London, March 3 (IANS) A vital weekend in the Premier League promises to have plenty to say at both the top and the bottom of the table, with Arsenal and Manchester City quickly into action on Saturday ahead of a huge game at Anfield between Liverpool and Manchester United.
Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Everton on Wednesday night lifted them five points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table, and Mikel Arteta’s side will expect to take three points from their home match against struggling Bournemouth, who are second from bottom.
Arsenal will know Manchester City’s result by the time they kick-off, as City get the ball rolling on the weekend with a home match against Newcastle United.
Newcastle travel to the Etihad Stadium after their disappointment in last weekend’s Carabao Cup final, but there is a chance they could have influential midfielder Bruno Guimaraes back in contention as they look to end a run of defeat and three draws in their last four matches.
There will be high drama at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea coach Graham Potter’s future probably rests on his side beating Leeds United, a Xinhua report said.
Chelsea’s defeat to Tottenham left them with just 31 points this season -10 points from relegation and 14 points off a place in the top four. Their last home game ended in a 1-0 defeat to the bottom of the table, Southampton and the crowd have started to turn on a coach, who has so far failed to build a team from his talented squad.
Tottenham currently sit fourth but suffered a setback in midweek when they were knocked out of the FA Cup by second-division Sheffield United. Antonio Conte’s side have a difficult visit to Wolverhampton, who need to bounce back after a tame 2-0 defeat to Liverpool on Wednesday.
Saturday’s other matches see a mid-table clash between Aston Villa and Crystal Palace (who have drawn four of their last four matches). Brighton are at home to West Ham, and the question will be whether David Moyes will again use the attacking system that saw his team beat Nottingham Forest 4-0 last weekend, or return to a more conservative style away from home.
There will also be tension in Southampton where the bottom of the table Southampton entertain 14th place Leicester City. Leicester have lost midfielder Youri Tielemans to injury, but will hope to have James Maddison back after he missed their last two defeats, while Southampton are in shock after their FA Cup defeat at home to fourth-division Grimsby Town.
Sunday’s big game sees Liverpool at home to traditional rivals, Manchester United, with Jurgen Klopp’s men looking to build on their midweek win to Wolves, which lifted them to within six points of Tottenham with a game in hand.
Liverpool have beaten weaker rivals in recent weeks, but as their 5-2 defeat to Real Madrid showed, they are lacking against top-class opposition. United travel after a dream week which saw them beat Barcelona, win the Carabao Cup and progress to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup after beating West Ham on Wednesday.
Sunday also sees a vital relegation battle with Nottingham Forest at home to Everton, whose recovery under Sean Dyche has halted with a 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa and a 4-0 thrashing against Arsenal highlighting their problems in front of goal.