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Barclays Premier League

West Ham UnitedWest Ham United
Leicester CityLeicester City
3:00 PM GMT
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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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 By James Dall

Flawed opponents Liverpool, Arsenal yearning for statement of intent

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno, Craig Burley and Stuart Holden are in agreement the pressure is piled on Liverpool ahead of their Capital One Cup match against Bournemouth, with a clash against Arsenal looming.

Premier League Spotlight previews the weekend's top-flight fixtures, highlighting the key points to keep an eye on as the action unfolds.

Weekend fixtures

Saturday
Man City vs. Crystal Palace
Aston Villa vs. Man Utd
Hull vs. Swansea
QPR vs. West Brom
Southampton vs. Everton
Tottenham vs. Burnley
West Ham vs. Leicester

Sunday
Newcastle vs. Sunderland
Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Monday
Stoke vs. Chelsea

Weekend battle: Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Liverpool face Arsenal on Sunday, the team they have been doing a very convincing imitation of this season: bark without the bite, an at-times invisible goalkeeper, lots of itty-bitty passing, injuries to key players, profligacy in front of goal, slapstick defending, style over substance and a manager who talks a good game...

Liverpool and Arsenal shun defensive midfielders; creativity over destruction

ESPN FC's Stewart Robson asseses Arsenal's defensive woes given all the injuries and the suspension to Calum Chambers.

The defensive midfielder is not a footballing dinosaur or dodo, a species consigned to extinction by the changing of the times. How could it be when Chelsea's Nemanja Matic is perhaps the most influential player of the season?

Yet it has no counterpart at two of the supposed elite: The defensive midfielder seems a dying breed at Liverpool and Arsenal. Matic highlights a philosophical divide in football. This summer Chelsea paid 21 million pounds to re-sign the man they sold for a sixth of that...

By ESPN Staff
2 minutes ago

Wenger: Liverpool game a good test

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says his side's Premier League game against Liverpool is a chance to continue their recent good form while praising Thierry Henry following the Frenchman's retirement.

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Allardyce has sympathy for Pearson

West Ham UnitedWest Ham United
Leicester CityLeicester City
3:00 PM GMT
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West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes the Football Association were wrong to charge Leicester boss Nigel Pearson over his argument with a fan, and feels more can be done to stop tempers boiling over behind the dugout.

Pearson has accepted an FA charge of using insulting words towards a supporter but has requested a personal hearing. A video has emerged of the incident during his side's 3-1 home defeat to Liverpool on December 2.

The Foxes boss had refused to apologise for the altercation, which Allardyce,...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

#FCdebate -- Should the Premier League take a winter break?

The FC TV panel are fans of the festive tradition. What do you think? Vote now!

The festive season is upon us and, for Premier League fans, it means a glut of games.

From Saturday until New Year's Day, England's top-flight teams will play four times in a 12-day period (they'll also be in FA Cup action the first weekend in January) as the season accelerates to the halfway point and beyond.

It's often said the holiday period can make or break a team's season, but should it be like that?  

Should the Premier League take a winter break?

Elsewhere across Europe, the top leagues take time off. For example, after Friday,...