Weekend Preview: Hammer Time for Spurs, Man United Face Old Foe in Top Four Race & Pep faces Allardyce

       

The Premier League has come to its final stretch, with the season entering its penultimate weekend. And yet, the competition is still wide open on different fronts and nothing is yet decided. With the tension across the table heating up, it’s easy to get lost in all the commotion. As such, here are the three games this weekend you simply cannot miss.

 
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur (5th May, Friday; 20:00 GMT+1 KO)
Nobody could’ve ever predicted that Tottenham Hotspur would be in the title race at this stage of the season, and yet the London heavyweights are now battling for Premier League supremacy. They currently sit on second place at the table with 77 points after 34 games, just four points shy of league leaders Chelsea. Sure, it might be a bit of a stretch and they will certainly need results elsewhere to favour them but as things stand, Spurs are definitely contenders for the title.

To get to the finish line, however, they have to beat fellow London club West Ham United, who find themselves at the threshold of Premier League safety. As of this writing, they are in 15th place with 39 points, just a point adrift from clinching the coveted 40-point mark – the number of points said to be needed to secure survival from relegation. As such, the Hammers will certainly be trying their best to get at least a point from this game to ensure their length of stay in the Premier League goes beyond this season.

With a feisty West Ham side gearing up to face them, Spurs will need to be on the top of their form in order to secure all three points and keep their title hopes alive.

       

 

Manchester City v Crystal Palace (6th May, Saturday; 12:30 GMT+1 KO)
Manchester City and their manager Pep Guardiola may well have their hearts up their throats coming into this game – and for good reason. The Citizens are currently in fourth place with 66 points, just a point away from fifth, which is occupied by their fiercest local rivals Manchester United. Therefore, it is crucial they don’t drop points between now and the end of the season.

Manchester City are set to face Crystal Palace, a side that has beaten both Chelsea and Liverpool in impressive fashion in their own stadiums in recent weeks. The Eagles have proven they can overcome any top team on a good day so Manchester City should be on high alert not to take this game seriously. They have already lost all chances of winning a trophy this season – to lose the opportunity to finish in fourth would be disastrous.

 

Arsenal v Manchester United (7th May, Sunday; 16:00 GMT+1 KO)
In what may well be the biggest match of the weekend, fierce rivals Arsenal and Manchester United will face off in expectedly heated fashion once the two collide at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Mathematically, Arsenal still has a chance to finish in the top four. As things stand, they are currently in sixth place with 60 points, six points off of the top four with five games left to play. That’s 15 points up for grabs for Arsene Wenger’s men. To add to their luck, Arsenal will be facing Manchester United on Sunday, one of their direct rivals for a top four finish. If they can grab all three points come Sunday, their chance of finishing fourth, which they have since 1996, becomes ever so closer to becoming reality.

Manchester United, for their part, will definitely be in no mood to yield to anyone in the quest for Champions League football, especially not to Arsenal. Manager Jose Mourinho will definitely be keen to get one over one of his nemesis Arsene Wenger – it will prove to be a delectable icing on the cake if he manages to defeat his Gunners counterpart as the Red Devils inch closer to a top four finish.

       

Elijah is a professional writer, oftentimes seen in his native habitat (a messy studio apartment) typing away strings of words on a word processor in his computer.

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