The fixtures in the Premier League this weekend are highlighted by a Sunday that features matches between title contenders Leicester City and Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, along with Tottenham travelling to Manchester City.
Saturday looks to be another tough day for those trying to get out of the bottom three. Sunderland, who currently sit at 19th in the table, host Manchester United, who are eager for good results in their hunt for the top four.
Last week, the Black Cats came back from 2-0 down at Anfield to earn a point, and United gave up a late equaliser at Stamford Bridge. While it’s been a tough year for United, there have been improvements in form over the last few weeks and their team seems to be playing with a little more creativity at the moment. Back in September, United took three points from Sunderland, 3-0 at Old Trafford, and will look for a similar result on Saturday.
Eighteenth placed Norwich City will host a hot West Ham side, fresh off an extra time win over Liverpool in the FA Cup on Tuesday night. They sit sixth in the table and like United, need to capitalise on any opportunity for points at this stage in the campaign. On the other end, Norwich have lost their last five matches, including a 2-0 loss at basement club Aston Villa last week. After doing some big spending in January, the Canaries need to shape things up before they really start to slide.
[ffc-gal cat=”premier-league” no=”5″]
Seventeenth placed Newcastle travel to West London to face Chelsea, who are finally starting to find form under Guus Hiddink. The Blues are yet to lose a match in all competitions since their loss to Leicester in December. The Magpies are coming off one of their best performances of the season after beating West Brom 1-0 last weekend. If Steve McLaren’s side can escape Stamford Bridge with a point, it would be a huge result.
Everton, who are playing great football at the moment, host West Brom. Exceptional play from Tom Cleverly, Aaron Lennon and the back four has seen Roberto Martinez’s squad win three straight games 3-0 in all competitions. The Blues have climbed up to eighth in the table. West Brom are coming off a poor midweek performance where they narrowly beat League One’s Peterborough on penalties in the FA Cup.
Seventh placed Southampton look to continue their push for the top four against relegation threatened Swansea City. Saints goalkeeper Fraser Foster is looking for his sixth shutout in a row since returning from injury. The great outings from the English keeper has helped Southampton win four of their last five with an impressive 0-0 draw at Arsenal.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Crystal Palace travel to Watford in what should be a good mid-table clash. After dropping points in their last three matches, Stoke City will be looking to stop their slipping form at Bournemouth.
Valentine’s day is Sunday, but there will be no love between the teams fighting for the title. The day features two sure to be heated matches between the top four teams. The action starts early at midday with Leicester City visiting Arsenal. Playing away from home has been no problem for the Foxes this season as they’ve won eight, drawm four and lost only once on the road during their historic run. It showed in their dominant 3-1 win at Manchester City last weekend.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have only dropped two matches at home this year. There’s a ton at stake during this match – if Arsenal win, the Gunners will only be two points behind leaders Leicester. However, if the Foxes claim all three points, they will be eight points clear of Arsene Wenger’s side.
Last September, Arsenal humbled Leicester 5-2 with the help of an Alexis Sanchez hat-trick. It was a match that we all thought would put Leicester City back in their place, but that hasn’t been the case.
The weekend comes to a close with another top four meeting between Tottenham and Manchester City. Spurs have been in great form lately, but head to a tough environment at the Etihad on Sunday to face a City team looking to bounce back from their disappointing defeat to Leicester last weekend.
Pochettino has his side playing excellent football, winning their last four matches. During this run, Spurs have scored over three goals in three of those matches. It will be a tough task for the struggling Manchester City defence to stop the creative attack Pochettino’s side have displayed for most of the season.
Manchester City sit just one point behind Tottenham and this match could easily be considered as a must win for either team as they mount a challenge for the title.