Manchester City‘s potential title decider, however arsenal On Wednesday, Top Billing rightly competes in a decisive round First League Games this midweek but the Etihad clash isn’t the only game that could have a crucial impact on a club’s season within 90 minutes in the coming days.
Each key theme – the title, Champions League Qualification and relegation – nearing a final moment and could come this week for some teams involved.
If Arsenal or City emerge victorious at the Etihad, they will become overwhelming favorites to win the title LeedsUnited Fans could legitimately argue that the stakes in the game between their team and even higher Leicester City, who sit 16th and 17th and are marginal in the bottom three. Defeat and relegation to the championship are more likely than ever.
Some Clubs Recover Instantly — Burnley return to the Premier League after just a year’s absence – but Leeds struggled to return for 16 years after being relegated in 2004, so there are no guarantees of a short stint outside the top flight.
Both Tottenham Hotspur And Manchester United, who meet in London on Thursday, would like to take the place of their local rivals Arsenal and City. The reality is that a win for United will all but seal their place in the top four and Spurs will be in for a fight European League or Europe Conference League Qualification. On the other hand, a Spurs win would inflate everything again by reducing the gap to fourth place to just three points.
Here are this week’s Premier League fixtures, from potential title deciders to troubled teams and relegation battles.
The Leeds-Leicester clash is the standout game, with Leicester’s 2-1 home win over Wolves on Saturday securing three points for the first time in over two months. Leicester had lost nine of their last ten league games – a run that cost manager Brendan Rodgers his job and led to an earlier one AstonVilla and Norwich boss Dean Smith, who was appointed earlier this month.
It lifted Leicester out of the bottom three and put them ahead of third from bottom everton on goal difference and another win at Elland Road would put them above Leeds who are in deplorable form under Javi Gracia.
Leeds have lost five of their nine league games under Gracia, including the last three including 5-1 and 6-1 home defeats by Leeds crystal palace And Liverpool. If Leeds are to stay up Tuesday’s clash with Leicester and Sunday’s trip to Bournemouth will likely be crucial – because that’s when they face each other Manchester City And Newcastle United.
Another important game is Wolves vs. Palace. Both sides have pulled themselves out of the relegation battle in recent weeks but neither is safe yet. With 37 points, Palace may need just one more to be sure of avoiding relegation, while Wolves (34 points) need another win to put them comfortably within the last three.
And Aston Villa’s home game against Fulham could become a Champions League-impacting game if Unai Emery’s side take all three points. With a trip to Old Trafford next for Villa, two wins in the next two games would suddenly put them squarely in contention for a top-four finish and put them ahead of seventh-placed Liverpool, who they meet at Anfield on May 20 , keep away – a week after a home game against Spurs.
All eyes will be on Etihad as reigning champions City take on an Arsenal side who have led the season virtually uninterrupted since August but have now drawn three straight games and given Pep Guardiola’s team the momentum.
City are showing relentless form, as they often do in the second half of the season, and have been unbeaten since losing at Tottenham on February 5. A streak of 13 wins and three draws, including eight wins from nine Premier League games, has put City on Champions League Premier League courseFA Cup Highs while the Gunners seem to be fading.
Despite the recent wobble, Arsenal are still five points clear at the top despite having played two more games. However, if Arsenal avoid defeat at the Etihad, the pressure on City to win the games in hand will increase.
For now, the odds seem stacked in City’s favor. Playing at home against Arsenal, they are in control of their games and know how to win the title, having been crowned champions in four of the last five seasons. But if City don’t win on Wednesday, Arsenal’s advantage could prove crucial. At this stage of a season when games are winding down, points already gained become a priceless commodity and Arsenal have them.
And if Arsenal win and move eight points clear, City’s hopes of greatness will suddenly look lost.
Also on Wednesday Nottingham Forest vs. Brighton & Hove Albion has implications at both ends of the table. Forest, without a win in 11 games, have fallen to second place and are in desperate need of a win. Against a Brighton team that will be drained physically and emotionally afterwards losing a penalty shoot-out to Man United in the FA Cup semifinals Sunday could be perfectly timed for Steve Cooper’s team. But Brighton are chasing European qualifiers for the first time so they can still look positive in their season. A win at Forest would put them back on track after being eliminated from the FA Cup.
Chelsea vs. Brentford offers Frank Lampard a chance to win his first game as a caretaker at Stamford Bridge – or perhaps even deepen the gloom with another defeat – while West Ham v Liverpool is an opportunity for Jurgen Klopp to boost Liverpool’s hopes of European qualification to get life.
Another night of hugely important games, led by Tottenham’s home game against Man United. After Sunday 6-1 humiliation In Newcastle, the Spurs are on the verge of implosion. But despite what is wrong at the club – the sacking of manager Antonio Conte, the surprise move to a four-man defense (which failed miserably) at Newcastle and the uncertainty over Harry KaneFuture – a win on Thursday would put Spurs back in the top four races.
It looks like Spurs are six points behind fourth-placed United after two more games, so a defeat on Thursday will surely spell the end of Tottenham’s quest for a place in the Champions League.
United have also been inconsistent in recent weeks and their record away from teams in the top 10 is abysmal, with Erik ten Hag’s side losing en route to all of the current top 7. Can Spurs complete the set in fifth place? November’s 1-0 win at Fulham, secured at the last minute Alejandro Garnacho goal, was United’s only win away from a top 10 side.
So this game could really give us everything because it throws two sides out of shape. And United also have a long injury list to overcome.
Everton vs Newcastle impacts the relegation battle and quest for Champions League qualification, but the stakes for the Toffees in this game are arguably much higher. Newcastle’s win over Spurs has given Eddie Howe’s team a six-point lead (and added to the goal difference) in the race for a place in the top four, and a win at Goodison Park would still matter, especially if Spurs Beat United to keep up with the top four.
However, they start this game in the bottom three for Everton and could be further from safety if results come against them on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Everton’s home form since Sean Dyche took charge in January has seen them win three, lose two and draw one. But they haven’t won any at home under Dyche so survival depends on what they do at Goodison – which makes the Newcastle game so important. With a trip to Leicester next, Everton’s fate could depend only on the outcome of the next two games.
end of table southampton It looks like they are headed for relegation, although a win over Bournemouth on Thursday would throw the Saints straight back into the mix to stay on top. A win at Southampton would deprive Bournemouth of a chance to pull away from the bottom three and keep them in the relegation battle.
This is the opportunity that has arisen for Gary O’Neil’s Bournemouth. If they win the South Coast Derby they will move up to 36 points and be within reach of Premier League survival.
So it’s a midweek program full of huge fixtures. It’s really not just about City vs Arsenal, especially when your team is involved in a game that could make or break the game.