41 Premier League goals since Brendan Rodgers took charge of his first Leicester game on 3 March – eight more goals than any other player in this period. Vardy is set to play his 222nd Premier League match for the Foxes, equalling Muzzy Izzet as Leicester’s record appearance holder in the competition.
Brighton have won two of their opening 11 league matches, their joint-lowest total at this stage of a top-flight campaign. The Seagulls have claimed 14 points from their past eight away games (W4, D2, L2), as many as in their previous 20 attempts. Brighton have scored in eight consecutive top-flight away matches since June’s 0-0 draw at Leicester. Graham Potter’s side have conceded six Premier League goals from set-pieces (excluding penalties) this season, a tally exceeded only by Leicester’s seven. As a player, Potter made his Premier League debut in Southampton’s 2-1 defeat by Leicester at Filbert Street in August 1996.
Premier League latest results
-Leeds United 1-2 West Ham United
-Wolves 0-1 Aston Villa
-Newcastle United 2-1 West Bromwich Albion
-Man United 0-0 Man City
-Everton 1-0 Chelsea