Premier League, Week 10: Will the real Liverpool and Arsenal please stand up

Clive Brunskill

Maybe we'll find out if one of Liverpool or Arsenal is a serious title contender. Or maybe they'll draw 1-1 and we'll learn nothing.

Newcastle vs. Chelsea

St. James' Park; Saturday, 12:45 GMT/7:45 AM ET

After a start that wasn't exactly disappointing but may have failed to live up to the standards of some where style points are concerned, Chelsea's really begun to click lately. Last weekend's victory over Manchester City was a definite statement, and though an early round League Cup win isn't something the Blues are likely to tout, that it came against Arsenal certainly can't hurt their case. Newcastle haven't shown much consistency in their performances thus far, and though they could likely give Chelsea a game on the right day, a result for the home side isn't something on which it would be advisable to wager anything of note.

Fulham vs. Manchester United

Craven Cottage; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Just when it looked as though Fulham were beginning to right the ship with two straight wins, a loss to Southampton followed by an exit from the League Cup at the hands of Leicester City has turned the mood sour once again. Martin Jol has become the newest target of job-security-related speculation, and a win over United would do wonders to ease some of the pressure that's almost certainly beginning to mount. Still, despite an air of of uncharacteristic vulnerability this season, the Red Devils look completely capable of heading to Craven Cottage and laying a thrashing on Fulham. But if the home side does manage to pull of the shock, Jol just might be replaced in the media's crosshairs by David Moyes.

Hull City vs. Sunderland

KC Stadium; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Sunderland has now won a game, which lifts them from the basement and brings them to within four points of crawling out of the bottom three altogether. This is a squad with plenty of talent that is now being managed by someone that isn't an insane person*, so it wouldn't be a massive surprise if they're able to turn things around pretty quickly. That would be bad news for several clubs, and Hull City could be one of them; despite an excellent start, the Tigers are still going to be on the relegation watchlist for at least another several months, and if they do end up hitting the wall at some point they'll be grateful for points from games such as this one.


Manchester City vs. Norwich City

Etihad Stadium; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

It's not going well for Chris Houghton at the moment, his side without a win since September and drifting away from the mid-table pack with each bad result. Now just four days of being thumped 4-0 by United in the League Cup, the Canaries will head northwest once again to face City in a match that looks to have all kinds of potential for ugliness. It's reasonable to believe that at some point Norwich City's summer signings will begin to make their impact felt, but it's difficult to see that happening in this game. Manchester City have had struggles of their own (in a very relative sense) this season, but the odds of a bloodbath seem much higher than that of a result for the visitors.

Stoke City vs. Southampton

Britannia Stadium; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Two things seem equally true about Southampton. 1) Their defensive record is not sustainable. Three goals allowed through nine games is a special kind of madness. 2) Their scoring record is also not sustainable. Though not as crazy as their goals against numbers, there is far too much attacking talent on this team to keep up such an anemic pace for too long. What will be very interesting to see which correction is more extreme, and the question is, which happens first? Odds are, neither one of them are going to turn around against Stoke.

West Bromwich Albion vs. Crystal Palace

The Hawthorns; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

If this was your guess for this week's "dismissive one-sentence preview" then congratulations, you have won a prize and that prize is not having to watch this game.

West Ham United vs. Aston Villa

Upton Park; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

We are gonna see a lot of claret, a lot of blue, and a whole holy hell of a lot of longballs. Paul Lambert's biggest worry in this game is likely preventing Big Sam from attempting to kidnap Christian Benteke, while Lambert is likely going to have to play with three centerbacks against West Ham, which has got to be just humiliating.

Arsenal vs. Liverpool

Emirates Stadium; Saturday, 17:30 GMT/12:30 PM ET

This is of course the marquee game of the week, and there's little reason to think it will be anything but excellent. Both sides play very pretty football, both sides score goals at a decent clip, and both sides employ at least one player that is so transcendently brilliant that it's kind of difficult to believe they're real people. (Mesut Özil might actually not be, but if there's one thing we know for sure about Luis Suárez it's that his humanity is pretty much undeniable.)

Everton vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Goodison Park; Sunday, 13:30 GMT/8:30 AM ET

Yet another appealing game to start off Sunday, Everton and Spurs are two very good, very talented teams with some very apparent flaws that probably make them more entertaining to watch from a neutral perspective. Assuming the battle for the top four is something other than an early-season illusion, this could end up being a massive game come the end of the season; it's tempting to give Spurs the edge based on their superior raw talent, but Everton has been so good at home that it's likely going to take something pretty special to leave Goodison with a win.

Cardiff City vs. Swansea City

City of Cardiff Stadium; Sunday, 16:00 GMT/11:00 AM ET

The first ever top-flight South Wales derby is here, and there's little reason to think it won't be awesome. Swansea is clearly the better team, but Cardiff has shown the capacity to play well over their heads at times and will certainly get something of a boost from their home crowd. Games like this are very seldom pretty, but they're almost always tremendous to watch, just because the sheer emotion of the fans permeates everything. Not a bad way to cap off a pretty solid Premier League weekend.

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