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Gameweek 26 – English Premier League

Another full fixture list coming up in the Premier League this weekend.

City have raced to the top of the table and look unstoppable. However, the race for Europe is heating up as Liverpool, Everton, Leicester, Chelsea and West Ham remain in the hunt for the top four.

Towards the bottom, Fulham have worked miracles recently and given themselves a chance of Premier League survival. Newcastle and Brighton will be cautiously looking over their shoulders in the coming weeks.

There are some great fixtures ahead in game week 25. Two top of the table clashes will take place as Man City play West Ham and Chelsea take on Man United. There’s also a big clash at the bottom with West Brom hosting Brighton. But Fulham will be hoping to make ground on 17th place with a win at Crystal Palace.

In the first match of game week 25, Man City will look to secure their 20th win in a row against West Ham. City beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-0 in midweek to secure their 19th consecutive win in all competitions. Pep Guardiola’s side are also unbeaten in 17 consecutive league games, winning seven in a row at the Etihad. But West Ham come into the match in excellent form themselves. David Moyes’ side are unbeaten in three matches, winning seven out of nine Premier League matches in 2021.

Two of the most inconsistent teams face off as Leeds take on Aston Villa at Elland Road. Leeds beat Southampton 3-0 at home this week to make it four wins in six at home. But, the Yorkshire side have won two of their last five, conceded seven goals and scored eight. Villa lost 2-1 to Leicester last weekend, their first defeat in three matches. Dean Smith’s side have only gained seven points from their last 18 available and remain without the injured Jack Grealish this weekend too.

An in-form Leicester welcome a struggling Arsenal side to the King Power this weekend. The Foxes have only lost one match in their last 16 in all competitions and won three of their last four in the Premier League. In contrast, Arsenal have lost three of their last four in the Premier League and gained just four points from their last 15 available. The Gunners have also lost their last two consecutive away games to Villa and Wolves respectively.

The biggest clash of game week 25 sees Chelsea take on Man United at Stamford Bridge. Both sides come into the match in decent form. Chelsea have been reinvented under Thomas Tuchel recently. The German manager is unbeaten in his first eight games, winning six and drawing two since taking over from Frank Lampard in January. United’s form is slightly more patchy as the Red Devils have drawn three of their last four in the league. But, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side have been excellent away this season. They are the only Premier League team unbeaten away this season, winning eight and drawing four of their 12 away fixtures.

Players to Watch

  1. Harvey Barnes

Harvey Barnes has been a reliable player for Leicester this season. The young attacker has become more consistent in the 2020/21 season and is becoming one of the most in-form players in the Premier League. Barnes was excellent again in the 2-1 win over Villa last weekend. The forward set up James Maddison for the opener and scored himself minutes later to take the game away from Villa. Barnes now has 16 goal contributions for Leicester and there is certainly more to come from the young starlet this season.

2. Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford is hitting top-form. The English forward has been electric in recent weeks and is a constant, direct threat alongside Bruno Fernandes in United’s attack. Rashford has made seven-goal contributions in his last nine matches. He continued his excellent form against Newcastle last weekend by scoring the opener and driving at the Magpie’s defence in the second half. Rashford is hitting fifth gear and is now showing another level of consistency to his game that will yield goals and assists in the latter part of the season.

3. Raphinha

Leeds winger Raphiniha joined the club in October with an excellent reputation as a powerful, direct attacker. After a slow start to life in the Premier League, the Brazilian is proving his potential. Raphinia scored just one goal in his first eight games for Leeds. But he has since made nine-goal contributions in his last 12, including three goals and three assists in his last seven games. The forward was a constant threat in the 3-0 win over Southampton this week and got on the scoresheet again. Certainly, one of the players to watch out for in the final game weeks of the 2020/21 season.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

It’s unlikely there will be many upsets as the Premier League enters the final stages of the season. City should continue their incredible run, while Leicester could make up ground on the league leaders. Brighton and Newcastle face tough fixtures that could see them slip further into the relegation battle!

There’s still much to be won and lost in the 2020/21 season. How do you think things will shape up in the final months of the season? Who will be the big winners and losers? Share your views in the comments below!