The Premier League returns to action after the international break with the title race hotting up. The race for a top four finish is also looking interesting, as is the scrap to avoid relegation.
Manchester City and Liverpool battle it out for the title
Manchester City’s pursuit to retain their Premier League title resumes at Burnley on Saturday 2 April with Pep Guardiola having seen his side lose a big lead at the top of the table. It has been cut to just one point after a disappointing 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace before the international break. City have dropped points in their last five fixtures, which included the draw at Palace, and a surprise 3-2 defeat at home against Tottenham Hotspur.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have been in terrific form, winning nine and drawing one of their last 10 games. This run of victories included an impressive 2-0 win at Arsenal before the international break, and has seen Jurgen Klopp’s team cut the gap to just a point in what is building up to be one of the closest title races in Premier League history. The Reds resume domestic action with a home game against Watford.
The race for a top four finish
Chelsea’s run of five wins in a row has seen them take a huge step towards securing a top four finish as they have opened up an eight-point gap over fifth-placed Tottenham. Despite the off field issues that are dogging Chelsea, they’ll have been happy for the international break and return with a home fixture at Stamford Bridge against Brentford.
Arsenal have been in great form and a run of seven wins in 10 games has seen Mikel Arteta’s side move up to fourth place, three points ahead of North London rivals, Spurs. The Gunners face a tough trip to Crystal Palace when they resume their bid for a top four finish on Monday evening, whilst Tottenham welcome an improving Newcastle on Sunday.
Other clubs still in the fight for Champions League football next term include Manchester United in sixth, four points behind Arsenal, whilst West Ham will need to start picking up regular wins again if they are to mount a challenge.
The fight to stay up
Just four wins from 29 Premier League games has seen Norwich City rooted to the bottom of the table for much of the season, and they return to domestic action with a tough trip to Brighton. The Canaries are strong favourites to be relegated, as are Watford who gave themselves a lifeline with a 2-1 win at Southampton before the international break. However, the Hornets will need many more results like that to maintain their Premier League status but resume at Liverpool.
Burnley also sit in the relegation zone and face Manchester City in their first game back in league action, but perhaps Everton could be most in danger of the teams who currently sit above the trap door. Frank Lampard’s side did manage a very late 1-0 win over Newcastle last time out, but they were fortunate and have been in terrible form since Christmas and face a tricky tie at West Ham.