Shane Long to deliver points for Southampton and the end of the line for Marco Silva 1 week ago

Shane Long to deliver points for Southampton and the end of the line for Marco Silva

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There are some guys who just help form part of the winning formula.

Shane Long hasn't seen a lot of action for Southampton this year, he hasn't delivered by way of goals or assists - not that he's been given too much time to do so - but he's been on the pitch for the majority of their points, even if he hasn't been there for the majority of their games.

Another cracking weekend of Premier League action is gone, another tasty one incoming.

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The fixtures for this week are below so we'll give you some help.

Southampton v Watford

(Saturday, 5.30pm)

The race for the wooden spoon. The Premier League's two basement clubs holding the rest of the league aloft and handing out early Christmas presents with their -18 goal difference after just 13 games.

Here's a stat for you. Southampton have picked up nine points so far this season - one more than Watford. Shane Long has only been involved in five games. But they've accumulated five points in that time.

With Shane Long, they've picked up five points in five games. Without Shane Long, four points in eight games.

Granted, the Tipp man has only started once and was used very late against Sheffield United but stats are stats. He got 17 minutes against Arsenal, coming on for Danny Ings. Saturday could be a chance for him to stake a claim for Ralph Hasenhuttl's  affection.

Prediction: Southampton 2-1 Watford

Norwich v Arsenal

(Sunday, 2pm)

There have been a lot of must-win games for Unai Emery in recent weeks. Although he's survived the failures of those, you'd have to think that they don't come as must-win as they do on Sunday. Norwich are surprisingly third from bottom despite looking like cannon-fodder most of the season. A win away to Everton on Saturday was their first since their shock Man City win over two months ago but they haven't looked convincing.

Mind you, neither have Arsenal.

Alexandre Lacazette is actually their most consistent performer (according to average ratings) but he isn't a guaranteed starter, not with Aubameyang banging in eight goals thus far. It was Lacazette though who rescued them in the 95th minute with an equaliser against Southampton and maybe, just maybe, that will help buy Emery another week. And, listen, Norwich - the kindest team in the league who will let you play until your heart's content - will suit Arsenal down to the ground.

Prediction: Norwich 0-3 Arsenal

Leicester v Everton

(Sunday, 4.30pm)

Brendan Rodgers is a brilliant manager. Accept it. Marco Silva is a dead man walking.

Leicester are second in the table behind Liverpool. They have the best defensive record in the league and they have a goal difference equivalent to Manchester bloody City.

This isn't a good run or a solid team grinding out results. It isn't 2016 Leicester. It's a convincing juggernaut which has established itself as one of the best teams in the league. Ominous for Silva.

Prediction: Leicester 4-0 Everton

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