The Premier League returns after the international break with West Ham United hosting Tottenham Hotspur in the first encounter of Gameweek 13. Spurs will be under the guidance of new head coach Jose Mourinho after the surprise sacking of Mauricio Pochettino earlier this week and the Portuguese will certainly grab most of the attention. Still, there are plenty of other key games to watch out for including the crunch clash between Chelsea and Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium and the weekend promises plenty of excitement for the footballing faithful across the globe.
Three things to watch out for in the Premier League this weekend:
Tottenham’s response under Mourinho: There is generally a positive response with the change in manager and Spurs fans will be hoping for a strong performance from the club in the derby at West Ham. The north London side are winless in five league games on the bounce but they are up against a Hammers side, who have equally struggled and failed to win any of the previous six top-flight matches. Manuel Pellegrini’s side will no doubt want to end Mourinho’s Premier League comeback on a losing note and the onus remains on the Spurs players to make it count at the first time of asking under their new head coach. Spurs have been guilty of squandering 1-0 leads in each of their last three league matches but they should fare better under Mourinho, who likes to ensure a strong foundation at the back before focusing on the attacking facet of the game.
Manchester City’s testing challenge vs Chelsea: The Cityzens’ defeat to Liverpool before the international break has dropped them nine points adrift of the top of the table and they surely can’t afford another setback with Jurgen Klopp’s side showing no signs of slowing down. On Saturday, they will be up against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea and the game presents another testing challenge for them despite the home advantage. The west Londoners suffered an embarrassing 6-0 defeat at the Etihad in their previous visit but they will go into the upcoming clash with plenty of confidence, given they have won six league games on the trot. Moreover, they have fared much better on their travels and are currently on a seven-match winning run in all competitions. Another victory on the road would create a fresh club history for the most consecutive away wins.
Arsenal’s performance vs Southampton: The Gunners have had a dreadful time since the October international break and they have failed to win any of their previous four league games with just two points gained. They have been comfortably beaten by the likes of Sheffield United and Leicester City on the road during this period but more than this, their home form has been the major disappointment. The north London side have registered first-half leads against Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the past two games but poor second half displays have meant that they have settled for a share of the spoils. Arsenal are already eight points behind the top-four places and they surely can’t afford another winless game as that would further dampen their prospects of Champions League qualification through the league while placing further doubts over the future of manager Unai Emery.