Following the final international break of the year, Premier League football will be back this weekend for the 13th round of matches. Here are some things to look out for.
Spurs threaten Chelsea’s unbeaten record
Maurizio Sarri’s seamless start to life as Chelsea boss will be put under a severe test when he takes his side to Wembley to face London rivals Tottenham. The Blues are currently unbeaten in 18 matches across all competitions. Nevertheless, they will doubtlessly have to be at their best to beat Spurs in the derby. Mauricio Pochettino’s men have found form in recent weeks and could leapfrog their opponents with a home win. Their value for a Home Win is currently at 2.70, while Chelsea’s for an Away Win is at 2.50.
Pellegrini to face former masters
It will be a huge weekend for West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini, who faces former employers Manchester City for the first time since he left the club in 2016. He might not admit it publicly, but he must harbour some regrets over the way his departure was handled. Pep Guardiola was announced as his successor while he was still in charge at the Etihad.
He might have to hold any thoughts of revenge, however, as City are currently in rampant form. They will also still be on a high after comprehensively winning the Manchester derby before the international break.
Brighton’s home comforts
Brighton are currently 12th in the Premier League standings, six points clear of the relegation zone. This positive position is largely as a result of their fine form at the Amex Stadium. They have won three and drawn only one of their five home matches in the league this season. They face Leicester City in a tricky tie this weekend, but they will hope to continue to shine in front of their fans. A Home Win for Brighton is at odds of 2.95; their Double Chance odds at 1.55.
Mourinho seeks redemption
The international break arguably came at the worst time for José Mourinho and his Manchester United team. After showing signs of improving performances and results, the Red Devils slumped to a 3-1 defeat to City in the derby. They get the chance to get back to winning ways when they host the struggling Crystal Palace at Old Trafford this weekend.
Odd race for the Golden Boot
This season’s race for the Golden Boot is shaping up to be slightly more interesting than in recent seasons. Some usual names are in the running, as Sergio Aguero (eight goals) leads the charts. Eden Hazard has six, as many as the immediate last two winners of the award, Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane.
The field is much more crowded this time though, with a total of 17 players within three goals of each other at the top of the scoring charts.
Some dark horses for the award include Everton’s Richarlison, whose outright odds for the big prize are at 35.00. Manchester United’s Anthony Martial is valued at 39.00. Both of them have six goals apiece.