The 2015/16 Premier League season is slowly starting to reach its business end, and we bring you a look at what is on offer this weekend.
After some thrilling midweek action, which unfortunately included Liverpool’s 2-0 defeat at Leicester City, we are all set for two more days of Premier League football.
The Reds host Sunderland on Saturday afternoon, with victory absolutely paramount for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
In truth, it is one of the less eye-catching matches of the weekend, as the title race, top-four battle and relegation fight all continue to hot up.
Etihad showdown the main event
The Saturday lunchtime clash between Man City and Leicester promises to be a hugely entertaining contest, and the result could have a big bearing on the title race.
The Foxes are now genuine challengers, and City’s weak-looking defence will be given a huge examination by Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, among others.
Victory for Leicester would put them six points clear of Manuel Pellegrini’s men at the top, and given their current confidence, you certainly wouldn’t rule it out.
You can’t help but feel City might just have too much for them, but as Leicester have shown all season, they invariably prove you wrong when you doubt them.
In the past, Man United’s trip to Chelsea would have been the title battle that everyone was talking about, but that is not the case this season.
Both have no chance of lifting the trophy in May, and are shadows of the teams they once were. Their showdown at Stamford Bridge on Sunday should still have an edge to it, though.
Tottenham are going quietly under the radar, and their 3-0 win at Norwich in midweek put them ahead of north London rivals Arsenal on goal difference.
Spurs host Watford on Saturday, which should represent three more points to their current tally, while the Gunners travel to Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon. They need a response, following some shaky form of late.
Aston Villa’s hopes of survival took yet another blow on Tuesday when they lost 2-0 at West Ham, and they host fellow strugglers Norwich City in what is a must-win game for Remi Garde and his team.
It is almost at the point of no return for Villa, with the prospect of them playing Championship football in 2016/17 now almost a certainty.
Newcastle welcome West Brom to St James’ Park, which may not be a classic, while relegation-threatened Swansea City are at home to Crystal Palace.
The remaining fixtures see Stoke City and Southampton at home to Everton and West Ham, respectively, which both feel a little too much like meaningless, mid-table clashes.
Full Fixtures & TV Info
Man City vs. Leicester – Saturday 12:45pm, BT Sport 1
Aston Villa vs. Norwich – Saturday 3pm
Liverpool vs. Sunderland – Saturday 3pm
Newcastle vs. West Brom – Saturday 3pm
Stoke vs. Everton – Saturday 3pm
Swansea vs. Crsytal Palace – Saturday 3pm
Tottenham vs. Watford – Saturday 3pm
Southampton vs. West Ham – Saturday 5:30pm, Sky Sports 1
Bournemouth vs. Arsenal – Sunday 1:30pm, Sky Sports 1
Chelsea vs. Man United – Sunday 4pm, Sky Sports 1
Fantasy Football Tips
Dele Alli is in sensational form for Spurs at the moment, and he has now scored more Premier League goals (7) than Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes and Frank Lampard had combined at 19 years of age.
The Englishman will once again be a key figure against Watford on Saturday, and his current prowess in front of goal makes him a no-brainer for your fantasy football team.
Charlie Austin was a brilliant signing by Southampton, and his debut goal against Man United last month outlined what an excellent finisher he is.
The 26-year-old should shrug off a knock in time for the Saints’ home game against West Ham on Saturday, and may well score his first goal in front of his home supporters.
Arsenal will be desperate for a positive result at Bournemouth on Sunday, having not won in their last four league games.
The Gunners will be firm favourites to beat Eddie Howe’s men, however, with a clean-sheet probable. Selecting the solid, consistent Nacho Monreal in your team would be a shrewd move.
Somebody is due a hammering by Liverpool at Anfield, with goals few and far between for the Reds at home so far this season. 14 goals in 11 games is extremely poor.
Sunderland may just feel the wrath of Klopp’s side on Saturday, and Roberto Firmino could play a starring role. He is very up and down at the moment, but expect a strong showing from the Brazilian this weekend.
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