As spring replaces winter, the Premier League really starts to reach its business end now. We preview another weekend of crucial action.
A thrilling midweek of Premier League football saw the title race continue to wow, as Leicester gained points on their rivals despite not beating West Brom.
Their 2-2 draw was rightly seen as a slip-up, but defeats for Tottenham, Arsenal and Man City amazingly saw the Foxes increase their lead at the top to three points.
Liverpool dispatched of City 3-0, gaining some sort of revenge for their League Cup Final defeat in the process, with Adam Lallana, James Milner and Roberto Firmino finding the net. The Reds visit Crystal Palace on Sunday.
It promises to be another enthralling few days of action, with one potentially season-defining game standing out from the crowd.
Massive north London derby
Is Saturday’s derby between Spurs and Arsenal at White Hart Lane their biggest clash of the Premier League era? It is hard to think of a more pivotal one.
Both London clubs are vying for the title, and victory for either side would be both joyous for them and damaging for the other.
Spurs currently lead their bitter rivals by three points – Arsenal’s loss at home to Swansea City on Wednesday was a shocker – and they know that they can possibly put the Gunners out of the title race this weekend.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men need to show character after their 1-0 defeat at West Ham, and show that this Spurs side is made of sterner stuff than past teams. It promises to be a must-watch game.
League leaders Leicester face a tricky-looking trip to Watford, as they look to consolidate their place at the top of the table.
Claudio Ranieri’s side and their supporters must really be starting to dream now, although Watford will be far from a walkover.
City cannot be written off just yet, especially as their home clash with Aston Villa on Saturday looks like one of the most predictable results of all time.
The Villans are all but relegated, and although City remain incredibly inconsistent, it is hard to see it being anything other than a cricket score at the Etihad.
Man United have gone a little under the radar and earned back-to-back league wins, and they are now in with a good chance of finishing in the top four.
They visit West Brom on Sunday afternoon, and another victory there would strengthen their chances of Champions League football next season.
Chelsea are also flying at the moment, with the Blues hosting Stoke on Saturday, while Norwich’s trip to Swansea is crucial at the bottom of the table.
The remaining fixtures see Everton welcome West Ham to Goodison Park, Newcastle host Bournemouth in another important relegation clash and Sunderland visit Southampton.
Full Fixtures & TV Info
Tottenham vs. Arsenal – Saturday 12:45pm, BT Sport 1
Chelsea vs. Stoke – Saturday 3pm
Everton vs. West Ham – Saturday 3pm
Man City vs. Aston Villa – Saturday 3pm
Newcastle vs. Bournemouth – Saturday 3pm
Southampton vs. Sunderland – Saturday 3pm
Swansea vs. Norwich – Saturday 3pm
Watford vs Leicester – Saturday 5:30pm, Sky Sports 1
Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool – Sunday 1:30pm, Sky Sports 1
West Brom vs. Man United – Sunday 4pm, Sky Sports 1
Fantasy Football Tips
Saturday’s north London derby will be a very cagey affair, with both Spurs and Arsenal terrified at the prospect of losing.
Both defences are likely to come out on top, and including Danny Rose in your fantasy football team would be a shrewd move. As he showed against Swansea last weekend, he also he has an eye for goal.
Sergio Aguero is always a no-brainer when it comes to fantasy football, but this weekend more than ever would be a bad move not to include him.
The 27-year-old has the ability to rip lesser sides to shreds on his day, and he may well score two or three against a hapless Villa side.
Southampton had a bad result in the week, losing 2-0 at Bournemouth, but they will fancy their chances of bouncing back at home struggling Sunderland this weekend.
Shane Long is one of the Premier League’s most underrated players, and always delivers a decent tally of goals and assists. Get him in your team, with the Republic of Ireland a cheaper option than teammate Charlie Austin.
West Ham continue to look genuine top-four challengers, following their win over Spurs, and Slaven Bilic’s men visit Everton on Saturday.
Michail Antonio is in very fine form in front of goal for the Hammers, and he would be a cheap addition to your team, and someone with the potential to down the Toffees.
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