Old Trafford is ready to host a high-flying Arsenal in the first match of the Premier League week, while White Hart Lane will be hosting Bilic’s men featuring a London Derby as pressure increases.
Although Wenger will be well aware of their terrible record against a Manchester United side and a Jose Mourinho side, recent performances and form will indicate an Arsenal win is in the cards, as it can jinx the momentum of finally winning against ‘The Special One’.
In the build-up to this match, the Frenchman has spoken to Sky about his rivalry with the United manager. “I was in a press conference today when it was more about the controversy between Mourinho and me. That’s not what football is. People do not enjoy that. People enjoy the quality of the game today,” he said. “It’s not a game of managers, it’s a game of two clubs, two big teams who want to do well. What is important to me is we turn up on the day with a strong performance. We have to make sure we focus on football and not on the rest. It’s a game watched all over the world. The most important is quality – intensity, technical quality, drive – and I personally feel we have to focus on that.” Well, who knows better than the man himself. Old Trafford calling.
Crystal Palace will need to be well wary about a Manchester City side who are playing some smart football at the moment, and the recent record of averaging just 0.73 points per game in this calendar year can be a huge boost for Guardiola’s men as they seek to get three crucial points against the relegation threatened Londoner’s.
Only one defeat in the last seven games, but the only bad news is that all of the rest ended in draws. Mauricio Pochettino’s side are hardly in great form, but their unbeaten run in the premier league in the first 12 games of a league will be the first time since the double-winning year of 1960-61. They will be up against under pressure West Ham who are plying at the bottom in the premier league at the moment and a loss can only make things worse. For Spurs, if they are to challenge for the title, they must gain three points this weekend to keep up with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea.
Free-scoring Liverpool will be up against the Saints who could have managed to win against Hull last time around. Apart from a Merseyside derby before Christmas, six of their next seven matches are against teams currently no better than tenth in the table, which could bridge a gap if they manage to play like they have been doing before the clash against Manchester City at Anfield on New Year’s eve.
Which game do you think can be the turning point of the Premier League title this week? Comment below.
Photo by Thomas Rodenbücher