The Premier League weekend will kick off with teams once again on the hunt for valuable points to achieve their goals for the season. All eyes will be on the title race, but there are interesting fixtures that could determine which sides have the best possible chance to challenge for a place in the top-four.
Manchester United vs Everton
There is a feeling that Manchester United may have turned a corner over recent weeks with back-to-back wins against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City. The latter of those in the derby was a shock that nobody could have foreseen from previous United performances but they looked like a team that was hell-bent on ending the brave City title challenge.
Marcus Rashford was in inspired form at the Etihad as he scored the opener, before Anthony Martial’s pinpoint finish wrapped up all three points for the resurgent Red Devils. This will be a slightly different task for the home sides, and it is typically the type of game that has been difficult for United all season.
Everton will come into the game off the back of a first win under the stewardship of Duncan Ferguson. The former striker was brought in to replace Marco Silva, and enjoyed an excellent start with a 3-1 win over Chelsea. Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored twice in that fixture, while Richarlison got on the score sheet too. There was a clear difference in intensity as the Toffees made more tackles in that game as they have done in any fixture for the past five years.
United holds the clear advantage in the overall record between the sides as they have won on 88 occasions compared to Everton’s 70. There have also been 43 drawn matches between these sides. The last meeting ended in a 4-0 win for the Toffees, but you would be hard-pressed to find anyone believing we could see a repeat of that. Punters should expect a commanding United win.
Arsenal vs Manchester City
The action on Sunday will be brought to a close with an interesting fixture at the Emirates between Manchester City and Arsenal. The Gunners will be high on confidence after registering their first win of the Freddie Ljungberg era last time out against West Ham United. Meanwhile, Manchester City will be looking to get back to winning ways after their defeat in the derby.
Arsenal were much better last time out, and in the end, there was no question that they deserved all three points against the Hammers. The Gunners went behind in that fixture but scored three goals in the second half to turn the tide in their favour. The pick of the goals came from Nicolas Pepe, who will be expected to continue his fine run of form in this clash.
City didn’t have an answer to United in their clash at the Etihad last week, and didn’t deserve to take anything away from the game. There is a sense that the injury problems that they have had are now having an impact on their performances, which means any hope of a third title on the bounce may already be gone. John Stones limped off in the derby, and they will also be without Sergio Aguero for this fixture.
Arsenal holds the advantage in the overall record as they have won on 96 occasions compared to City’s 55 wins. There have also been 45 draws in this fixture. However, the Gunners haven’t beaten City in the league since 2015, and that is a run that punters will expect to carry on.