Premier League Preview, Week 11: United - Arsenal highlights a rather grim week

Shaun Botterill

A bunch of sides that have issues with finding the back of the net face off this week in England, with schedulers deciding to isolate a couple of these dull affairs. Fortunately, we've got Manchester United vs. Arsenal to get us through the Premier League weekend.

Whoever devised this week's Premier League schedule should be haled into court and made to face charges of cruel and unusual punishment. The Geneva Conventions prohibit torture, after all.

Aston Villa vs. Cardiff City

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

Have Aston Villa scored yet?
No.
Have Aston Villa scored yet?
No.
Have Aston Villa scored yet?
No.
Have Aston Villa scored yet?
No.

Tune in as Aston Villa attempt to write their name in the football history books by going over 450 minutes without scoring a goal!

Chelsea vs. West Bromwich Albion

Stamford Bridge; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Well, the good news for Chelsea is that the Baggies can't field Romelu Lukaku against his parent...oh, wait. Wait, that was last year. Instead the good news for the Blues is that West Brom, despite being in 11th, still haven't really figured out how to score. The bad news for Chelsea is that they're not facing a side named "Schalke".

Crystal Palace vs. Everton

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

Oh hey, this is where I get to mention Lukaku. Except it's not funny, really, is it? Allowing Lukaku to play against Palace? If the Belgian strikes, he'll have the same number of goals that the hosts have scored this entire season. Well, unless Crystal Palace bag one, which is really beyond the realm of imagination at this point.

Liverpool vs. Fulham

Anfield; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Fulham have a chance to get back on track against a struggling Liverpool side that have only picked up four points from three matches. Mhm. That or the Cottagers will look just as clueless as they did in the opening 20 minutes against United last week. Is Martin Jol getting any sleep these days?

Southampton vs. Hull City

St. Mary's; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Even after watching Southampton this season, it's still difficult to believe that the Saints are just a point behind Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs. It seems the only way to score against the Premier League's most stingy defense is to allow your keeper to take shots from 100 yards out. If Steve Bruce was feeling crafty, he had Steve Harper working his feet this week, not his hands. Then again, Hull couldn't score a single goal against nine-man Sunderland last week, so "crafty" might not be the right word to describe this side.

Norwich City vs. West Ham United

Carrow Road; Saturday, 17:30 GMT/12:30 PM ET

What sort of demented individual put this match as the Saturday finale? No one wants to watch a game between two sides who've scored the same number of goals as Newcastle, for goodness sake. Neither team has scored in their last two league outings. And despite Norwich conceding seven goals against Manchester City last time out, nothing suggests the Irons have the capacity to put away even one. Perhaps this would be a good time to give Bundesliga a try? I hear Gladbach host Nurnberg at the same time.

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Newcastle

White Hart Lane; Sunday, 12:00 GMT/7:00 AM ET

HOW CAN A TEAM BE FOURTH IN THE LEAGUE AND HAVE SCORED JUST NINE TIMES? And why does someone feel it's necessary to force this match on an innocent public?

Sunderland vs. Manchester City

Stadium of Light; Sunday, 14:05 GMT/9:05 AM ET

City put seven past Norwich last week. Norwich have four points more than Sunderland. Sunderland might want to just not bother walking out on to the pitch. A gut feeling says that the visitors aren't going to need Carlos Cuellar to score for them in order to walk out with all three points.

Manchester United vs. Arsenal

Old Trafford; Sunday, 16:10 GMT/11:10 AM ET

Finally, a match that should be fun. United might be eight points out of first, where Arsenal currently reside, but they're unbeaten in their last four and recently have actually looked like a side capable of...well, capable of challenging for Europa League, at least. But the Gunners still haven't lost since round 1, and are coming off an impressive Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund in Germany. If David Moyes can pull off three points this week, he just might actually silence those doubters. For a couple weeks, at least. And that's only because next week is an international break.

Swansea City vs. Stoke City

Liberty Stadium;  Sunday, 16:10 GMT/11:10 AM ET

If Asmir Begovic doesn't score another goal in the first 20 seconds of play we should relegate Stoke immediately. Who's with me?

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