By Gbenga Isaac
North London will once again witness fireworks this afternoon when Tottenham battle their arch-foes Arsenal at Wembley Stadium.
There’s a lot to play for in this match as both sides are hot in the race for a place in the top four. Tottenham are fifth on the table on 49 points and just a point behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
Arsenal on the other hand are four points behind Spurs and cannot afford to lose this game. While a win will still see them remain sixth, it will pull them up closer with just a point away from Spurs.
The Gunners have been sensational in their last two home games, blazing home nine goals and conceding only two. They will now hope to strive to replicate that form in their away games, as they were beaten 3-1 by Swansea the last time they were on the road.
Spurs are on the back of a controversial 2-2 draw against Liverpool and will now play for their 15th win of the season.
League leaders Manchester City tackle Leicester at the Etihad Stadium. Though they were held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley last time out, the Citizens still hold a 13-point lead at the top with 12 games to go.
Miracles happen in life, but a title slip up is highly unlikely. Leicester will once again be without star man Riyad Mahrez after the Algerian playmaker went Awol following the failure of his move to Manchester City. He missed training about four times this week and is likely to be unavailable for this clash.
According to speculation, his antics have led Guardiola to have second thoughts about making another approach in the summer. What lies ahead for the winger now remains to be seen.
Everton will aim to bounce back from their crushing 5-1 loss to Arsenal against Crystal Palace at Goodison Park.
Following an impressive run of form, Swansea will aim to return to winning ways against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium. The Swans have lost just once since new boss Carlos Carvalhal took charge, and a win could see them climb as high as 12th on the log.
It’s all to play for yet again as Stoke City entertain Brighton at the Britannia Stadium. The Potters are 18th on the log, level on points with 17th placed Swansea.
Brighton are 13th, three points ahead of Stoke but things could get interesting should they fail to win.
West Ham will host a confident Watford side at the Olympic Stadium. There are just three points separating the Hammers from the Hornets, but Javi Gracia’s Watford will be riding high after their shock 4-1 win over Chelsea.
Tomorrow, Newcastle United face a tough task against Manchester United at St. James’ Park. The Toon Army are one of the teams that find themselves in a relegation scrap, as they are just a point ahead of 19th placed Huddersfield Town. Anything less than three points will very likely see them fall into the unwanted zone.
United on the other hand are second on the table and could opt to rest some key players ahead of their Champions League game with Sevilla in midweek. Nevertheless, the Red Devils are expected to win.
Southampton play Liverpool at St. Mary’s Stadium. The Saints picked up a morale boosting 3-2 win away to bottom side West Brom last time out, but still lie two points above the drop zone in 15th. They now take on a Reds side featuring a host of former Southampton players.
Sadio Mane, Dejan Lovren and the world’s most expensive defender, Virgil Van Dijk, are among the former Saints expected to feature. You are more likely to hear boos than cheers throughout the game.
Liverpool will feel hard done by after losing two points against Tottenham. They remain third on the log, though with just a point ahead of the fourth placed Chelsea.
Second from bottom Huddersfield Town will be desperate for a win at home to ninth placed Bournemouth at the John Smith’s Stadium. A 2-0 loss to Manchester United did them no favours, but they now have a good chance to pull out of the relegation zone against the in-form Cherries.