Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Premier League Preview: Matchday 26

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 12 Feb 2016

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Leicester will open up an eight point lead at the top with victory over Arsenal

Leicester will open up an eight point lead at the top with victory over Arsenal

All eyes will be on the Emirates Stadium at midday on Sunday as Arsenal take on league leaders Leicester City.

There is hardly anything between the sides in the eyes of the bookmakers in terms of who will go on to win the title, though if the Foxes can once again upset the odds they will shoot to the head of the market.

They shocked previous champions-elect Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium last time out to open up a six point lead over the 2014 title winners, and another victory here will see them move eight points clear at the summit.

If that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, Manuel Pellegrini’s men host second place Spurs in the final game of the weekend, with both sides desperate for the victory as they hope to keep the pressure on the East Midlanders.

Villa on the up?

Sandwiched inbetween those two fixtures on Sunday is bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa’s home game against an inconsistent Liverpool side who go into the game fresh from being knocked out of the FA Cup.

Remi Garde’s men won last time out, beating fellow strugglers Norwich City to make it just one loss in five and a triumph here will keep alive their slim hopes for survival.

Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp’s side are without a win in four games in all competitions and could be in the bottom half of the table by the time they kick-off.

Saturday’s action commences at the Stadium of Light where second-from-bottom Sunderland take on a Manchester United side desperate to keep in touch with the top four.

Manchester United hanging on

Louis van Gaal’s men go in to the weekend six points adrift of their neighbors City who currently occupy fourth place and can be backed at 7/4 to end the season in the Champions League qualification places.

Norwich dropped into the bottom three last weekend and will hope to get the better of West Ham United when the pair meet at Carrow Road while Swansea City, who themselves are just four points clear of the drop zone have a tough test with Southampton the visitors to the Liberty Stadium.

Stoke drought

Bournemouth host Stoke City, with the Potters looking to score their first league goal in a month.

Mark Hughes’ side have lost each of their last three games by three goals to nil though they remain just six points off the top six.

Crystal Palace host a Watford side two places and one point above them, while Everton will be looking to continue their recent run of wins when they host West Bromwich Albion.

Finally, Chelsea host Newcastle United, with the Blues still yet to lose under Guus Hiddink in his second spell in charge though the fallen champions have drawn six of their last eight league games.

Can Manchester United make the top four?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deke Hardman


Freelance football writer with a love of the game that goes back to the mid nineties when both his beloved Nottingham Forest and England had genuine hope of acheiving some level of success. A regular contributor to both SoccerNews.com and FreeBetting.com, Deke also dabbles in music journalism with his heart and head still stuck in the latter years of the twentieth century.

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