Tottenham Hotspur still enjoy the best defensive record in the Premier League despite their recent downturn in fortunes, and much credit must go to new signing Victor Wanyama, who has been a powerful and effective presence in front of the defence. However, even Big Vic might have his work cut out this weekend in the North London Derby, where he’ll be charged with keeping tabs on Mesut Ozil.
Joel Matip found the net against Crystal Palace last weekend as Liverpool picked up a 4-2 victory, but Jurgen Klopp will surely be more concerned about his side’s defensive record. While the Cameroon international wasn’t as unconvincing as his partner Dejan Lovren on the day, the German coach will be expecting Matip and co. to keep a clean sheet when Odion Ighalo and Watford come to town on Sunday.
Riyad Mahrez was the only African player nominated for Fifa’s Best Men’s Player 2016 and it’s hard to find too many of the continent’s stars who are more deserving in the shortlist than the Leicester City star. However, the North African returns to reality this weekend where the Foxes, who have fallen well short of their own high standards this season, look to keep their undefeated streak alive. Expect Daniel Amartey, Islam Slimani and Allan Nyom to all also be in action.
It will be intriguing to see how things unfold when Chelsea and Everton go head to head this weekend, with the Pensioners having adopted an effective 3-4-3 formation in recent games, and the Toffees also prone to using three at the back. Nigeria international Victor Moses has enjoyed a renaissance under Antonio Conte, and with Leighton Baines still a doubt, it will be intriguing to see how the West African fares against likely stand-in Bryan Oviedo.