Gameweek 12 – English Premier League

There were big wins in game week 13 for several teams. Spurs were victorious in the North London derby, Liverpool put four past Wolves while Chelsea and Man United came from behind to win their respective games 3-1.

It was another tough weekend at the bottom, West Brom, Sheffield United, Fulham and Brighton all lost the keep them adrift at the foot of the Premier League.

Teams will be raring to go in-game week 12 as we approach the busy Christmas schedule. United and City face off in the big fixture of the weekend: the Manchester derby! Below is this weekend’s full fixture list.

Leeds host West Ham this weekend and both teams will be eager to bounce back. Both teams gave up their 1-0 leads against Chelsea and Man United respectively. Both teams started brightly in their fixtures and highlighted their attacking capabilities. However, it was defensive frailty that cost them points in game week 11. Leeds have been poor at home, winning just one of their five home games this season. The Hammers have only lost twice in their last nine games in the Premier League.

United host City in the Manchester derby this weekend; a fixture renowned for its ferocity and drama. United crashed out of the Champions League this week but their Premier League form has been good recently. The Red Devils have won four consecutive league matches, coming from behind in their last two games. But their leaky defence cost them in a 3-2 loss to RB Leipzig this week – a recurring problem for United. The visitors, however, are in excellent form and have only lost once in their last 14 matches in all competitions. In their last four, Pep Guardiola’s side has not conceded a goal and scored eight.

Everton has struggled lately, winning just one in their last seven matches in the Premier League. Their home form is also declining as Carlo Ancelotti’s side have lost their last two at Goodison Park. Chelsea is the opposite and extended their unbeaten run to 17 matches in all competitions after a 1-1 draw against FC Krasnodar in the Champions League this week. Frank Lampard’s side is unbeaten away from home and hasn’t conceded a single goal in their last three away games.

There is a lot at stake in the Arsenal v Burnley fixture this weekend. Both teams have really struggled in the early stages of the season and they will be well aware of how a positive result in this match could turn their fortunes around. Arsenal is without a win in four Premier League matches, drawing one and losing three. Burnley haven’t fared much better; they have won just one of their opening 11 matches. Expect a tense affair at the Emirates in game week 12 with plenty at stake here!

Players to Watch

  1. Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne is Mr Man City at the moment; he just makes things happen for his team. The Belgian playmaker was given the captaincy in his side’s 2-0 win against Fulham last weekend and it was a captain’s performance. De Bruyne was at the centre of everything City created, moving the ball forward quickly and providing blistering runs forward. He capped his performance with a goal and an assist and will be determined to continue his good form against United this weekend.

2. Christian Benteke

A player with outstanding quality but who rarely shows it. Christian Benteke has lost confidence in recent years, going through long droughts without scoring goals and suffering through an injury crisis. However, he looked at his best as Palace dispatched West Brom 5-1 in game week 11. His link-up play with the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Jeffery Schlupp and Eberechi Eze was exceptional and he thoroughly deserved his two goals. Palace faces tougher opposition in Spurs this weekend. Will Benteke be able to repeat his heroics?

3. Son Heung-Min

Son is Jose Mourinho’s main man. Always a threat on the counter-attack, Mourinho has relied on Son as the focal point between his stubborn defence and lethal attack. The South Korean forward proved this yet again against Arsenal, driving forward in the early stages and curling an absolute peach into the top corner to open the scoring. Son has already scored 10 goals this season and provided three assists in just 11 games.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

It’s likely that the goals will flow again this weekend with teams jostling for positions at either end of the table. Unfortunately, it looks like bad news for some of the teams near the relegation zone, who face tough opposition in game week 12. Below are the weekly predictions from Investing in Soccer.

As December rolls on, the fixtures will start to ramp up over the next month. Game week 13 takes place in mid-week before the frantic Christmas period begins! Who will be on top in the New Year? And who will be fighting for their Premier League status?