This weekend Premier League is showing off with Tottenham vs. Manchester City and the managerial classic between José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, Liverpool vs. Leicester for the top, and Marcelo Bielsa wanting to get back on track at the expense of Arsenal. Here’s a complete preview, including updated soccer odds and our betting picks.
What a way for Premier League to be back: not a proper historical classic, but three games with a high degree of fascination each on its own. The bigger, not for the table but for the power unfolded off and on the pitch, must be Tottenham vs. Manchester City. Because whenever a Mourinho vs. Guardiola face-off, that is always the match of the day.
And on a side note, Tottenham off the spotlight are climbing their way to the top and it’s all up to Mourinho’s work to build confidence and fix one problem at a time, while Manchester City actually have to grab this chance to beat a possible direct contender and rise back, as nobody would ever expect to see them falling so behind in the table. But if we look at the golden rule of considering the match of the day as the game that is combining the most points between the two on the pitch, then look no further than Liverpool vs. Leicester.
The Reds have to deal with so many issues and injuries, and that is a consistent part of why they dropped points and leadership; but wowzer, what a job from Leicester, that have stolen anything and have not lost composure as the pressure of high table was mounting. Finally, Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds hosting Arsenal and Mikel Arteta means a game at full entertainment where definitely LUFC see their opponent as the perfect one to not be consistent in spite of the better quality.
Tottenham vs. Manchester City
Saturday, November 21, 2020 – 12:30 PM EST at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
It’s the 24th encounter between Pep and Jose, and Guardiola leads largely with 11 wins, 6 draws, and 6 defeats. A very reliable balance cause they both always met having teams with comparable strength and budget, so Guardiola's ability to overplay Mourinho is what has been dominating all along.
There is a ‘but’. Basically, 4 out of the 6 wins from Mourinho meant a title, which makes them much heavier. And especially, in spite of this duel spanning across the last 11 years, still the breakdown of the last 3 encounters tells a completely different story, with 2 Mourinho wins out of 3, a record he never had in the decade before. And most important and most apt for this game, he completely swept City away with Tottenham in past February in the only match they played with current clubs.
But Guardiola has fallen back to 10th position, just going through too many defensive mistakes, and especially he has not been able to win an away game in Premier against a big club since past December (and anyway it was Arsenal)! They must play their chance, and be sure that Spurs are so confident that won’t hold back.
Liverpool vs. Leicester
Sunday, November 22, 2020 - 02:15 PM EST at Anfield
There is no peace for Jurgen Klopp. Once Alisson Becker recovers, he loses Mo Salah. And if that wasn't enough, now also Joe Gomez, whose absence normally wouldn’t affect that much Liverpool, unless when Virgil Van Dijk is out for the rest of the season.
The situation is pretty tough, but definitely is John Belushi time: when the game gets tough, the tough gets going. The reds dropped leadership in favor of Leicester, but that was only because they were through the game vs. City. The team will be more focused on this than on the following Champions League match where their situation is pretty smooth. Stunning 6 wins in a row in official games for Leicester, but the most difficult side beaten in this streak was Arsenal, which ain’t easy but definitely, they have been helped by the calendar.
Leeds vs. Arsenal
Sunday, November 22, 2020 - 11:30 AM EST at Elland Road
Possible we just asked too much from Leeds. To surprise us, entertain us, and win. Too little time for demanding them to be consistent all the way and also not being distracted by the many compliments pouring in.
Three defeats in the last four games, the same record as Arsenal, although the Gunners had a harder calendar. But these two weeks to work constantly together will be very valuable for Bielsa and Co, and that can immediately strike back.