As the Premier League enters its final third, Man City are looking more and more like the runaway leaders. Pep Guardiola’s side has won 17 matches in a row and are ten points ahead of Man United in second.
The race for fourth is also heating up, with Liverpool, Everton, West Ham and Chelsea all gunning for Champions League qualification.
There are some big fixtures at both ends of the table this weekend. Liverpool host Everton in a Merseyside derby and Spurs travel to West Ham in a London derby. Arsenal take on Man City at the Emirates and there’s a relegation six-pointer between Sheffield United and Fulham.
In one of the biggest matches of game week 25, Liverpool take on Everton in the Merseyside derby. Liverpool beat RB Leipzig 2-0 in mid-week but have lost their last three Premier League and haven’t won at Anfield in five matches. Everton lost 3-1 to Man City and 2-0 to Fulham this week, the first time the Toffees have lost consecutive matches since November. Liverpool are unbeaten in the last 23 meetings between the sides. Everton have not beaten their city rivals since 2010.
On Saturday evening, Fulham host Sheffield United in a massive relegation match. Fulham have turned a corner recently and are three games unbeaten. Scott Parker’s side also recorded their first win since November last weekend, beating Everton 2-0. Sheffield United continue to struggle at the foot of the Premier League table. The Blades have lost their last two games and are 14 points from safety.
In this weekend’s London derby West Ham play Tottenham and both sides couldn’t be further apart in form. West Ham have lost one and drawn one of their last eight Premier League games, taking 19 points. Only City have gained more in this time. Spurs, however, have lost five of their last six in all competitions and gained just seven points from the last 21 available.
Mikel Arteta faces his former boss, Pep Guardiola on Sunday as Arsenal welcome league leaders City to the Emirates this weekend. Arsenal ended a three-match run without a win last weekend, beating Leeds 4-2. At home, Arsenal are unbeaten in six, winning three and drawing three. Pep Guardiola’s side are unbeaten in 16 Premier League games. The Citizens are the team to beat, having won 12 league games in a row since mid-December.
Players to Watch
- Josh Maja
Fulham striker Josh Maja has hit the ground running with his new club. Maja joined the Cottagers in the January transfer window and has two goals in his first three games. The Nigerian striker was key in Fulham’s 2-0 win over Everton last weekend. He could prove to be the difference between survival and relegation for Scott Parker’s side this season.
2. Peirre-Emerick Aubameyang
Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was back to his best last weekend. The Gunners’ talisman bagged a hat-trick against Leeds and almost scored a fourth late on, but was denied by the post. It has been an inconsistent season for Aubameyang. But, if he can build on last week’s man of the match display, the Gabon international could find the net with more regularity in the next few weeks.
3. Bernardo Silva
Despite a fairly slow start to the season, Bernardo Silva has found some form in recent weeks. The Man City midfielder has scored two goals and made four assists in his last eight appearances. Silva was also the man of the match against Everton in midweek, setting up Riyad Mahrez and scoring himself late on to help his side secure a 3-1 victory. As City’s title challenge ramps up in the coming weeks, players like Silva will need to continue their excellent form to help the club reclaim the Premier League title.
Don’t Shoot the Messenger
There are some teams surpassing expectations in the Premier League this season. Expect the likes of Leicester and West Ham to gain all three points this weekend.
Routine wins are likely for Man City, Chelsea and Man United. Liverpool will also claim a win in their grudge match with Everton.
Check out Investing in Soccer’s predictions below.
Who will claim the bragging rights in the Merseyside derby? Will Man City extend their incredible run of wins this weekend? Or will Mikel Arteta upset his old club? Can Fulham or Sheffield United plot a great escape with a win this weekend? Let us know your predictions in the comments below.