Nobody knows Manchester United’s full injury list, Kelvin Davis meets ex-boss Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp may overhaul Liverpool’s left: 10 things to look out for in midweek Premier League matches
December is here, which means one glorious thing in the Premier League; heaps of football.
The top tier are in midweek action with the pick of the games coming at Old Trafford, where stuttering Manchester United host Unai Emery’s resurgent Arsenal.
Sportsmail provides 10 things to look out for ahead of the next round of fixtures.
WHO IS INJURED AT MANCHESTER UNITED?
Well, the people at MUTV don’t know. Boss Jose Mourinho refused to even tell the in-house club channel who he has doubts over ahead of the visit of Arsenal on Wednesday.
United’s injury problems are piling up. We do know that Marcus Rashford has an ankle problem and Chris Smalling has a hairline fracture in his foot.
Nemanja Matic had to play in defence in Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Southampton and it seems as if Mourinho is concerned he may have to field a few other square pegs in round holes against Unai Emery’s men.
Jose Mourinho would not tell MUTV the full Manchester United injury list for the Arsenal clash
DAVIS AND POCHETTINO REUNITED
Kelvin Davis played under Mauricio Pochettino when he was manager of Southampton.
Now, as interim manager of Southampton, he takes on his former boss when Tottenham welcome Saints to Wembley on Wednesday.
Southampton may have sacked manager Mark Hughes on Monday but there were moments for optimism in their 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Saturday.
They have reasons to be buoyed by the point, despite surrendering a 2-0 lead, while Tottenham will be looking to strike back from their north London derby defeat by Arsenal.
Kelvin Davis will lead Southampton against his former manager Mauricio Pochettino
EXPECT GOALS AS BOURNEMOUTH HOST HUDDERSFIELD
This fixture between the two yielded nine goals in two games last season. Bournemouth ran out 4-0 winners on the south coast, with Callum Wilson scoring a hat-trick.
Simon Francis was sent-off on the stroke of half-time but it didn’t curtail Bournemouth’s charge.
Huddersfield gained revenge with a 4-1 triumph of their own in the return leg, but a mauling at the hands of Eddie Howe’s men is the last David Wagner needs with The Terriers 17th in the table.
Bournemouth also beat Huddersfield 4-0 when they met prior to last season, in the Championship. Expect goals.
Bournemouth – and Callum Wilson – could be in the goals when they play Huddersfield
RANIERI RETURNS TO THE KING POWER
It will be Claudio Ranieri’s first managerial return to the King Power stadium when Fulham travel to Leicester for Wednesday’s match.
Ranieri, of course, returned to Leicester in much more sombre circumstances after the death of club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
But football will be the focus on Wednesday evening and Ranieri will no doubt be given a rapturous reception following his miraculous 2016 Premier League title win.
Fulham are bottom of the Premier League but a victory could lift them out of the relegation zone.
Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri has another reunion on the cards when his team play Leicester
DON’T WRITE OFF CARDIFF
Both West Ham and Cardiff have found some form ahead of Tuesday’s match but the Welsh side are one to be wary off for the full 90 minutes.
All three of their victories have seen Neil Warnock’s men come from behind so far this season and West Ham will need to be vigilant at the London stadium.
BRIGHTON AND PALACE REIGNITE RIVALRY
One of the more feisty encounters in the list of midweek games comes at the Amex stadium, where Brighton host Crystal Palace.
This fixture last season was the clubs’ first ever meeting in the top flight and there were six arrests amid tense and hostile scenes while 150 Palace fans were refused entry to the ground, even though they had tickets.
The rivalry started amid a row between then Brighton manager Alan Mullery and Palace boss Terry Venables – you read about that in full HERE.
MANCHESTER CITY ON A ROLL OVER WATFORD
They might be heading to Vicarage Road with an injury concern over star striker Sergio Aguero, but City will find comfort in their recent record against Watford.
City have won their last eight against The Hornets, while Javi Gracia’s men take on the defending champions having won only two of their last 10 games.
Surely City won’t slip up here?
Manchester City have a commanding record against Wednesday’s opponents Watford
WOLVES ON THE SLIDE
It doesn’t get any easier for Wolves, who with six losses in their last seven matches welcome Chelsea to Molineaux on Wednesday evening.
Maurizio Sarri’s side were not too convincing against Fulham on Sunday but have only been defeated once in all competitions so far this season. They know how to win even when they aren’t playing well.
LIVERPOOL’S LEFT-SIDE OVERHAUL
Jurgen Klopp has doubts over Andy Robertson and Sadio Mane ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Turf Moor to play Burnley.
It could prompt the German to completely overhaul the very effective left-side of Liverpool’s team.
Alberto Moreno is an obvious replacement for Robertson, while Xherdan Shaqiri, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi are all contenders to replace Mane if he fails to recover from a badly cut foot.
Sadio Mane is an injury doubt for Liverpool’s match away to Burnley on Wednesday night
EVERTON LOOK TO AVENGE DERBY BLUES
Marco Silva’s Everton have the chance to avenge their agonising derby defeat against a former old Liverpool foe in Rafa Benitez.
Newcastle were defeated 3-0 by West Ham at the weekend but before, had won their last three games.
A win for Everton could strengthen their grasp on sixth place if United are beaten by Arsenal.