Leeds 1-2 West Ham
West Ham utilised their set piece prowess to exploit a familiar weakness in Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds as they came from behind to claim victory at Elland Road.
The home side took the lead early in the first half after Patrick Bamford was felled by Lukasz Fabianski; the Pole’s countryman Mateusz Klich spot-kick minutes later at the second attempt at VAT intervened to rule Fabianski had stepped off his line to save the initial strike.
The equaliser came through Tomas Soucek’s back post header as the Czech nodded past Ilian Meslier from a Jared Bowen corner – and in the second half the Hammers utilised their height to find the winner as Angelo Ogbonna rose heighest to connect with an Aaron Cresswell set piece routine.
French striker Sebastien Haller missed a hatful of chances for the visitors while Pablo Fornals might feel he also should have scored on a night that the scoreline did not flatter David Moyes’ men.
Saturday 12 December
Wolves v Aston Villa – Live stream
BT Sport 1 HD & BT Sport Ultimate, 11.30am (12.30pm KO)
A midlands derby is the perfect start to an action-packed day of football and that’s just what we’ve got in store on BT Sport as Villa head to Molineux.
It’s not been a happy hunting ground for the Villans of late, having lost on each of their last three visits. In fact, Wolves won both games last season and are chasing a third straight triumph in this fixture for the first time since a run of seven between 1957 and 1960.
The away side’s impressive start to the season has tailed off somewhat, having lost four of their last five league games. But Villa boss Dean Smith will hope the extra week’s preparation – following the postponement of the trip to Newcastle – will have given them plenty of time to ready themselves for this one.
If the hosts are to come out on top once again then their sturdy backline will likely play a key role, with no side having conceded fewer than their five at home so far this campaign.
Newcastle v West Brom
NOW TV via BT TV, 3pm KO
The big question around St James’ Park on Saturday will be in what shape are the Newcastle squad?
Their training ground was closed for more than a week due to a coronavirus outbreak that meant several players and staff were forced to isolate.
After last weekend’s postponement against Aston Villa, their Darsley Park base was reopened on Tuesday giving Steve Bruce a few days to prepare for the Baggies.
The club have released few details about who was affected and the Magpies will hope star striker Callum Wilson is fit to lead the charge.
For the visitors meanwhile, this could be just the edge they need to boost their hopes of survival and pick up a potentially-vital three points as they sit mired in the relegation zone.
Having lost four of their last five, three points in the north east would be most welcome for Slaven Bilic before heading into the hectic festive period.
NOW TV via BT TV, 5.30pm KO
What is always one of the standout games of the season has taken on perhaps more significance than usual given the relatively slow starts both sides have made in the league.
Occupying sixth and seventh in the table respectively, with both having a game in hand on most of their rivals, three points are vital for both sides if they are to keep pace with Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Following their Champions League exit in midweek, the pressure continues to rise on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. But could Pep Guardiola’s side actually be the perfect visitors to Old Trafford this weekend?
Of all managers the former Bayern Munich boss has faced at least four times, the Norwegian boasts the highest win rate (60%) including doing the league double last season.
City have looked more like themselves in recent weeks however, picking up their first back-to-back league wins and converting their chances against Burnley and Fulham in their last two league outings.
So the big question is, what United are going to turn up on Saturday evening? And can they put a halt to the City juggernaut just as it gathers momentum?
Everton v Chelsea – Live stream
BT Sport 1 HD & BT Sport Ultimate, 7.30pm (8pm KO)
Having started your Premier League Saturday on BT Sport, there’s only one place to finish it – with a trip to Goodison Park where Carlo Ancelotti welcomes his former side.
The tactical battle between the Italian and his former player Frank Lampard will be a fascinating subplot as Everton look to get their season back on track.
Having come flying out of the blocks their form has stuttered in recent weeks, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s goalscoring certainly hasn’t and he’ll be confident even against Chelsea’s newly-watertight backline.
Only Tottenham have conceded fewer than the Blues in the league, who have not let in a goal in their last three on the road, and they’ve been scoring at a rate of knots too.
Having already secured top spot in the group, Lampard was able to rest some of his star names in the Champions League in midweek and with them back in the line-up, they’ll be confident of picking up their first win at Goodison since 2017.
Sunday 13 December
Southampton v Sheffield Utd
NOW TV via BT TV, 12pm KO
The Saints were handed two welcome boosts on Monday night, one in the shape of a much-debated VAR penalty and the second in top scorer Danny Ings’ return.
Ings, who missed a month with a knee injury, duly slotted home the spot kick to earn Southampton all three points and keep them in their lofty position of fifth.
The fact the England international has scored more league goals than the whole Sheffield United squad combined (six to five) highlights the main problem facing Chris Wilder’s men.
Having lost 10 of their opening 11 games, second season syndrome does appear to have impacted the Blades who need to start picking up points fast if they’re to have any hope of beating the drop.
Worryingly that run stretches into the backend of last season too, having lost 13 of their last 14 top flight matches, and a trip to in-form Southampton doesn’t look like the place for that to change – on paper at least.
Crystal Palace v Tottenham
NOW TV via BT TV, 2.15pm KO
The league leaders make the trip across the Thames looking to extend an impressive run against Crystal Palace, with Spurs unbeaten in their last 10 – winning nine of them.
The challenge facing Roy Hodgson’s men is clear if very difficult – stop Harry Kane and Son Heung-min while somehow also exposing the league’s meanest defence.
The England captain and team-mate Son have already combined for 11 Premier League goals this season, just two short of Alan Shearer and our very own Chris Sutton’s record of 13 in an entire campaign.
Add to that Jose Mourinho’s typically-tight backline and you can see why Spurs are certainly title contenders this season.
But the hosts have hit some goal-scoring form of their own, netting at least four times in two of their last four league outings – having managed it just three times in the previous 117 games under the former England manager.
Whether Christian Benteke can maintain the scoring touch he found against West Brom come Sunday afternoon’s London derby will be an interesting subplot to this one.
NOW TV via BT TV, 4.30pm KO
Manchester City followed by Liverpool is not the kindest set of back-to-back fixtures Fulham could have hoped for as they look to keep their heads above relegation waters.
Sitting just a point above the drop zone the home side’s recent form against the champions does not make for particularly good reading – losing the last six by an aggregate score of 18-4.
Add to that the run Jurgen Klopp’s men are on against newly-promoted sides, winning their last 18 in a row, and the size of the task facing Scott Parker becomes even more daunting.
The fact the already-stretched Liverpool squad had to play a Champions League fixture in midweek may give the Cottagers some hope however.
With Tottenham heading to Anfield a few days later, coming away from Craven Cottage with all three points would put the defending champions in a strong position to get back to the summit of the table.
NOW TV via BT TV, 7.15pm KO
Traditionally speaking this is not a fixture one would associate with a relegation scrap and while that may be going a little too far, the fact Arsenal are closer to Burnley in the relegation zone than the top four tells the story of the Gunners’ season.
The Clarets are just one of three teams to score fewer league goals than the hosts, who despite their wealth of attacking talent have only found the back of the net 10 times in 11 games.
Having won their last nine home meetings in all competitions with Sean Dyche’s side however, Mikel Arteta could hardly have asked for a better fixture on paper as they look to end a run of three straight league defeats at the Emirates.
For the visitors meanwhile, taking advantage of the doom and gloom surrounding Arsenal is exactly what they’ll be looking to do.
In this, the most unpredictable Premier League for many a year, picking up a first Premier League away win at Arsenal might not be quite as unlikely as it seems.
Prime Video via BT TV, 7.15pm KO
The final fixture of Matchday 12 comes from the King Power Stadium where Europa League Leicester are looking to keep pace at the top of the table.
The Foxes got back to winning ways thanks to Jamie Vardy’s late winner against Sheffield United last time out and will be confident of maintaining their unbeaten record against Brighton in the Premier League.
In fact, the Seagulls have won just one of their last eight away games against Brendan Rodgers’ side. However, Leicester have lost four of their last six on home soil – as many as they had done in their previous 23 games.
Brighton’s away form also makes this a difficult one to predict, with Graham Potter overseeing four wins and two draws in the last eight on the road.
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