Premier League: What you need to know this weekend

Sportsnet's Craig Forrest and James Sharman preview a busy Saturday in the Premier League featuring an important game for Arsenal and a healthy Manchester United looking to close the gap with Man City with a win over Newcastle.

The Premier League continues this weekend with Matchday 12, and Sportsnet will have live coverage of five games:

Saturday, November 18
• West Bromwich Albion vs. Chelsea, 9:30 a.m. ET (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific)
• AFC Bournemouth vs. Huddersfield Town, 9:30 a.m. ET (Sportsnet ONE)
• Manchester United vs. Newcastle United, noon ET (Sportsnet World)

Sunday, November 19
• Watford vs. West Ham United, 10:30 a.m. ET (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific, Sportsnet World)

Monday, November 20
• Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Stoke City, 2:00 p.m. ET (Sportsnet World)

Here’s what you need to know ahead of this weekend…

THE BIG GAME

Arsenal vs. Tottenham: The latest installment of the North London derby will unfold on Saturday when the Gunners hosts Spurs. Arsenal is riding its longest ever winless streak against Tottenham in the Premier League, with four draws and two losses. But that streak could come to an end this weekend, as Arsene Wenger’s side have won their first five home matches to a Premier League campaign for the first time since 2009-10.

Spurs striker Harry Kane will no doubt garner a lot of attention from Arsenal on Saturday, as he has scored six goals in five North London derbies in the Premier League. Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has yet to lose a Premier League North London derby (two wins and four draws), but he has also yet to win at Emirates Stadium as Spurs manager.

“It’s always a fierce derby. As well to keeping your nerve, you must have full commitment while being lucid and calm enough to focus on the game,” Wenger said this week.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United: The Belgian international likes playing against Newcastle United. In eight Premier League appearances against the Magpies, Lukaku has scored five goals and added four assists. He’s also been in fine form this season, with seven goals in 11 games, and the Red Devils will no doubt be looking to him to lead the line against Newcastle at Old Trafford on Saturday.

POGBA, IBRA FIT TO PLAY FOR MAN UNITED

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho revealed this week that Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo, and Paul Pogba could feature against Newcastle United on Saturday. All three players have been sidelined with lengthy injury problems. Ibrahimovic and Rojo last played for United in April. Pogba has been out with a hamstring injury since Sept. 12. Mourinho told reporters on Friday that the three players are “ready to play.”

WEST HAM FIRES BILIC, HIRES MOYES

West Ham United was quite busy during the international break, as the London club fired manager Slaven Bilic. The move came after the Hammers’ 4-1 home loss to Liverpool, a result that kept them on nine points through the first 11 games of the season, and in 18th place. West Ham quickly hired former Everton and Manchester United manager David Moyes, signing him to a six-month contract. Moyes’ first game in charge is Sunday when the Hammers visit Watford.

MAN CITY’S AGUERO DECLARES HIMSELF FIT

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero said he is fit to face Leicester City on Saturday after he collapsed in the dressing room at halftime in Argentina’s friendly against Nigeria on Tuesday. On Thursday, Aguero posted a comment on his Twitter page, saying he is ready to pay against Leicester after being cleared by Man City’s medical team. “All the tests they run on me – just for caution – turn out well, so I’m set to go for Saturday’s match. C’mon, City,” Aguero said.

SPURS’ ALDERWEIRELD OUT UNTIL 2018

Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld will be sidelined until next year with a hamstring injury, manager Mauricio Pochettino confirmed on Thursday. The Belgian defender suffered the injury during the first half of Tottenham’s recent Champions League victory over Real Madrid. “He’s out until after Christmas,” Pochettino told reporters. “He feels disappointed but he’s trying to focus on his recovery and the first stage of the rehabilitation. Always with this kind of injury we have to be cautious.”

BENTEKE ON THE MEND FOR PALACE

Belgian striker Christian Benteke is fit and ready to return from a knee injury for Crystal Palace on Saturday when the London club hosts Everton. Benteke has been out of action since the end of September, and his return is a big boost for a Palace side that sits in last place and has just one win and scored a league-low four goals this season. The news isn’t as good for midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek. He’s questionable for Saturday’s contest after suffering a back problem while on international duty for England.

INTERESTING STAT

THE BIG QUESTION

Every week, Sportsnet’s soccer panel will debate The Big Question. Have your say by voting in the poll below:

HE SAID IT

“In football history he’s one of the great managers, the same level as [Alex] Ferguson. He will always be a special manager. To keep motivation more than three years is difficult. Five years, you must be very good, very good if you’re 10 years. When you talk about 20 years it’s amazing. Everyone who talks about him needs to show respect. Some days you’re good, some days not so good. But show respect.” – Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino on Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

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