All Access Soccer



By: Matthew Carroll, All Access Soccer Premier League & International Expert

Matchday 10
With a quarter of the season now officially in the books, Matchday 10 of the English Premier League will kick off with a doozy of a matchup bright and early Saturday morning. So be sure to set that alarm and catch all of the action live on the NBC family of networks or online at NBC Live Extra.
Saturday (all times eastern)
7:30am – Tottenham @ Manchester United – Old Trafford, NBC Sports Network
Heading into last weekend, the sides from Manchester were threatening to turn the title fight in to a two-horse race, but it looks like we can now add a third team to the mix as Tottenham capitalized on two mistakes from a Liverpool defense that remains in shambles to cruise to a 4-1 victory. They will travel to Old Trafford to kick off the weekend against Manchester United, who saw their eight-game unbeaten run to start the campaign come to an end when they were unable to overturn a two-goal deficit and fell for the first time in 65 years to Huddersfield Town 2-1.
It was a historic victory for the newly promoted Terriers, and moved United five points back of Manchester City and level with their weekend opponent on twenty points. Both sides will be wary of falling further behind the scintillating City but it should be United the more confident bunch heading in, with the Red Devils dropping only four of their last thirty-six meetings across all competitions with Tottenham (W24 L8 D4), which included an unbeaten run that stretched a remarkable twenty-six games, and winning twenty of their last twenty-five against Spurs at Old Trafford (L2 D3).
10am – West Ham United @ Crystal Palace – Selhurst Park, NBC Live Extra
While the fight at the top of the table is in full swing, a battle is brewing at the bottom with cellar dwellers Crystal Palace unable to follow up their victory over Chelsea the week before although having more than their fair chances before ultimately paying the price four minutes from time in a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United. They will return home to welcome West Ham United to Selhurst Park for a London Derby, with the pressure increasing by the day on manager Slaven Bilic after his side slumped to defeat and down to 16th in the table after falling to the newly promoted Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0.
The visit across town will give the embattled Croatian one last chance to save his job, although his side took a step in the right direction in the midweek when they fought back from a two goal halftime deficit with three goals in a fifteen minute span to book their place in the quarterfinals of the Carabou Cup at the expense of the mighty Tottenham, and will be confident of taking another step at the weekend after going unbeaten in their last four London Derbies with Crystal Palace under Bilic, coming out winners in three of those affairs and in their last three trips to Selhurst Park.
Sunday (all times eastern)
12pm – Everton @ Leicester City – King Power Stadium, NBC Sports Extra
Ronald Koeman found himself in a similar position to Bilic just last week however the Dutchmen was unable to avoid the firing line with a 5-2 loss to Arsenal, which was the Toffees seventh in eleven matches and left the Merseysiders in the bottom three of the table with just eight points from nine games, his last game in charge after his dismissal on Monday morning. A caretaker manager will be on the touchline Sunday afternoon when they travel to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City, who won for the first time in their last six league games (L3 D3) with a 2-1 win over Swansea City.
The Foxes were likewise in a similar position to Everton, with the dismissal of Craig Shakespeare only days before leaving them searching for their third manager in the span of eight months and a caretaker manager in charge for the victory over the Swans. They will hope the appointment this week of former Southampton manager Claude Puel will be the start of their climb out of the bottom half of the table, with Leicester dropping only two of their last eight meetings with Everton across all competitions and just one of the last eight times they have entertained the Toffees at the King Power Stadium (W2 D5).


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