The battle for a place in the top four in the English Premier League is heating up, and this weekend three of the teams who are hoping to achieve that finish will meet in two enticing fixtures. Tottenham Hotspur welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to North London, while Manchester United host Everton.
Manchester United vs Everton
Manchester United are slowly making ground on the top four and should results go their way this weekend, then they could finish the round of fixtures in fourth position. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains under pressure to get United back into the Champions League, but they are the most in-form team in the battle at present.
United’s season kicked up a gear during their recent game at Stamford Bridge, where the Red Devils ran out 2-0 winners. Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire scored the goals in that victory, and they were able to make it two wins on the bounce in their last Premier League game against Watford. United were dominant in that fixture. Bruno Fernandes opened his account for the Red Devils by scoring the first before Martial and Mason Greenwood added further goals to cement the win. This will be a much harder fixture against Everton however.
The Toffees had been on a great run of form since the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti, but their winning momentum was stalled in their last fixture against Arsenal. Everton took the lead inside the first minute through Dominic Calvert-Lewin, before Eddie Nketiah and Pierre-Emerick Aubaymeyang turned the game on its head. Richarlison equalised on the stroke of half time, but Aubameyang scored his second of the game within a minute of the restart.
Everton haven’t won at Old Trafford since 2013, but they did have success against the Red Devils last season. The Toffees beat United 4-0 on that occasion, but it is incredibly hard to look past United getting their revenge this weekend. The preference would be for United, who can now smell a chance of reaching the top four.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
Two other sides with hopes of achieving a top-four finish will also meet on Sunday, as Tottenham will be looking to get back to winning ways after suffering defeat at Chelsea in their last game. It is now back-to-back defeats for Spurs in all competitions, and they can’t afford another defeat as the teams above of them would begin to pull away.
Before that defeat against Chelsea, Tottenham had won their previous three, which was their best run of the season. However, that Chelsea defeat was a highlight of where they currently find themselves. They struggled in the final third in that game. They have recently lost Heung Min-Son through injury, while Harry Kane is also still out. Lucas Moura couldn’t fill the void, and Tottenham’s only goal in that 2-1 defeat was a hugely fortunate own goal. They will need to find a new way to score goals, otherwise they will be in big trouble this season.
Wolves will not be the ideal opponents for Spurs this weekend, as they are dominant defensively and are a tough side for the top teams to beat. Wolves will go into the game unbeaten in their last three league games, with having only lost once in their previous five. They were victorious in their last Premier League outing as they beat Norwich City 3-0. Diogo Jota scored a brace in that win, while Raul Jimenez also scored.
The fixture earlier in the season ended in a 2-1 win for Spurs, but the preference in this game is for a draw. Wolves are a difficult side to beat, and Tottenham don’t have the players in the attacking third to severely harm their opposition.