The Premier League enters a crucial month where teams will be taking winter breaks. However, this weekend features exciting fixtures at both ends of the table. Here are Things to look out for in Matchweek 25. Bet on the Premier League here.
Mourinho and Guardiola meet again
It’s been over a year since Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho last looked at each other in the eye in the context of a domestic contest. These two coaches who’ve won it all have been in era-defining battles in Spain which catapulted them to the pinnacle of the game. This time will be different. Guardiola’s City are 19 points behind league leaders, Liverpool, while Mourinho’s Spurs are sixth and fighting for a place in the top four. Sunday’s meeting probably won’t have any effect on the title race but it will renew a rivalry that stole the headlines a few years ago. Spurs earned a dramatic 2-2 draw against City earlier in the season but have faltered up and down the table. On Sunday, both Guardiola and Mourinho would still relish the opportunity to put a marker down on one another.
Top four battle: Leicester v Chelsea
Leicester City’s title quest has fizzled out in the last few weeks. They are third, 22 points behind leaders Liverpool, but will be looking to clinch a spot in the top four. They host Frank Lampard’s Chelsea in Saturday’s early kick-off with the fourth-placed Blues looking to cut the Foxes’ lead to five points. Chelsea fans will be hopeful going into this match knowing that Brendan Rodgers is aiming for his first victory over Chelsea as a manager at the 14th attempt. The visitors have the fourth-best record away from home while the Foxes have the third-best home record. Therefore, this should be an entertaining affair. One thing to note also is that the Blues have scored 61% of their goals away from home.
Relegation battle: Bournemouth v Aston Villa
Relegation battlers Bournemouth and Aston Villa lock horns on Saturday in a fixture that could determine their fate in the top flight. The Cherries have won just three of their 12 Premier League home games this season, including one of their last six. Eddie Howe’s men find themselves 18th in the table while Villa are 16th, two points off the drop zone. Therefore whoever wins this huge encounter will have a good chance of getting out of the danger zone. Villa should be confident since they scored a last-minute winner against Leicester which sent them to the League Cup final. The hosts won their last league game which implies we should be in for a tight and intriguing affair.
Another tough test for Man United
Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Manchester City in the League Cup semi-final second leg wasn’t enough to take them to the final as they were eliminated on aggregate. This Saturday, they turn their attention to the league where they face Wolves. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are vying for the top four this season and they’re hoping to frustrate the Red Devils once again. Since being promoted, Wolves have been a problematic fixture for United. In fact, United have beaten Wolves just once in six attempts since they were promoted last season. The Red Devils have lost twice in the six matches. For that reason, Santo’s men will want to produce a giant-killing performance at Old Trafford.
Burnley’s poor record against Arsenal
Sean Dyche has lost all of his nine Premier League matches against Arsenal, the joint-worst 100 per cent losing record against an opponent in the competition’s history. Although their record against the Gunners is a terrible one, Dyche’s men can take comfort in the fact that they’ve beaten Leicester City and Man United in their last two league games. Arsenal and Burnley are tied on 30 points and if the result don’t go Arsenal’s way they could find themselves as low as 14th. The Clarets’ confidence is sky-high but can they inflict another defeat on Mikel Arteta’s men?