EPL Weekend Preview
Match Previews: Pick of the bunch
Leicester vs Man City
The home team are looking to cement down a place in the Champions League, while no game is harder at the minute than Man City. The league is basically wrapped up for Man City, but they will want to right a wrong from earlier in the season.
Leicester are without key players James Maddison, James Justin and Harvey Barnes as we head into this massive game for the club. The players will be a huge miss, as each individual has shown a lot of quality throughout the season and stepped up at times when called upon. Brendan Rodgers has had to deal with injuries throughout the season to a lot of first-team players, but he has found a way to not just cope, but also win. The job he’s done has been fantastic and nothing short of extraordinary in terms of where they currently are in the league (3rd). They won’t be favoured to pick up all 3 points here like they did at the Etihad, but they do enjoy games against the big teams, and this will be an exciting match up.
Man City have been dominant throughout the season, or at least until their loss to Tottenham all the way back in November. Their only blip since then has been a loss to rivals Man Utd a few weeks back, but they have since got back to winning ways quickly and don’t seem to be troubled by it. Leicester do pose problems, but with the injuries they currently have and also International duty just ending, it will be interesting to see how either side lines up. With the announcement of Aguero leaving at the end of the season, Pep has stated that he still believes the club record goalscorer will play a part this term, and could be brought into the side here. 3 points are expected to head to the away side, but it’s not a given.
Arsenal vs Liverpool
Both teams still have a lot to play for as we enter the last 10 or so games of the season. European places could still be reachable for both, but winning runs must start now.
Arsenal have been a strange team this season as they have looked weak at times, but also shown that they can perform at the highest level. They sit 7 points adrift of any European place, and Champions League spots seem almost out of reach. Arteta has been backed by the board despite their league position, and there’s no doubt he is the correct man for the job given that they need stability. It will take time to get this club back to where it was, but Arteta is putting his own stamp on the side now after getting rid of unwanted players, and the rebuild should continue next season. They still have the Europa League to compete with, and they do have a good chance of going all the way which they might have to do if they want any chance of European football. Given Liverpool’s confidence heading into this one, Arsenal should fancy their chances of picking up a victory here.
It’s hard to put a reason on why Liverpool have slipped up so dramatically, but it isn’t down to just injuries. Yes they have had a lot of key injuries in central defence and other areas, but earlier in the season it didn’t seem to hinder them and it’s only been more recently that things have gone wrong. It’s not the Liverpool team we’re used to seeing and they aren’t playing how we know they can, but if they want any chance of catching the teams above and getting back into European spots, they have to start performing and picking up results from right now until the end of the season. Any loss along the way could hurt their chances in a massive way. Their away form is better than their home form in recent months after Anfield being such a fortress for 2 years, so this fixture could be welcomed.