Friday , December 15 2017

Wenger and Mou set for Old Trafford reunion; Leaders Reds, Saints clash – Chelsea visit Middlesbrough; Citizens take on Palace

This file photo taken on October 5, 2014 shows Chelsea’s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (right) and Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger (left) being kept apart by the fourth official Jonathan Moss during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in London on October 5, 2014. (AFP)
This file photo taken on October 5, 2014 shows Chelsea’s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (right) and Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger (left) being kept apart by the fourth official Jonathan Moss during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in London on October 5, 2014. (AFP)

LONDON, Nov 18, (AFP): The next chapter in one of the Premier League’s most volatile managerial rivalries will be written this weekend when Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal visit Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.

Sparks often fly when the pair are obliged to share a touchline, typified by a notorious shoving match during a Chelsea-Arsenal fixture at Stamford Bridge two years ago.

Wenger has never beaten Mourinho in the league and has been branded a “specialist in failure” by his Portuguese nemesis, but with Arsenal six points above United, he currently has the upper hand.

Wenger intends to make a late check on the fitness of Alexis Sanchez, who is not due to report back from international duty with Chile until Friday.

Liverpool, the current leaders, will look to pick up where they left off prior to the international break when they visit Southampton later on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp’s crowd-pleasing side have won seven and drawn two of their last nine league games, culminating in a 6-1 demolition of Watford last time out.

Adam Lallana is likely to miss out for Liverpool after sustaining a groin injury during England’s 2-2 friendly draw with Spain on Tuesday, in which he scored.

But Klopp is hopeful Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino will both be able to feature after jetting back from international duty with Brazil.

Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, a point behind Liverpool in second place, visit Middlesbrough on Sunday, while Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, a point further back in third, travel to Crystal Palace.

City have won only one of their last five league games and conceded top spot prior to the international break after a 1-1 draw at home to Middlesbrough.

Six points from safety, Sunderland and Swansea City are already in danger of being cut off at the foot of the table.

Bottom club Sunderland host third-bottom Hull City on Saturday in an early relegation six-pointer, while Swansea’s new head coach Bob Bradley goes in search of his first win at Everton.

Standings

                             P    W   D    L     GF   GA    Pts

Liverpool                  11     8    2    1      30    14     26

Chelsea                   11     8    1    2      26     9     25

Man City                  11     7    3    1      25    10     24

Arsenal                   11     7    3    1      24    11     24

Tottenham                11     5    6    0      15     6     21

Man Utd                  11     5    3    3      16    13     18

Everton                   11     5    3    3      15    13     18

Watford                   11     4    3    4      15    19     15

Burnley                   11     4    2    5      11    15     14

Southampton             11     3    4    4      12    12     13

West Brom               11     3    4    4      12    15     13

Stoke                      11     3    4    4      13    18     13

Bournemouth             11     3    3    5      13    16     12

Leicester                  11     3    3    5      13    18     12

Middlesbrough           11     2    5    4      10    12     11

Palace                    11     3    2    6      16    19     11

West Ham                11     3    2    6      11    20     11

Hull                       11     3    1    7      10    24     10

Swansea                  11     1    2    8      10    21     5

Sunderland               11     1    2    8      9     21     5

Note: Standings read as played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against & points.

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