PL Preview: Arteta a year on, Spurs’ Liverpool hangover and Big Sam is back

It’s been a fun week of Premier League antics hasn’t it.

There is always a special feeling about the midweek games in the run up to Christmas.

It really does feel like a little treat, especially when you get to listen to the wit and humour of Jon Champion and his trusty side kick Ally McCoist.

Anyway, it has thrown up some stories this week.

The Klopp/Jose spat with the Special One back to his old best. West Brom stifled the Man City train before Slaven was asked to vacate his seat at the next station in place of Sam Allardyce.

It sets up another cracking round of fixtures this weekend, and these could be four of the best.

Southampton vs Manchester City

The Saints are marching whereas City are not, far from it.

The revival at St Mary’s since that hammering by Leicester last year is nothing short of remarkable.

They keep pushing the boundaries in this ever unpredictable Premier League season, whereas City are faltering.

If anyone could breach that top four again this season it could well be Southampton, although there is a long way to go.

On the other hand, if it wasn’t for some heroic goalkeeping City could be heading into this one on the back of a win.

But they were less than convincing and if they produce a lethargic display down south, they could be going home empty handed.

Everton vs Arsenal

The respective managers mark a year in charge this week.

But one is feeling the pressure a little more than the other.

Mikel Arteta is quite rightly coming under some scrutiny this week, but as most can see it is a re-building job in North London so you’d like to think he will be afforded more time.

But he needs to see an improvement on the pitch, both in quality and in discipline after a string of red cards for the Gunners.

They stopped the rot with a draw in midweek, and will be in need of their firepower again on Merseyside.

Everton, who we were told by some were title contenders after five games, have suffered in the last month.

But with Carlo at the helm and after a midweek success they look to be on the rise again

Spurs vs Leicester City

The battle of two of the top four who go into this one on the back of defeats in midweek.

That isn’t the most ideal preparation, but it sets it up for a great contest.

Spurs will want to climb back to the summit and Leicester want to cement that top four place for Christmas.

You’d probably back Spurs for this one, who would have taken all three points at Anfield but for some wayward finishing.

West Brom vs Aston Villa

The Baggies will be hoping the new manager bounce will be in full swing for this derby clash.

Both clubs took a point in midweek, but it will be the Albion anticipating this one more than the visitors.

Rightly or wrongly they have a new manager at the helm, and all those players will want to hit the ground running to impress the new boss.

Big Sam won’t want to lose in his first game in charge so you can imagine then being tight, compact and stifling the Villa flare players.

But Albion have got players who can hurt teams, and they will be the answer for the Baggies on Saturday.

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