There is a full programme of Premier League fixtures in midweek, as the games start to come thick and fast in the lead-up to Christmas.
All but two of the games will take place on Wednesday night, and there are a number of attractive games on paper that could have serious implications at both the top and bottom of the division.
Following his hostile unveiling as Chelsea manager against Manchester City last time out, Rafael Benítez will be hoping to start the process of endearing himself to the club’s supporters when his side host Fulham at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are on a poor run of late, having not tasted victory in five Premier League encounters, but will fancy their chances of getting back to winning ways against their West London rivals.
Despite leading the way for most of the season, Chelsea’s recent demise has meant that Manchester United have replaced them at the top of the table after recovering from a shock defeat at the hands of Norwich City with a routine 3-1 win against winless QPR on Saturday. The Red Devils entertain West Ham United this time at Old Trafford and those who Play Online note how they could extend their lead at the summit with a win.
However, there are sure to be plenty more twists and turns in the title race before the season is out and United will be mindful that Manchester City will be ready to pounce on any slip-up. The Champions have been criticised in some quarters for failing to hit the entertaining heights of last season, but City still remain unbeaten up until this point and could mount pressure on their rivals with three points away at Wigan Athletic.
Everton and Arsenal are two of the sides currently holding onto the shirt-tails of the top four as things stands, and the pair go head to head on Wednesday at Goodison Park. Nevertheless, both teams are currently playing catch-up to this season’s surprise package so far in the shape of West Bromwich Albion who find themselves in third place after a fantastic start to Steve Clarke’s reign. The Baggies are on a terrific run of four wins in a row, but will find it hard at the Liberty Stadium as they take on Michael Laudrup’s Swansea City.
Tottenham Hotspur are another side that will consider themselves to be in with a shot of gaining European football at the end of the season and they could reaffirm those credentials with a win over Liverpool at White Hart Lane.
Like Spurs, Newcastle United just missed out on Champions League football last year after securing a superb 5th place finish, but they have failed to discover the same kind form this year and will be disappointed to be sitting in mid-table. Things are unlikely to get any easier for the Magpies as they travel to the notoriously difficult Britannia Stadium to face a Stoke City side who have picked up seven points from their last three games.
Finally, after a disappointing start to life in the Premier League, Southampton have kick-started their season of late after managing to gain maximum points from their last two games and will be hoping to make it a hat-trick against Norwich City at St Mary’s. Nigel Adkins’ men will have to be at their very best however to defeat an in-form Canaries side, who can list Arsenal and Manchester United amongst their recent victims.