Premier League Matchday 12: Stevie G returns and Gunners head to Liverpool

Cian Cheesbrough
LiveScore
19/11/202116:15
Steven Gerrard makes his Premier League return as he takes charge of Aston Villa for the first time
Steven Gerrard makes his Premier League return as he takes charge of Aston Villa for the first time

There are managerial debuts and an eye-catching collision between Liverpool and Arsenal in a thrilling set of Premier League matches this weekend. 

Steven Gerrard makes his return to English football as Aston Villa host Brighton, while Leicester’s game against leaders Chelsea is another notable Matchday 12 clash.

Read on as we run the rule over all 10 fixtures.

Leicester vs Chelsea (Saturday, 12.30pm, BT Sport 1)

Chelsea will hope to preserve their three-point lead at the top against a Leicester side struggling for consistency. 

The Foxes find themselves 12th in the table but can secure a third victory over the Blues this year after beating them 2-0 at the King Power last season and 1-0 in the FA Cup final.

Brendan Rodgers’ men are also unbeaten in three home games against the Blues (one win and two draws) — their longest run on home soil against them since May 1995 — and will be delighted to learn Romelu Lukaku is not ready to return.

But Chelsea are in fine form on their travels after winning their last three away games by an aggregate of 7-0 — they have not won four in a row without conceding since December 2008.

Thomas Tuchel has revealed Romelu Lukaku will not be fit to face Leicester
Thomas Tuchel has revealed Romelu Lukaku will not be fit to face Leicester

Aston Villa vs Brighton (Saturday, 3pm)

More than six years since he last played in the English top flight, Gerrard makes his bow as a boss in the Premier League as Villa face the high-flying Seagulls.

But the 41-year-old former midfielder will have his work cut out to transform his new side's fortunes after a dismal run of five straight defeats led to predecessor Dean Smith’s sacking. To make matters worse, the hosts are also winless in three against Brighton.

Despite their lofty position of seventh in the table, Graham Potter’s men are hunting their first win in five in the league — though they have lost only once on that run.

Gerrard is expected to be without midfielders Douglas Luiz and Morgan Sanson, while Brighton are missing Enock Mwepu, Steven Alzate and keeper Robert Sanchez (suspended).

Steven Gerrard will need to arrest Aston Villa's poor form
Steven Gerrard will need to arrest Aston Villa's poor form

Watford vs Manchester United (Saturday, 3pm)

After a humbling defeat by rivals Manchester City before the international break, Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer takes his team to struggling Watford knowing his position remains in doubt. 

But the Red Devils will be buoyed by the fact they have won 12 of their 14 top-flight games against the hosts. 

Claudio Ranieri’s Hornets are teetering just two points above the drop zone, with no team failing to score in more Premier League games than them (seven), while they have not kept a clean sheet in 21 top-flight games.

United are on a difficult run of their own having lost four of the last six — as many defeats as they had in their previous 40.

Since 2003-04, Cristiano Ronaldo has been involved in 104 goals in 91 Premier League appearances against newly-promoted teams (83 goals and 21 assists), an involvement every 71 minutes.

Cristiano Ronaldo has a remarkable record against newly-promoted teams
Cristiano Ronaldo has a remarkable record against newly-promoted teams

Newcastle vs Brentford (Saturday, 3pm)

Winless Newcastle must do without Eddie Howe for the visit of Brentford after their new boss tested positive for coronavirus. 

The Magpies are the only Premier League team yet to taste victory, with 11 games their longest winless run at the start of any league campaign.

If Howe was in any doubt of the job on his hands, Newcastle are one of two sides yet to keep a clean sheet this season, while only Norwich (26) have conceded more than the 24 goals they have let in.

Brentford have conceded seven goals in their last three Premier League games — the same number they shipped in their first eight after earning promotion.

Bees striker Ivan Toney returns to St James’ Park after spending three years there between 2015 and 2018 — and Newcastle have conceded more against former players than any other club in the division (49).

Eddie Howe will not be at St James' Park
Eddie Howe will not be at St James' Park

Wolves vs West Ham (Saturday, 3pm)

High-flying West Ham travel to Wolves hoping to cement their place in the Premier League’s top four.

David Moyes’ men head into Matchday 12 three points off leaders Chelsea after four straight wins, including a stunning 3-2 victory over Liverpool a fortnight ago.

The Hammers are unbeaten in 11 away games in all competitions, their longest run as a Premier League club.

Wolves' four-game unbeaten run came to an end against Crystal Palace last time out but the Midlands outfit will look to make it three wins in three at home — as many as they had in their previous seven at Molineux.

West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen has five goal involvements in his last five Premier League games (two goals and three assists), while he has scored more against Wolves than he has against any other side (three).

Wolves pair Trincao (three) and Adam Traore (1.9) have the two highest expected goals totals of players yet to score in the Premier League this season.

Jarrod Bowen has been a standout player during West Ham's impressive campaign so far
Jarrod Bowen has been a standout player during West Ham's impressive campaign so far

Norwich vs Southampton (Saturday, 3pm)

Carrow Road is the setting for another managerial debut as former Villa boss Dean Smith takes charge of Norwich for the first time against Southampton.

Ironically, a 1-0 defeat to the Saints saw Smith axed by his boyhood club — and he will become the first Premier League manager to face the same team in consecutive games during the same season.

The Canaries earned their first Premier League win in 21 games against Brentford last time out and are aiming to make it back-to-back top-flight victories for the first time since April 2016.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men are in a rich vein of form in the league, with that win over Villa at St Mary’s meaning they have taken 10 points from a possible 12 in their last four.

Smith is expected to have a near fully-fit squad to choose from with only long-term absentees Christoph Zimmermann and Sam Byram ruled out.

Hasenhuttl will have to choose which two of his three in-form strikers to pick with Adam Armstrong, Che Adams and Armando Broja all netting during their unbeaten run.

New Norwich boss Dean Smith comes up against Southampton once again
New Norwich boss Dean Smith comes up against Southampton once again

Burnley vs Crystal Palace (Saturday, 3pm)

In-form Crystal Palace are on a run of six matches without defeat ahead of their trip to relegation-threatened Burnley.

The Eagles earned consecutive 2-0 victories over Manchester City and Wolves but Sean Dyche’s men pulled off a shock by picking up a point at Chelsea in their last outing. 

Previous meetings point in favour of the hosts, with the Clarets having won their last three games against Palace and kept a clean sheet in each of them.

After making his England debut on Monday, Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher comes into this game on the back of six goal involvements in 10 matches — two more than he managed in 30 for West Brom last season.

Recent England debutant Conor Gallagher will hope to continue his good form for Crystal Palace
Recent England debutant Conor Gallagher will hope to continue his good form for Crystal Palace

Liverpool vs Arsenal (Saturday, 5.30pm, Sky Sports Main Event)

Arsenal head to Anfield for on the back of three straight wins and are now on the longest unbeaten run of any side in the Premier League (six wins and two draws) — they last went longer without defeat in the top flight between August and December 2018.

But Liverpool are a team they have struggled against in recent times, winning just one of the 11 league clashes against them since Jurgen Klopp took charge on Merseyside. 

Liverpool’s title hopes were dealt a blow last time out with West Ham ending their unbeaten run of 20 games in the Premier League.

In fact, each of Liverpool’s last three losses have come against London sides with Chelsea and Fulham dispatching them before that undefeated streak began.

Emile Smith Rowe and Arenal will face the toughest test of their unbeaten run when they face Liverpool
Emile Smith Rowe and Arenal will face the toughest test of their unbeaten run when they face Liverpool

Manchester City vs Everton (Sunday, 2pm, Sky Sports Main Event)

Manchester City cannot afford to drop points against Everton as they look to make up the gap on leaders Chelsea.

Pep Guardiola’s men are facing a team they have had success against in the past after winning their last seven league meetings with the Toffees — with 21 goals scored and only five conceded in that time.

But the 14 matches Everton have won against reigning champions is the most of any club never to have lifted the Premier League trophy.

After a strong start to the season, Rafa Benitez’s side have gone five games without a win — their longest run without victory since January 2018 under Sam Allardyce.

Guardiola will hope £100million man Jack Grealish will be available after withdrawing from England duty last week, while Mason Holgate misses out for Everton after a red card against Tottenham.

Manchester City will wait on the fitness of Jack Grealish after he withdrew from England duty
Manchester City will wait on the fitness of Jack Grealish after he withdrew from England duty

Tottenham vs Leeds (Sunday, 4.30pm, Sky Sports Main Event)

Antonio Conte manages his first domestic home game as Tottenham boss against Leeds.

Conte has never faced the Yorkshire club before but has gained at least one win against all of the other 53 teams he has tackled in his managerial career in Serie A and the Premier League.

Worryingly for the Italian, Spurs have not had a shot on target in either of their last two league games, with their last coming in the 44th minute of their October defeat against West Ham.

After a troublesome start to the campaign, the Whites are unbeaten in their last three league games but will be looking to stop a run of four consecutive away defeats.

Forward Rodrigo has scored in two of his three appearances against Spurs after netting for Benfica in the Europa League in March 2014 and in a 3-1 victory for Leeds last season.

Tags

Premier LeagueLeicester CityChelseaAston VillaBrighton & Hove AlbionNewcastle UnitedBrentfordNorwich CitySouthamptonCrystal PalaceBurnleyWolverhampton WanderersWest Ham UnitedEvertonManchester CityManchester UnitedWatfordLiverpoolLeedsTottenham HotspurArsenalSteven Gerrard

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