With a round of Premier League fixtures being played over Tuesday and Wednesday, Manchester City could yet extend their lead at the top to eleven points.
Elsewhere, Newcastle will be looking to stop the rot having lost four games on the bounce and David Moyes returns to Goodison Park in a vital match between Everton and West Ham.
Everton v West Ham United (Wednesday 8pm)
Suffice to say that things haven’t been going well for David Unsworth since taking over as Everton caretaker manager. Everton have lost five of their seven fixtures under their former player’s tutelage, including hefty defeats to Lyon in the Europa League and more recently last weekend’s shambolic 4-1 thrashing away to Southampton.
Unsworth has chopped and changed his front four so often in his short tenure that it is difficult to know who will feature tonight. It speaks to Unsworth’s lack of fitness for the job that he is unsure of his best 11 and where to feature them. But one option may be to keep Wayne Rooney on the bench, allowing Gylfi Sigurdsson to operate at number 10 rather than off the right wing.
David Moyes meanwhile will be seeking his first victory as West Ham United manager. And where better to put some life back into his career than the site of his greatest success. His Hammers side produced a much improved performance in their draw with Leicester City on Saturday and a victory tonight could move West Ham out of the relegation zone, leapfrogging Everton in the process.
Andy Carroll will likely continue up top as Javier Hernandez continues his comeback from injury. But it may be Manuel Lanzini who poses the greatest threat for West Ham.
Tomorrow evening’s clash could be a goal-fest given that Everton currently hold the worst defensive and West Ham are joint second worst.
Watford v Manchester United (Tuesday 8pm)
Marco Silva’s side will be full of confidence on the back of two consecutive wins, including their 3-0 drubbing of Newcastle at St James Park.
Richarlison is already a contender for Young Player of the Year after a string of terrific performances that has helped Watford into eighth place in the league and just a point behind Burnley. His direct running is likely to cause Man United problems.
Troy Deeney returns tonight from a three match suspension which could see Will Hughes drop out of Silva’s starting line-up. Hughes will be likely to feature at some point though having impressed in his four outings so far this season, scoring twice and assisting once.
In their weekend victory over Brighton, Manchester United were lethargic and uninventive in front of goal, eventually emerging with the points thanks to a wickedly deflected shot from Ashley Young.
They also looked vulnerable to the counter attack with Pascal Groß getting plenty of joy on United’s left flank. The speed in the Watford team could be significant this evening.
Defeat for Manchester United will see them fall even further behind their neighbours in the title race.
Manchester City v Southampton (Wednesday 8pm)
For a side that have struggled for goals this season, Southampton ran rampant at St Mary’s against a wretched Everton side and netted four times. The forgotten man Charlie Austin pitched in with a brace and Steve Davis and Dusan Tadic also got on the score sheet.
That said the victory did come on the back of a 3-0 defeat at Anfield and on Wednesday they will face one of the best performing teams on the planet at the moment.
It is difficult to see how Southampton can maintain enough discipline at the back to cope with the qualities that City possesses.
Pep Guardiola has led his team to twelve victories from 13 league games so far and are the only unbeaten side in the Premier League. That statistic is unlikely to change against Southampton.
Averaging over three goals per league game this season, Man City already look unstoppable in their pursuit of a third Premier League title.
Southampton only have one away victory this season and their last six visits to the Etihad Stadium have resulted in five defeats and one draw.
Guardiola may opt to rotate some of his players in advance of the Manchester derby so it is possible that Ilkay Gundogan could come in to the midfield while Gabriel Jesus may start ahead of Sergio Aguero.
West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United (Tuesday 8pm)
With the Pulis era at the Hawthorns having been brought to an abrupt end, Gary Megson will again deputise as caretaker manager for this evening’s clash with Newcastle United.
Megson oversaw a spirited away performance against Spurs at Wembley on Saturday and will be looking for another big effort to ensure West Brom don’t drop back into the relegation spots.
Brom will likely be without Chris Brunt, James Morrison and Nacer Chadli as the trio are still recovering from injury.
West Brom haven’t won a game since mid August while Newcastle United are on a bad run of four consecutive defeats. Defeat for either side will see them slip closer to relegation.
Newcastle United have lacked goals in their away matches, scoring four in six games. This match is likely to be scrappy and low scoring.
Kevin Boyle, Pundit Arena