Menu

Arsenal hosts United in Sunday's marquee EPL match

The Premier League title chase could become much more clear after the weekend as four of England's titans are set to suit up Sunday.

Third-place Tottenham will head north to face the leaders, Manchester City, in Sunday's early kickoff. That match will serve as the appetizer for the main course as Arsenal hosts Manchester United at the Emirates later on.

Arsenal, entering the weekend tied with Newcastle for fifth place on 36 points, is mathematically still alive in the title hunt, but sitting 15 points off the pace set by Manchester City has left the Gunners aiming for a top-four finish as a more realistic target.

There will be more on the line for Arsenal on Sunday than just position in the table. The Gunners have lost two straight in league play and will also be looking to avenge the 8-2 loss that they suffered in their last outing against Manchester United.

According to United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, the Red Devils, who sit in second place with 48 points, can expect a much tougher match than that August thumping at Old Trafford.

"It's always a hard game with Arsenal and it should be a good one," Ferguson said. "They recovered well from the 8-2 [loss], had a really good spell and qualified for the next stage of the Champions League."

Ferguson also cited Arsenal's strong defensive showings at the Emirates as a hint that Sunday's clash could be a low-scoring affair.

"I certainly don't think the game will be as open as Old Trafford earlier in the season," said the boss. "It will be a difficult game. They've only lost six goals at home this season so we're well aware it will be a hard game."

The Red Devils will take the field at the Emirates knowing exactly what result they need to keep pace with, or close the gap on, the Citizens. If City drops points, United will have a golden opportunity to make up some ground. But if City claims all three points, then United will have to win in order to ensure that the title picture remains as it is now.

If there is one team that could possibly steal points off of Manchester City at the moment, it is an in-form Tottenham side. Spurs currently hold the longest active unbeaten streak in England's top flight, going seven league games without a loss.

Last time Tottenham faced City, the Citizens put Spurs to the sword behind a 5-1 thrashing at White Hart Lane. It was Tottenham's second game of the season, and the London club has only lost once in league play since.

Also in the title chase is Chelsea, which sits fourth in the league with 40 points. The Blues have won two straight and look to close the gap at the top of the table Saturday when it heads to Carrow Road to face Norwich City.

Newcastle has been largely impressive this season. The Magpies, level with Arsenal in the Premiership table, will face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday with a chance to crack a top-five position.

Swansea City is in a fine run of form. Some supreme passing play has guided the Welsh side to a spot in the top half of the table, taking eight points from its last four games. Swansea will square off against Sunderland, which has lost just two Premier League games in seven since the appointment of new manager Martin O'Neill.

In Saturday's late kickoff, Liverpool heads to the Reebok Stadium where it will face Bolton. The Reds enter the match in seventh place, eyeing a late push to finish in the top four, while Bolton sits second from bottom and is struggling to get out of the relegation zone.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Stoke City aims to extend its unbeaten run to five games as it hosts West Bromwich, Blackburn looks to claim its third win in its last four games when it heads faces Everton, Wolverhampton hosts Aston Villa as Mick McCarthy's men try to climb further clear of the relegation zone, and QPR hosts Wigan at Loftus Road in a fixture with massive relegation implications.