Premier League previews: Merseyside derby, Jose Mourinho back to Man Utd on Wednesday | Football News


Will Marco Silva, Jurgen Klopp or Jose Mourinho be celebrating on Wednesday night?

Will Marco Silva, Jurgen Klopp or Jose Mourinho be celebrating on Wednesday night?

Merseyside and Manchester take centre stage on Wednesday, with Liverpool’s derby with Everton the latest test of the Premier League leaders’ mettle, while Jose Mourinho returns to Old Trafford with Tottenham aiming to add to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s problems.

Second-placed Leicester – who host Watford on Wednesday – and defending champions Manchester City, who thrashed Burnley on Tuesday, may not be holding out much hope of Marco Silva’s struggling Everton side causing an upset at Anfield. They haven’t won at their neighbour’s ground since 1999 after all.

But it was only Jordan Pickford’s unforgettable injury-time error which allowed Divock Origi to extend that remarkable record and avoid a slip-up last December, while Silva’s side were then able to frustrate Liverpool in a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park three months later.

Divock Origi capitalised on Jordan Pickford's mistake to win last season's Merseyside derby at Anfield

Divock Origi capitalised on Jordan Pickford’s mistake to win last season’s Merseyside derby at Anfield

Liverpool, of course, go in as hot favourites, having racked up 14 Premier League home wins in a row, but nervy 2-1 victories over Crystal Palace and Brighton in their past two domestic outings have come from below-par performances and extended their wait for a clean sheet to 12 games in all competitions.

Silva – perhaps more with hope than expectation – will be aiming to find one of those weaknesses in the armour. But will the shoots of progress seen from his team in the last-gasp defeat at Leicester really be enough to topple the country’s current top side?

In contrast, Mourinho will take his rejuvenated Tottenham to Old Trafford full of confidence in his team’s ability to upset their hosts.

Spurs have won three in a row since Mourinho’s stunning succession to Mauricio Pochettino but number four would be the sweetest yet for the new Tottenham boss. It’s safe to say he’ll feel he has a point or two to prove to the doubters at United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has fewer wins in his first 50 games in charge of Manchester United than Jose Mourinho managed in his final 50

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has fewer wins in his first 50 games in charge of Manchester United than Jose Mourinho managed in his final 50

Tottenham heaped pressure on Mourinho with a 3-0 win at Old Trafford in August last season and a similar result – not out of the question – would ask serious questions of Solskjaer, who has presided over United’s worst-ever start to a season.

Much-maligned Mourinho could point out his final 50 games in charge reaped more wins than Solskjaer has mustered in his first 50 and, with this Tottenham test followed by the Manchester derby at the Etihad on Saturday, live on Sky Sports, the Norwegian needs a response from his players.

They’ve struggled to dramatic draws with newly promoted Sheffield United and Aston Villa in their past two Premier League games but that level of performance won’t suffice against this Tottenham team, who have Dele Alli and Harry Kane in great form.

Read on for team news, stats and predictions ahead of a bumper Wednesday schedule in the Premier League – plus how to follow the action with Sky Sports.

Goal alerts, free highlights, bumper Soccer Special – follow the action with Sky Sports

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win against Burnley in the Premier League

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win against Burnley in the Premier League

There are six Premier League fixtures on Wednesday – make sure you don’t miss a thing by signing up for goal alerts with the Sky Sports Score Centre app.

Download the Score Centre app for iOS devices or Android , select ‘Notifications’ from the ‘More’ section in the app main menu, then toggle on for ‘Goals’ to get alerts straight to your phone.

Like every matchday, you can watch Premier League match highlights for free – without being a Sky Sports subscriber. You’ll find highlights from every game on Wednesday shortly after full-time in the Score Centre, as well as on the Sky Sports website and app plus the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel.

You can follow dedicated live blogs of each match on the Sky Sports website and app and track goals as they go in with our vidiprinter page.

There’s a bumper Soccer Special in store too, with updates and analysis from the studio and around the grounds. Join Jeff Stelling and guests from 7pm on Sky Sports News and Main Event.

Chelsea vs Aston Villa – Wednesday, 7.30pm kick-off

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Frank Lampard expects John Terry to receive a ‘deserving’ reception as he returns to Stamford Bridge when Chelsea host Aston Villa on Wednesday

Frank Lampard expects John Terry to receive a ‘deserving’ reception as he returns to Stamford Bridge when Chelsea host Aston Villa on Wednesday

Tammy Abraham missed out on Chelsea’s defeat to West Ham on Saturday, but Frank Lampard has said the club’s top scorer may be fit to return for this game.

Callum Hudson-Odoi made his return to first-team action in that match with a 20-minute cameo, while Ross Barkley and Antonio Rudiger are both edging closer to fitness, but Ruben Loftus-Cheek is still sidelined.

Frederic Guilbert will sit out Villa’s trip to London after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Manchester United on Sunday, while Anwar El Ghazi, who was forced off in that game, may also miss out.

Jed Steer and Keinan Davis are both missing with longer-term problems but Jota may return after more than two months out with a hernia injury.

Stat of the match: Chelsea have won their last four Premier League home games against Aston Villa, by an aggregate score of 15-1. They’ve never won five consecutive league games against them at Stamford Bridge.

Charlie predicts: 2-1 (17/2 with Sky Bet)

Leicester vs Watford – Wednesday, 7.30pm kick-off

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Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers says he is ‘very happy’ at the club amid speculation over the vacant Arsenal job

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers says he is ‘very happy’ at the club amid speculation over the vacant Arsenal job

Demarai Gray is Leicester’s only injury doubt to face Watford, but Brendan Rodgers has confirmed he will rotate his side through a busy December.

Watford will hope to have Craig Dawson, Tom Cleverley and Kiko Femenia back after all picked up knocks but Christian Kabasele, Daryl Janmaat, Sebastian Prodl and Danny Welbeck are all ruled out.

Stat of the match: Watford have just eight points from their 14 Premier League games this season – just four of the previous 14 clubs to have eight or fewer points from their opening 14 games in the competition have survived relegation, with Sunderland in 2013-14 the last to do so.

Charlie predicts: 3-0 (8/1 with Sky Bet)

Manchester United vs Tottenham – Wednesday, 7.30pm kick-off

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The futures of Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are all under discussion with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, says Jose Mourinho

The futures of Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are all under discussion with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, says Jose Mourinho

Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic are “touch and go” for Manchester United’s clash with Tottenham – a match Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has ruled Paul Pogba out of.

McTominay has missed three games with an ankle complaint, while fellow midfielder Matic has not played for two months with an unspecified issue.

Pogba remains out as he recovers from an ankle injury, while Eric Bailly, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Diogo Dalot continue to build fitness after injury.

Tottenham have no fresh injury concerns for Jose Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford.

Spurs are still without Erik Lamela (hamstring), Ben Davies (ankle) and Michel Vorm (calf). Hugo Lloris (elbow) is a long-term absentee and is not expected to be fit until 2020.

Stat of the match: Jose Mourinho could become the first Tottenham manager to win his first three top-flight games in charge of the club.

Charlie predicts: 2-2 (12/1 with Sky Bet)

Southampton vs Norwich – Wednesday, 7.30pm kick-off

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Teemu Pukki ‘does not get nervous’ about going through periods without scoring, says Norwich boss Daniel Farke

Teemu Pukki ‘does not get nervous’ about going through periods without scoring, says Norwich boss Daniel Farke

Southampton’s only absentee is Stuart Armstrong, who is sidelined until later this month after suffering a hamstring injury.

Norwich’s injury list is still significant, with Timm Klose, Josip Drmic and captain Grant Hanley all missing. However, they could welcome back Alexander Tettey, who missed Sunday’s draw with Arsenal for personal reasons.

Stat of the match: Away from home, Norwich are winless in their last 14 evening Premier League matches (D5 L9) since beating local rivals Ipswich 2-1 in September 1994.

Charlie predicts: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)

Wolves vs West Ham – Wednesday, 7.30pm kick-off

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Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo discusses doing the double over West Ham last season and warns they are full of ‘very good players’

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo discusses doing the double over West Ham last season and warns they are full of ‘very good players’

For Wolves, Ryan Bennett remains a doubt with a groin issue and Morgan Gibbs-White is out due to a back injury, but Romain Saiss is back from suspension.

West Ham will still be without Manuel Lanzini and Lukasz Fabianski for the visit to the Black Country while Jack Wilshere and Winston Reid have both returned to training, but the game may come too soon.

Stat of the match: Wolves have lost only two of the nine Premier League games in which they’ve conceded first this season, coming back to draw seven of those games – they have avoided defeat in the last five league games when conceding first, drawing all five.

Charlie predicts: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)

Liverpool vs Everton – Wednesday, 8.15pm kick-off

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says the club are ‘ready’ to do business in the upcoming January transfer window

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says the club are ‘ready’ to do business in the upcoming January transfer window

Adrian looks set to continue in goal for Liverpool after replacing the now suspended Alisson in their 2-1 win over Brighton on Saturday. Jurgen Klopp has also confirmed Joel Matip will miss out. Nathaniel Clyne remains a long-term absentee.

Theo Walcott is fit to return for Everton but both Seamus Coleman and Fabian Delph have been ruled out, while Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Andre Gomes and Cuco Martina are all absent.

Stat of the match: Everton haven’t won a league game against Liverpool at Anfield since September 1999, courtesy of Kevin Campbell’s strike. The Toffees have drawn nine and lost 10 of their visits since.

Charlie predicts: 2-0 (13/2 with Sky Bet)

Follow all the action from this week’s Premier League midweek games with a Soccer Special on Wednesday from 7pm on Sky Sports News, with minute-by-minute updates from all 10 Premier League games on skysports.com.

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