The Premier League’s winter break continues this weekend, with only 14 teams in action. The battle for the top four will take centre stage as four of the teams that are hoping to achieve that coming head to head. Chelsea and Manchester United will meet at Stamford Bridge on Monday night, while Wolves and Leicester City meet in a Midlands derby on Valentine’s Day.
Chelsea vs Manchester United
Chelsea have been occupying the final Champions League spot for a number of months now, but they are finally being pushed to protect that by a number of sides that are hoping to pounce should the door open slightly. Sheffield United won last time out to cut the gap between themselves and the Blues to two points, and Manchester United will be hoping to end the round of fixtures this weekend with a gap of just three points.
United have already beaten Chelsea twice this season, but this is undoubtedly their most important meeting of the season. The Red Devils claimed a big opening day victory over the Blues, but a lot has changed since then. Fans are beginning to grow tired of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and his potential job security will hinge on whether United can achieve a top-four finish. Their recent form hasn’t been great, as they have won just once in their previous five. Last time out they were held to a 0-0 draw by Wolves at Old Trafford, and they will have to play much better to get the win at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have also been inconsistent over recent weeks, and that has allowed teams to close the gap on them. They have won just once in their previous five league games, but haven’t picked up three points for three games. Their last two matches in the Premier League have ended in draws. The most recent of those came against Leicester City, as Frank Lampard’s side were made to settle for a 2-2 scoreline. Punters may feel that the result for this fixture may also be a draw, as both sides would consider that a point gained.
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Leicester City
Two of the teams that are vying to break into the top four this season will meet in Friday nights game. Leicester are looking good value for a place in the Champions League next season, while Wolves have a lot of work to do if they are to achieve that. Both sides are among the most exciting to watch in the league, which means we could be treated to another 4-3 scoreline like last season.
Wolves may have one eye on their upcoming Europa League tie against Espanyol, as that could be another route into the Champions League for them. They haven’t been in the best form over recent weeks, as they have won just once in their previous five league games. Their last outing in the top-flight came at Old Trafford as they were happy to settle for a point.
Leicester have also hit the buffers over recent weeks, but the stuttering form of Manchester City and Chelsea means that their third-place finish could still be achieved. Furthermore, if they pick up the win against Wolves on Friday evening, then they could overtake Manchester City. Despite enduring a turbulent winter so far, Leicester still have a better recent record than Wolves, as they have won twice in their previous five. This could be an engaging fixture for the neutrals, and a popular bet could be for both teams to score, as Wolves and Leicester have scored a total of 89 goals between them this season.