We’re having an exciting round of fixtures this weekend in the English Premier League, matches that are crucial both at the top as well as towards the bottom of the table.
The early kick-off features London rivals and English heavy-weights Chelsea facing Arsenal at Stamford Bridge that is bright opportunity for the Gunners to dent Chelsea’s title hopes as well as boost their own chances of winning it especially after a weak showing at Aston Villa by the Blues. If Arsenal do manage to beat the Blues, who’d be missing Ramires, Willian and Mourinho on the touch-line due to suspension, Jose Mourinho’s proud unbeaten home record and his unbeaten record against Arsene Wenger would be shattered. In the hindsight, Chelsea will look to beat Arsenal and potentially eliminate them from the title race.
Two massive games from the bottom half of the table feature West Bromwich Albion visiting Hull City while Norwich City hosts Sunderland. West Brom have the opportunity of leapfrogging Hull City in case of a victory that would leave them in a mid-table position, reasonably safer considering they are just 3 points away from safety. Sunderland, who have played 3 games fewer than their relegation rivals have a great opportunity to climb out of the drop-zone by collecting the three points from the Canaries. On the other hand, Norwich would have the incentive of ending the weekend in a mid table position if they manage to win.
Other matches include Cardiff hosting Liverpool, Swansea facing Everton at Goodison Park, Crystal Palace visiting Newcastle while title favourites Manchester City are playing bottom placed Fulham. Despite the Premier League being the most closely fought league in the world, we can mark out the favourites in these fixtures. Liverpool, after their proud victory at Old Trafford, would want to consolidate their second position by beating strugglers Cardiff City. High flying Everton have a good motive to keep their momentum going as they can close in on the Europa League spot by defeating the injury-hit Swansea City. Crystal Palace playing Newcastle is expected to be a bit more closely fought considering the solid managerial style of Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis. Manchester City are expected to see off Fulham at Etihad, where they have been so successful, especially after their recent away victory aft Hull City, where they showed great character to win with 10 men for most of the game.
In the late kick off, we have another crucial game where West Ham host Manchester United. It may not be affecting the table as much as the other matches but it is very important for under-fire manager David Moyes who has had a very difficult first season with Manchester United. The remarkable Champions’ League victory at home against Olympiakos would have certainly given the Red Devils some much needed confidence after their humiliating defeat against arch rivals Liverpool in their own backyard. But Manchester United’s season has been anything but consistent. Another blow to an already rough season is the injury of Robin van Persie, who got injured after his hat-trick against Olympiakos. Man United would have to play positively and hope to gain confidence and help David Moyes hold on to his job. West Ham on the other hand have the opportunity to steer clear of the drop zone especially after they have notched together some very important victories recently, that earned their manager Sam Allardyce, the Manager of the Month award for February.