The Premier League is back for a weekend of thrilling action following the international break.
Matchday 12 features the return of a special player in EPL history, this time under managerial duties, and a pair of clashes between top-four hopefuls and clubs with title aspirations.
Here's everything you need to know:
Leicester City vs. Chelsea
Saturday, Nov. 20 at 7:30AM ET | Live stream
Result: Leicester (+400), Draw (+250), Chelsea (-138)
Goals: 2.5 — Over (+100), Under (-125)
Leicester and Chelsea face off for the first time since the Foxes reigned supreme and won the FA Cup back in May.
Unfortunately for them, repeating a victory over the Premier League-leading Blues in their current form will take something special.
Leicester sits 12th in the Premier League table and enters Saturday’s matchup winless in its last three. The international break came at a great time in that regard, giving the club a chance to regroup during a bad run.
After October’s international break, the Foxes pulled together three consecutive victories. They’ll hope to find that magic again but will have to do so without injured FA Cup hero Youri Tielemans this time around.
Chelsea, unlike Leicester, continues to play like a well-oiled machine. Tuchel's side has gone 7-1-0 since the beginning of October, allowing only three goals.
— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) November 12, 2021
A stretch of Leicester, Juventus and Man United following the international break should put their prowess to the test, though. What’s more, Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku, Marcos Alonso, Mateo Kovacic and Timo Werner are all dealing with injuries and could miss time. If Leicester has any chance of getting a result, that’s why.
Aston Villa vs. Brighton
Saturday, Nov. 20 at 10:00AM ET | Live stream
Result: Villa (+150), Draw (+225), Brighton (+180)
Goals: 2.5 — Over (+110), Under (-138)
Steven Gerrard, one of the greatest Premier League players of all time, is back in England’s top flight. This time, as a manager.
With over 500 Premier League appearances, the Liverpool legend is returning to the EPL after leaving the Reds for the LA Galaxy in 2015.
He began his managerial career with Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers in 2018, successfully leading them to their first-ever unbeaten league campaign and a first league title in 10 years last season.
Though Gerrard will surely be eyeing the Liverpool job in the long run, he’s replacing Dean Smith at Aston Villa on a 3.5-year deal for now. The spot along the Reds’ touchline is more than locked up at the moment.
Steven Gerrard is 🔙 in the Premier League
The Liverpool legend has been appointed the new manager of Aston Villa ✅ pic.twitter.com/r1djnOVcK6
— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) November 11, 2021
41-year-old Gerrard has shown that his genius on the pitch can translate to his tactics from the bench with his work at Rangers, but he’ll have his work cut out for him.
Villa is currently 16th in the table, two points outside of relegation, and suffering through a five-game losing streak. The club hasn’t won a game since September.
First up is a test against a Brighton side that hasn’t won since September either, but unlike Villa, remains in the hunt for a top-four finish.
For now, Gerrard's main task is to keep the team from stumbling back into the second-tier Championship. Unfortunately, that single coveted piece of Premier League hardware that eluded him his whole career won’t come any time soon with Villa.
Liverpool vs. Arsenal
Saturday, Nov. 20 at 12:30PM ET | Live stream
Result: Liverpool (-250), Draw (+400), Arsenal (+550)
Goals: 2.5 — Over (-200), Under (+162)
This could’ve been a crime scene earlier in the season, but suddenly Arsenal is in Liverpool’s rear-view mirror – just two points behind in the table.
Despite losing for the first time in 25 matches with defeat to West Ham on Matchday 11, the Reds have won just two of their last six Premier League tilts and are now in fourth place, trailing leaders Chelsea by four points.
Meanwhile, Arsenal has risen from the bottom of the table and shot up to fifth place. Since beginning the season with three losses without scoring a single goal, the Gunners have gone 8-2-0 in all competitions and are riding a four-game win streak.
Emile Smith-Rowe has broken out into a genuine star player for the club with goals in three consecutive Premier League games. The 21-year-old's impressive run of form earned him a first England national team call-up this international window.
Smith Rowe steps up again for the Gunners 🚀 pic.twitter.com/yT78yV7o01
— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) November 7, 2021
Mikel Arteta’s side is catching Jurgen Klopp and the Reds at an opportune time due to their subpar recent play and plethora of injuries – all of Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Naby Keita, Harvey Elliott, Roberto Firmino and Joe Gomez could miss Saturday’s battle.
Still, as the odds suggest, a Gunners victory remains a longshot. Arsenal hasn’t played a side of Liverpool’s calibre in some weeks, and they last won at Anfield in the Premier League in September 2012.
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