Another week down and still the table is looking the most balanced that it has been in a very long time. With teams like Leicester City and West Ham United still in the top five of the 2015-16 Premier League table there are signs of parity, but can it last? I would say that for now, it certainly can, but there will come a time when it starts to even out.
As I proposed in last week’s predictions, Chelsea still has a way to go before their season is turned around. For week 12 they face off against Stoke City, but this is not the same Stoke that made life difficult for travelling teams in the past. This is a great chance for Chelsea to show that they can kick start their season.
Elsewhere Leicester and Watford face off in what sill certainly be an exciting match. Leicester has been dynamic and continue to score goals to keep them second among goals scored with 23, just three behind Man City. Watford remain a cagey team that has allowed just ten goals and still have a major attacking threat with Odion Ighalo, a great FPL pick for anyone.
Manchester United return home to take on a West Brom team that has struggled to score goals, which doesn’t bode well for the Baggies considering the fact that United have allowed just eight goals (tied for the fewest in the Premier League).
|Saturday, November 7|
|10:00ET/15:00BT||Manchester United||1||v||0||West Brom|
|10:00ET/15:00BT||Norwich City||1||v||1||Swansea City|
|10:00ET/15:00BT||West Ham United||2||v||2||Everton|
|Sunday, November 8|
|8:30ET/13:30BT||Aston Villa||0||v||4||Man City|
Still, the biggest match of the weekend is the North London derby with Arsenal playing host to Tottenham Hotspur. In their last six meetings Spurs has won just the one match in last season’s meeting at Whitehart Lane. Arsenal has won four and drawn one including wins in the FA and League Cups.
Both teams head into Sunday’s match with excellent defensive records. Arsenal have a league low (tied with Manchester United) eight goals allowed while Tottenham are just behind them tied for second (with Man City) having allowed nine goals. They have also done well offensively with Arsenal scoring 21 and Spurs scoring 19.
In delving a little deeper into the statistics Arsenal have taken 19.2 shots per game with 6.7 shots on target. In addition they have a league high 14.4 dribbles per game. Defensively the Gunners have given up the third fewest shots per game at 10.5 while averaging 20.5 tackles per game, the second most interceptions per game at 20.8 and given up second fewest fouls per game at 9.2.
Tottenham has taken the third most shots per game at 15.9 with second most on target at 6.5, although they dribble less often at 9.4 per game. Their defensive record includes the most tackles per game at 24.2 as well as a solid 19 interceptions per game. Their pressing game often leads to fouls with an average of 14 per game, which leads the Premier League. They also average 12.5 shots give up per game.
All of these stats could mean very little in a match as highly charged as this one, but it should be very tight. I’d expect Arsenal to dominate possession (average of 56.2% compared to Spurs at 53.3%) and Spurs to give up plenty of fouls. This could be the difference in the game if they aren’t careful and give up a foul in the wrong place, or pick up too many yellow cards. Spurs have picked up the most yellows this season at 26, but have not had a player sent off yet, while Arsenal have had two red cards so far.
I’m predicting a close 1-1 draw, but this could really go either way. With Arsenal’s form and ability to break down teams, I am giving them the edge in Sunday’s match.
Feel free to leave your comments below, what are your thoughts on the Arsenal v Tottenham preview? Any predictions that you would change in week 12 of the Premier League?