BPL This Weekend: Man City controls fate, Liverpool, Chelsea still have title hopes, more

IMAGE, MCFC.CO.UK

Matthew Levine
Staff Writer

With the season running out, having control of your own destiny is absolutely key.

Everton had control of fourth place until recent stumbles, and are now looking set to miss out on a Champions League place. Manchester City appeared to let control wriggle out of their fingers (toes?), but have reclaimed their destiny after Liverpool’s loss to Chelsea.

The Toffees now find themselves with a chance to help their neighbors Liverpool lift the title. Any dropped points from Man City could see them once again cede back their position as title favorites to Liverpool.

Everton have lost once in their last six home matches, while winning the others. The Toffees still need to make sure they secure at least fifth place for a Europa League spot and have everything to play for. Slim chances for a Top Four spot still remain, but they need Arsenal two slip up twice to make that a reality.

The match at Goodison poses even more troubles for City. The Toffees have lost only twice there since December 30, 2012. City have also lost their last four matches away to Everton.

After an injury last weekend, David Silva is healthy and will boost the City side. They will look to attack Everton at every opportunity and it should provide an enthralling and tense affair from the moment the match kicks off.

What To Look For

1. Title Aspirations– Liverpool currently are on top of the Barclays Premier League, while Chelsea sit a point behind in second. However, both clubs title hopes rest on Manchester City slipping up in their three remaining games. 

Chelsea welcome a Norwich side to Stamford Bridge; a Canaries side that looks trapped in the cage of relegation. The Premier League represents the last gasp for a trophy for Jose Mourinho and the Blues. The Blues are coming off disappointment in Europe and will need to dust themselves to finish the remaining Premier League games strong.

Liverpool will face Crystal Palace on Monday. Palace has already secured Premier League survival. They don’t have that much to play for heading into the fixture against the Reds.

The slip up against Chelsea put a dent in Liverpool’s title hopes, but they will need to win out and hope City slip up somewhere along the way. Will Steven Gerrard‘s slip against Chelsea be the title defining moment? That would be a very harsh reality on the Liverpool captain if it comes to pass.

2. Fourth Place In Reach– Have you heard this story before? Of course you have; Arsenal are again on the verge of securing a Top Four finish and a Champions League place.

After losing control in the race to Everton, the Toffees put the Gunners back in their all too familiar position. Needing at least a point to officially book a trip to Europe’s elite competition, Arsenal have a great chance to do so against West Brom.

The Baggies are nearly comfortable in their bid to remain in the Premier League for one more season. However, gaining points off of Arsenal would complete that bid.

This season it has been the top sides that have given Arsenal trouble, but the Gunners have done well against the league strugglers. At the end of the 90 minutes, the Gunners and Arsene Wenger could be celebrating another Top Four finish. However, should they have finished higher up in the Premier League food chain? That is a discussion for another day.

3. Spurs For Fifth?– Trailing Everton by just three points, Tottenham have a chance to sneak into fifth place in the table. West Ham is next on the fixture list for Spurs.

Tim Sherwood‘s job security continues to be called into question and even if he is not the manager next year, will look to finish strong in possible auditions for a manager job somewhere else.

West Ham are comfortably into the Premier League for another season and may not have the same fight as a team needing a win. If that is the case, Spurs will look to take advantage and ramp the pressure up on Everton.

4. Relegation Drama Abounds– At the bottom of the table, relegation roulette will be on offer until the season is over.

Sunderland went from bottom three favorites to clawing their way into a position of safety — for now. The Blacks Cats will face a renewed Manchester United under Ryan Giggs.

Relegation-form Newcastle square off against bottom of the Premier League barrel Cardiff. The Welsh club travel to St. James’ Park knowing a win could potentially lift them out of the drop zone.

Norwich has a tough fixture against a title chasing Chelsea. With Arsenal the following week, Norwich could be entering their Premier League send-off series.

Fulham nearly leaped out of the relegation zone, but let Hull back into the game as both teams settled for a draw. Up next is a middling Stoke side. A win for Fulham at the Britannia, which is no easy place to play, could lift them out of the bottom three.

The last club flirting with relegation is Aston Villa. The club has lost five of their last six matches to spiral towards relegation. They get Hull up next. Hull may have eyes on their FA Cup final during their last two league matches and could present an advantage for Villa.

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