English Premier League: What to expect from this weekend

With the race for positions heating up, let us look at the important matches happening at the top and bottom of the league:

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho in a file photo; Credit: Tottenham Hotspur Twitter page

When the Premier League season enters April, a clear picture of where every team is standing will become apparent to the owners of the clubs and fans alike. This will allow the teams to put forth a realistic target for the end of the season. The race for positions will be ever-present across the table. Be it at the top or bottom of the table, every team will be fighting for one place or another. Winning the league is not every club’s priority as many cherish the idea of merely surviving in the league season after season. The massive financial benefit of staying in the top division is a big boost for many clubs. Below is an analysis of what to expect from this weekend’s Premier League matches:

Title race

The race for the Premier League title looks done and dusted. With a 14-point lead over second-placed Manchester United, Manchester City are in the driving seat to get their hands back on the trophy. For City to lose the title, they have to suffer a mighty collapse and their rivals United need to win all their remaining matches. Both seem unlikely considering City’s current form and United’s inconsistent results throughout the campaign.

Pep Guardiola’s boys take on Leeds United this weekend. It might not be straight forward for the Blues, considering the all-out-attacking approach of Leeds. But, City have enough firepower to expose their defensive weakness. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team travel to London to face Tottenham Hotspur. It is a difficult place to travel and United would not have forgotten the 1-6 humiliation at Spurs’ hands earlier in the season. However, Tottenham’s indifferent run of late might provide Ole with an opportunity to get all three points.

Top-4 battle

From West Ham United in fourth to Everton in eight, any of these teams will fancy a chance of finishing in the Top-4. Infact Leicester at third are just five points shy of fifth-placed Chelsea. A run of bad results can drag the Foxes into the Top-4 dogfight. They have a difficult game at West Ham. The winner of this match can directly deal a huge blow to their rival.

In other matches, Liverpool are expected to win at home to Aston Villa and Chelsea will be backed to do the same at Crystal Palace. However, Tottenham Hotspur, which is currently in sixth and three points behind fourth-placed West Ham, have the most difficult assignment – Manchester United. Jose Mourinho’s boys cannot afford to slip up in the European race. If other results go against him, then a defeat could inflict a huge blow in his European ambitions for the season.

Survival fight

One thing is clear at the bottom, Sheffield United are all but relegated. West Brom, in 19th place, and 18th placed Fulham might have an outside chance of getting out of the bottom three places. For that to happen, both have to win their matches and hope other teams above them slip up.

Fulham play 14th placed Wolverhampton Wanderers, while West Brom entertain Southampton. They both will fancy their chances at home. But the biggest match at the bottom is 17th placed Newcastle traveling to 15th placed Burnley. The winner can develop a good lead from the relegation sides, while the losing team will be left dangerously looking over their shoulders untill the end of the season.




WRITTEN BY
Karthik Raman

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