The Premier League continues this weekend with Matchday 27, and Sportsnet will have live coverage of five games:
Saturday, February 10
• Swansea City vs. Burnley, 9:30 a.m. ET (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific, and Sportsnet 360)
• Manchester City vs. Leicester City, noon ET (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific)
Sunday, February 11
• Huddersfield Town vs. Bournemouth, 7:00 a.m. ET (Sportsnet World)
• Southampton vs. Liverpool, 11:30 a.m. ET (Sportsnet World)
Monday, February 12
• Chelsea vs. West Bromwich Albion, 2:00 p.m. ET (Sportsnet World)
Here’s what you need to know ahead of this weekend.
THE BIG GAME
Tottenham vs. Arsenal: The latest instalment of the North London derby will take place on Saturday when Spurs host the Gunners at Wembley Stadium. Tottenham sits fifth in the table, one spot and four points above Arsenal, so this is a pretty big game for both clubs.
Tottenham have lost only one of their last seven Premier League matches against Arsenal, but the Gunners won the previous match between the two rivals this season. If Arsene Wenger’s team can collect three points on Saturday they’ll do “the double” over their rivals for only the fourth time in the Premier League era – and for the first time since 2013-14.
Harry Kane has scored six goals in six Premier League matches against Arsenal, only failing to score in a 2-0 loss at Emirates Stadium back in November. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who scored on his debut for Arsenal last week following his transfer from Borussia Dortmund, has bagged four goals in four appearances against Spurs in all competitions
PLAYER TO WATCH
Sadio Mane, Liverpool: The Senegalese winger has scored only two goals in 11 matches in all competitions since Dec. 11. A match against Southampton could be just what he needs to break out of his slumping form, though. Mane has scored six goals in his last five Premier League appearances at St. Mary’s Stadium.
PATRICE EVRA JOINS WEST HAM UNITED
Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra joined West Ham on a short-term deal on Wednesday. The Frenchman last played for Marseille, but was let go by the club three months ago after kicking a fan prior to a Europa League game. Evra, 36, joins a Hammers side that has conceded 46 goals this season, tied for the second-worst defensive record in the Premier League. In his last season at United, Evra played for David Moyes, who is now the manager of West Ham. The Hammers host Watford on Saturday.
LEICESTER’S MAHREZ TO MISS MAN CITY GAME
Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez will miss his third straight game this weekend, Foxes coach Claude Puel confirmed this week. Mahrez was the subject of a transfer bid from Manchester City that didn’t come through before the Jan. 31 deadline. “I hope Riyad can get his head right and come back with us. The best way is to come back and enjoy his football,” Puel told a news conference. Leicester City visits Manchester City on Saturday.
JAY RODRIGUEZ CHARGED OVER ALLEGED RACIAL ABUSE
West Bromwich Albion striker Jay Rodriguez has been charged by the FA over allegations he racially abused Brighton & Hove Albion defender Gaetan Bong. A Cameroon international, Bong claimed Rodriguez abused him during West Brom’s 2-0 win at The Hawthorns last month. Rodriguez has until Feb. 16 to respond to the FA charge. West Brom visits Chelsea on Monday.
CONTE FEELING THE PRESSURE AT CHELSEA
The future of Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has been the subject of great speculation ever since the Blues’ shocking 4-1 loss away to Watford on Matchday 26. It was a result that dropped Conte’s side 19 points adrift of league leaders Manchester City. Chelsea currently sits in fourth place, but they could drop out of the Champions League zone by the time they host West Brom on Monday night. “I am not thinking for only one moment about the possibility to go away from this club,” Conte told a news conference on Friday. “My commitment and that of my players is totally for this club. We are doing our best.”
PALACE’S ZAHA RULED OUT FOR A MONTH
Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha will be sideline for up to a month with a knee injury. Zaha picked up the injury in last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Newcastle United. Palace have been plagued by injuries in recent months – winger Bakary Sako was previously ruled out for the rest of the season with a fractured ankle. Crystal Palace visits Everton on Saturday.
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
“We have to get the diving out of the game. I remember there were tremendous cases here when foreign players did it, but I must say the English players have learned very quickly and they might even be the masters now.” – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger