Watford, now languishing at the foot of the table, take on Crystal Palace today (Dec 7) having sacked former manager Quique Sanchez Flores following last Saturday’s (Nov 30) loss to fellow strugglers Southampton.
Many felt it a somewhat bizarre decision for the Watford hierarchy to rehire Flores in the first place as the exact same board had sacked him in May 2016. He had replaced the season’s first managerial casualty in Javi Gracia who only lasted four games.
Watford desperately need a win as their sinking form shows little sign of abating. Caretaker manager Hayden Mullins has his work cut out against an inform Palace who sit seventh in the table.
End of the road for Silva
Time finally ran out for beleaguered Everton manager Marco Silva who, after 18 months in charge at Goodison Park, was sacked on Thursday (Dec 5) after a 5-2 thrashing by Liverpool the night before saw the club fall into the Premier League relegation zone.
A run of eight defeats in 11 games sealed Silva's fate after the club spent big and assembled a squad that was expected to challenge for European qualification at the other end of the table.
Fans had become disillusioned with Silva’s tactics and the team’s lacklustre displays, culminating with many calling for the Portuguese to go after a 2-0 home defeat to Norwich on November 23.
He was handed a reprieve and an improved performance despite conceding a late winner to Leicester in a 2-1 defeat last weekend.
His dismissal, however, had become all but a formality and the heavy loss to bitter rivals Liverpool, the first time the Blues have conceded five times to their rivals since 1982, was the final nail in the coffin.
Silva’s assistant, Duncan Ferguson, takes temporary charge for today’s home game against Chelsea (7.30pm Thailand time).
“Big Dunc,” as he is affectionately known, was an uncompromising striker who starred for Everton, earning cult status among fans. Many will be hoping he can turn things around quickly and help the club climb out of the bottom three.
No sign of leaders slipping up
Buoyed by their impressive midweek victory, Liverpool travel to Bournemouth confident of another three points to maintain their imperious form at the summit.
Their most recent victory, against Merseyside arch rivals Everton, set a new club record for the most consecutive unbeaten games in the top flight. Not many envisage that record being under threat against today's opponents.
Their hosts have hit poor form of late and will just be looking to get this fixture out of the way before they embark on the congested festive period.
After suffering their first defeat under Jose Mourinho with the midweek loss to Manchester United, Spurs will be looking to get back on track against Burnley at home later today.
Midfield enigma Dele Alli seems to have rediscovered his mojo and will be hoping to lead from the front.
The Manchester derby rounds out today’s games, promising to be a hugely entertaining occasion with both teams high on confidence after impressive midweek victories.
Logic suggests a blue victory although derbies are often unpredictable affairs where recent form is undermined in the passionate heat of battle.
Tomorrow sees second placed Leicester travel to Aston Villa hoping to keep their chase of Liverpool going; Newcastle take on Southampton, Norwich face Sheffield United and Brighton host Wolves in an intriguing match up.
Rounding out the weekend’s fixtures we have West Ham taking on a freefalling Arsenal (Monday evening GMT).
The Gunners stuttered against Brighton on Thursday (Dec 5) evening, losing 1-2 at home.
Of course, it was only a week ago that Arsenal joined the ‘sack the manager’ bandwagon themselves when they fired Unai Emery. There has been no immediate new manager bounce under caretaker Freddie Ljungberg with two tepid performances.
Should they lose again maybe we will witness a new trend altogether with fans calling for the sacking of the caretaker manager.