City, Tottenham set for crucial clash

There will be plenty on the line when Manchester City heads to White Hart Lane to face Tottenham on Sunday.

City is fighting tooth and nail to retain its Premier League title, but with the Citizens sitting 14 points back of first-place Manchester United, that prospect is becoming more and more unlikely.

Roberto Mancini's side, which holds a game in hand over United, managed to gain two points on their rivals on Wednesday thanks to a late winner from Carlos Tevez. The Argentine powered his side to a 1-0 victory over Wigan, helping City take advantage of United's 2-2 draw with West Ham.

But the task of closing the gap any further remains quite daunting, and the fact that the Citizens have to travel to Tottenham at the weekend certainly doesn't make their odds any more favorable.

Spurs are ensconced in a tight race to qualify for Champions League football for next season. The north London club enters the weekend in fifth place with 58 points and eight games remaining, and captain Michael Dawson is eager to erase bad memories of a late collapse last term.

"There are a lot of points to play for and we have to be positive," said Dawson. "City will be full of confidence and have some great players but coming to the Lane, the place will be rocking and hopefully we'll perform well and get the right result."

Only five points separate third place from sixth, placing added importance on Chelsea's trip to Anfield where it will face Liverpool on Sunday. The Blues come into the weekend holding down third place with 61 points, and they only need a draw to remain in the top four for at least another week.

Monday's lone Premier League fixture sees Manchester United host Aston Villa at Old Trafford. Assuming City takes maximum points from its final eight matches, the Red Devils can claim the title with two wins from their remaining seven matches, but Sir Alex Ferguson undoubtedly wants to clinch the club's 20th top-flight title as soon as possible.

Saturday's Premier League action features seven simultaneous matches, highlighted by Arsenal's trip to Craven Cottage to face Fulham and Everton's venture to the Stadium of Light to take on Sunderland.

Arsenal and Everton played to a 0-0 draw at the Emirates on Tuesday, a result that kept the two clubs separated by four points in the table and did not do either side any big favors in their quests for Champions Football for next season.

This weekend, the Gunners will take on a Fulham side that it winless in their last three Premier League outings while the Toffees face a Sunderland side, rejuvenated by the arrival of new boss Paolo Di Canio, that picked up a 3-0 victory over Newcastle last time out.

Also on Saturday, QPR welcomes Stoke City to Loftus Road, Reading heads to Carrow Road to take on Norwich City, Swansea City hosts Southampton at the Liberty Stadium, Newcastle takes on West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns and West Ham does battle with Wigan at Upton Park.