It’s a massive day in the battle for the top-four today as three of the four teams vying for the remaining two Champions League spots are in action.
Having seen their bitter city-rivals, Tottenham, fall to a surprise defeat at the hands of West Ham United during yesterday’s early kick-off, the other side of North London, Arsenal, will be desperate to capitalise and take a points advantage into the final weeks of the season with a win over Brendan Rogers’ Leicester City. Things haven’t been plain sailing for the Gunners, however, with shock defeats to Everton and Wolves highlighting the inconsistencies and deficiencies which have been a staple of Unai Emery’s first season in charge. Hosts Leicester City, on the other hand, will fancy themselves giant killers this game, having recorded a number of high-profile results over the top-6 clubs this season. Can the Gunners put their defensive woes to bed and make their dreams of Champions League qualification a reality?
Next up, we have a potential title-race decider in Manchester City’s visit to Burnley, where an interesting statistic has begun to emerge online; the Clarets haven’t failed to beat the reigning Premier League champions that they’ve been in the Premier League since their promotion in 2008. Manchester City, however, are in electric form and – having been knocked out of the Champions League by Tottenham – will be throwing everything they have at taking maximum points from their remaining games in the Premier League. City winger Raheem Sterling, having narrowly missed out on the PFA Player of the Year award to Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk, will have a point to prove and will hope to continue his scintillating form which led to his nomination. With a home win over Huddersfield on Friday having given Liverpool a two-point lead once again, Pep Guardiola’s men will know that there can be no more mistakes and will be baying for blood in Burnley.
Finally, moving into Sunday evening, we have a blockbuster clash between Chelsea and Manchester United who sit in fourth and sixth place respectively with only three points separating them – indeed, a win for Manchester United would see the entire landscape of the race for top-four shift massively. Both Mauricio Sarri and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have experienced similar fortunes in their first seasons – half for Solskjaer – in charge, with both United and Chelsea showing promising signs but lacking the consistency to make it count. In recent weeks, it’s been something of a disaster-class from both Chelsea and United points of view with defeats to Everton laying defensive deficiencies bare for the Red Devils, while the Blues have had a trick time of things with a draw at home to the previously mentioned Burnley. Will United’s defensive frailties come back to haunt them with Eden Hazard lying in wait, or will Chelsea’s Jekyll-and-Hyde season throw up another upset?
Premier League – Sunday on Sky Sports and BT Sports from 12:00pm.