As the Premier League approaches “squeaky bum time” with vigour, this weekend could be pivotal in the race for places. On Saturday in England’s top flight, under pressure Chelsea boss AVB will be hoping for a more sturdy performance than he’s seen of late as the Londoners host Bolton. Newly appointed Terry Connor takes his Wolves team to Newcastle, who will be relieved to see the likes of Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye back available for selection. Top Dogs Man City host struggling Blackburn in the day’s late kick-off, hoping to go further clear of rivals United, who play tomorrow.
In the rest of the day’s action, West Brom are at home to high-flying Sunderland, Villa make the trip to bottom of the table Wigan, and Fulham take on QPR in a match that could have an impact on the battle to stay up.
Other games worth mentioning from the lower leagues include West Ham’s home clash against Palace, the Hammers can go 4 points clear at the top. Reading host Middlesborough in a play-off place clash, fresh from Brian McDermott’s vow of faith as he rejected Wolves to sign a new deal this week. In leagues 1 and 2, Charlton and Swindon will be hoping to extend their leads at the top of their respective leads. Both play at home today.
Tomorrow is an absolutely tantalising feast of football, starting with a North London derby with huge significance not only for bragging rights but the race for Europe. Spurs will be looking to tighten their grip on the top 4, Arsenal will be desperately trying to win the race for Fourth place and capitalise on Chelsea’s stuttering form. The heat is on.
Stoke, fresh from their European disappointment, will host Swansea in what is sure to be a hard fought clash, while United travel to Norwich looking to recuperate after their mixed-emotion defeat against Ajax on Thursday night. High-flying Norwich will fancy themselves on their own turf, and without the pressure of a relegation battle, perhaps an upset could be on the cards.
An upset is exactly what Cardiff will be hoping for in the race for the season’s first silverware. Led by ex-Canary Malky Mackay they head to Wembley to take on Liverpool in what should be an absolute stormer of a cup final, and the pick of the weekend’s clashes.
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