Weekend Wanderings: Everton face Arsenal while Manchester City take on Leicester City and Liverpool compete in Club World Cup Final

This weekend we are treated to another bumper fixture list, particularly in the Premier League where there are several exciting games on offer.

There is also the small matter of the ever prestigious Club World Cup out in Qatar.

Here are the games we’ve picked out in this edition of Weekend Wanderings.


Everton v Arsenal (Saturday, 12.30pm)

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The game between two sides that are still yet to replace their sacked managers this season, although things may be about to change.

At the time of writing, Everton are hopeful of appointing former Napoli, Chelsea and Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti as their new boss.

Despite those developments this week it seems Duncan Ferguson will lead the team against an Arsenal side who are hopelessly in freefall.

Last weekend’s defeat to Manchester City was hardly a surprise but their efforts to find a new manager of their own are as clumsy and confused as their defensive line.

Mikel Arteta is now the favourite to leave his position as Pep Guardiola’s assistant and take over at Arsenal, but Manchester City are holding out until they receive the compensation they are looking for.

On the pitch, however, Arsenal desperately need a boost but it will be a huge ask against an Everton side that have seemingly reignited their passion.


Manchester City v Leicester City (Saturday, 5.30pm)

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At this stage of the season this game could be classed as the best of the rest.

Liverpool’s impressive run at the top of the table means the only two sides fans and pundits alike seriously consider as title challengers are Manchester City and Leicester City.

Leicester’s last two games have been tough but coming through against Everton in the Carabao Cup on penalties should give them a spring in their step.

The likes of Jamie Vardy should also fancy themselves against a Manchester City defence that remains far from convincing this year.

Manchester City also advanced in the Carabao Cup in midweek but will need their attack to be in top shape against the likes of Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu.

This has the potential to be a cracking clash between two of the league’s best sides.


Liverpool v Flamengo (Saturday 5.30pm)

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The Reds are facing up to fixture congestion, illness and injury but we’ll soon find out if it was worth it.

After a last-minute Roberto Firmino goal secured passage to the Club World Cup final, this is an opportunity for another piece of silverware.

However, opponents Flamengo are more than contenders in this final. Coached by the impressive Jorge Jesus – formerly of Benfica and Sporting Lisbon – the Brazilian side won their league with a 16-point cushion.

They also beat River Plate 2-1 in the final of the Copa Libertadores. All that summed up the impact Jesus had in just five months as the boss.

What’s more Flamengo and Liverpool have history – the Brazilians beat the Reds in the 1981 Intercontinental Cup in Tokyo. History could yet repeat itself.


Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea (Sunday, 4.30pm)

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Jose vs Frank, fifth against fourth, Tottenham vs Chelsea. Whichever you way you want to sell this game there’s plenty to get stuck into.

Frank Lampard’s Chelsea had long impressed so many onlookers this season but their recent spell of bad form has them clinging on to fourth spot.

That’s because Jose Mourinho and Tottenham are chasing them down. There are now just three points between the two sides and a win for Spurs would see them overtake the Blues thanks to their superior goal difference.

But let’s also not forget the relationship between the two managers as Lampard was of course a vital cog in Mourinho’s dominant Chelsea side.

But will it be the master or the novice to triumph this time around?


Sassuolo v Napoli (Sunday, 7.45pm)

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The situation at Napoli remains an intriguing one as this talented squad continues to underperform.

Last weekend Gennaro Gattuso’s debut didn’t get off to the best of starts as a stoppage time goal scored by Gervinho (yes, the former Arsenal player) saw Parma win 2-1.

Things need to change quickly if Napoli are to save their season – currently they sit eighth in the table.

But this weekend they head to Sassuolo who are just two points and two places behind them.

Another loss and Napoli could soon be falling into the bottom half of the table rather than anywhere near the top four.

You can follow Alasdair on Twitter @adjhooper1992

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