The 2018/19 Premier League campaign is into the final stretch with plenty still to be decided.
While the majority of eyes are firmly fixed on the title race, the battle for a top-four finish is the fiercest it’s ever been with four teams still able to claim two spots.
On Sunday, three of those teams are in action while the reigning champions make the trip to Turf Moor – something of a hoodoo ground for previous Premier League winners.
Here, we preview the three massive matches you can look forward to.
Leicester City vs Arsenal
Leicester, bidding to be the best of the rest in the Premier League, welcome Arsenal, a team fighting for a place in the top four, to the King Power Stadium on Sunday. Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted during the 3-1 win for the Gunners in the reverse fixture earlier on in the season but don’t expect a similar scoreline.
When Unai Emery’s men are good they’re brilliant. But then they’re off the boil – like in their midweek defeat to Wolves at Molineux – then it isn’t enjoyable viewing for fans. Over recent weeks, the Gunners have lived up to their Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde comparison with wins over Manchester United and Napoli and losses against Rennes, Everton and Crystal Palace.
Leicester had found their rhythm under Brendan Rodgers, winning four on the bounce, but are now winless in two after a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United and a 2-2 draw with West Ham United.
Burnley vs Manchester City
Burnley’s 2018/19 season has been one of two halves. During the first part of the campaign, it appeared as though Sean Dyche’s men were in danger of dropping out of the Premier League after managing to win just three of their opening 19 matches.
However, Dyche and his players have stepped it up since the turn of the year. The Clarets have won eight and drawn four of the 16 matches played and have steadily climbed the table. Though not mathematically safe just yet, it would take something special to see results go against them in the final three games of the season.
While for some the visit of the reigning champions may be a daunting one, Burnley relish these big games. In fact, Burnley have picked up wins against the reigning champions in each of their last four campaigns in the top flight.
Manchester City ran riot at the Etihad when the two sides met in October. Pep Guardiola’s men netted five in a 5-0 trouncing of the Clarets to maintain top spot. After beating rivals Manchester United 2-0 at Old Trafford on Wednesday to reclaim top spot, a repeat scoreline would go a long way in ensuring City become the first time in a decade to retain the title.
Manchester United vs Chelsea
It’s crunch time for Ole Gunnar Solskjær and his players. After a record-breaking start as the manager at Old Trafford, the wheels have come off. Knocked out of the FA Cup by Wolves, easily dealt with by Barcelona in the Champions League and defeated 2-0 in Wednesday’s Manchester derby, the third-place finish in the Premier League which looked likely at one stage is now a distant memory.
The 4-0 humbling at the hands of Everton should’ve been the wake-up call the players needed. The Manchester derby was the perfect opportunity for them to respond, and they started well before collapsing in the second half. The game against Chelsea, a genuine rival in their pursuit of a top-four finish, is an even better platform for them to show the world they can perform when the pressure is on.
It finished 2-2 earlier in the season and a repeat scoreline does neither team any favours if Arsenal and Spurs pick up maximum points. Maurizio Sarri will want a reaction from his players after they dropped points at home to Burnley on Monday evening despite taking the lead in what eventually finished as a 2-2 draw.
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