Second-placed Manchester United could be 16 points behind the league leaders as they take to the field in their Sunday afternoon match at Newcastle. One defeat in their last four has increased United’s advantage over 3rd to five points a gap they will be keen to maintain. They face two of the other sides in the top four in the next few games so maximum points before then is important. Three draws in their last four games have kept Newcastle’s head above water for now but they are in need of a win. Three points would move them towards the top half but they haven’t had a home win over Man United since 2012.
Chelsea fans must once again wait until Monday to watch their side in Premier League action. After last weeks defeat at Watford Chelsea could find themselves outside the top four before this week’s game kicks off. They lie one point ahead of Spurs in 4th but with their top four rivals facing a difficult game. It is a home game against struggling West Brom which Chelsea aim to use to regain some form. Both sides have been on a poor run at the moment with just a single win each lately. West Brom are bottom of the table and at risk of being cut adrift given the four-point gap to the side above.
The gap at the top of the table was reduced slightly last weekend on the back of Manchester City’s draw at Burnley. It now stands at 13 points but will increase again if they beat Leicester on Saturday evening. City have won their last 12 games at home and would look to repeat the 2-0 win over Leicester earlier in the season. A draw and loss in Leicester’s last two games has halted their progress recently. A good run earlier in the season gave them an outside shot at European qualification and they seem likely to finish best of the rest in May.
Arsenal travel to Spurs for the second North London derby of the season on Saturday. A win for Arsenal would see the gap to 5th place reduced to one point, defeat would seriously damage their top four hopes. November’s meeting at the Emirates saw a 2-0 win for the home side, a result that could be repeated at Wembley. Tottenham have been in good form in the last month though, avoiding defeat in their last eight. They have, however, dropped points over that time. Arsenal have lost two in their last four games but as FA Cup finals over recent years have shown, they are comfortable playing at Wembley.
Southampton’s first win in 12 last weekend temporarily eased their relegation worries. They face a home game against Liverpool this weekend though and defeat could put them back under pressure. Four points from Liverpool’s last three games can be considered a poor run by their standards having won five of their six games before that. A win in Sunday will continue their hopes of a top-three finish and could extend their advantage over the sides below, depending on their results.
September 2014 was the last time Crystal Palace beat Everton in the league but they have a good opportunity to change that this weekend. They head to Goodison Park on Saturday on the back of just one defeat in their last six. They are currently 14th, four points behind their hosts ahead of the game. Three defeats in their last five has caused Everton to fall down the table but those losses all came against sides above. With a note favourable run ahead they could find wins easier to come by.
Last weekend’s win was only the second in Watford’s last 13 games. It brought to an end a very poor run and prevented them from becoming mixed up in the relegation fight. They now travel to West Ham hoping to build on that win and move further away. A win for West Ham would, however, move them level on points with their opponents. With just one win in their last five though, it may not be as straightforward as that.
November’s 2-0 win was Burnley’s first against Swansea in the Premier League. They will be aiming to do the double as they travel to the Liberty Stadium this weekend. The two sides seem to have swapped form of late though as Burnley have not won in their last nine games. Swansea, however, have picked up eight points from their last four games, moving them out of the bottom three.
Stoke replaced Swansea in the bottom three following their defeat to Bournemouth last weekend. They now face Brighton in Saturday aiming to pick up their second home win from three. Brighton have picked up four points in their last two games and now sit in 13th place, three points above Stoke. Brighton are without an away win in the league since early November.
Everything about their recent form points to a Bournemouth win in their game at Huddersfield this weekend. With three wins from their last five, they have propelled themselves towards the top half and clear of danger. Huddersfield have passed them in the opposite direction recently though, the 2-0 defeat at Man United last week their fifth in a row. They are now 19th in the table, four points above the bottom. A win would likely be enough to move them out of the relegation zone though.
With two difficult away games coming up next, Man United need to make the most of this game against at Newcastle and gain three points, and more importantly maintain momentum.