11-1. That's the aggregate score by which Manchester City crushed Tottenham Hotspur last season. The Citizens' big 6-0 win was one of the main factors in Andre Villas-Boas' dismissal by Spurs, while the 5-1 loss in January wasn't any less embarrassing. This season's edition of Spurs look like much less of a mess, but they've suffered one beating at the hands of a big team -- Liverpool -- and are dealing with some big injury concerns after the international break.
Leaders Chelsea face a decent test this week in a London derby away to Crystal Palace, who have outperformed expectations this season. Neil Warnock's side aren't spectacular -- they're only 15th -- but they appear to be a class above the bottom three and notched a shutout win in their last home match. Manchester United also face a tricky but very winnable fixture, going away to West Bromwich Albion on Monday.
Things should be a little bit easier for Arsenal, just because they're at home this week. They'll take on Hull City during Saturday's midday slate. This set of games also presents bounceback opportunities for Southampton and Everton, who are both at home, though the Toffees might find Aston Villa a bit tricky to deal with.
Here's a look at the matches you can catch on TV this week. Strangely, there is no late Saturday game, so there are fewer games you can catch. Only four this week. FOUR! Come on, England.
Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Saturday, 7:45 a.m. ET. TV: NBCSN (U.S.), TSN (Canada), BT Sport 1 (U.K.)
Internationals have made things tough on both of these teams, but Manchester City received some good news on Friday, learning that Yaya Toure will be ready to play. Fernandinho is still a doubt, while Tottenham have yet to decided on the fitness of Hugo Lloris and Nacer Chadli, arguably their best player and their leading scorer, respectively.
There isn't a particularly good reason to pick Spurs to spring an upset, though Stoke was able to win at Etihad Stadium earlier this year, and this Spurs team looks less prone to horrible blowouts than last year's side.
Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea
Saturday, 10 a.m. ET. TV: NBCSN (U.S.), TSN4 (Canada)
Chelsea should probably be considered as a smaller team-eating monster until proven otherwise. Palace will have fewer tired players returning from internationals and are pretty good at home, but the Blues look like they can score four or five goals on anyone.
Queens Park Rangers vs. Liverpool
Sunday, 8:30 a.m. ET. TV: NBCSN (U.S.), TSN2 (Canada), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.)
As disappointing as Liverpool have been lately, surely they're not poor enough to drop points against Queens Park Rangers? Even while looking ahead to a Champions League match? Right. QPR are really bad. The English media is already talking about who's going to take over as their new coach before Harry Redknapp gets fired, as if it's an inevitability.
Stoke City vs. Swansea City
Sunday, 11 a.m. ET. TV: NBCSN (U.S.), Sportsnet World (Canada), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.)
Why this got picked to be Sunday's spotlight television match is anyone's guess. Maybe the Premier League is just spreading the TV money love around, making sure Stoke gets in on the action? Anyway, despite the 11-place gap between these two teams, they're not terribly dissimilar. And at the Brittania Stadium, they'll probably play similar brands of semi-conservative but pretty watchable passing football. Maybe someone will win by one goal. This one's about as meh as they come.
West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United
Monday, 3 p.m. ET. TV: NBCSN (U.S.), Sportsnet World (Canada), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.)
Manchester United's magical mystery tour rolls into the West Midlands, and they'll be expecting a win over West Bromwich Albion. The Red Devils are up to fourth place after a pair of unconvincing 2-1 wins, and that's a higher position than they've sniffed in over a year. West Brom are okay, haven't been that great at home, having handed Everton their only win of the season at the Hawthorns. Perhaps we'll see another unconvincing 2-1 United win.
Week 8 results
Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur - Full match report here
Arsenal 2-2 Hull City - Full match report here
Burnley 1-3 West Ham United
Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea - Full match report here
Everton 3-0 Aston Villa
Southampton 8-0 Sunderland
Newcastle United 1-0 Leicester City
Queens Park Rangers 2-3 Liverpool - Full match report here
Stoke City 2-1 Swansea City - Full match report here
West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Manchester United - Full match report here