The Premier League title contenders will get a weekend break to play in the FA Cup, but the fight for fourth place will continue and Arsenal are still in the picture despite their home loss to Liverpool on Wednesday. .
Fourth-placed Arsenal visit Aston Villa on Saturday, with London rivals West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur playing a sixth-seventh-place summit a day later that could have a big impact.
Arsenal’s five-match winning streak ended with a 0-2 loss to title-chasing Liverpool, but their form since the start of the year gives them a great chance of returning to the Champions League for the first time since 2017. .
Mikel Arteta’s team has 51 points in 27 games, one point ahead of Manchester United, who played two more games.
West Ham scored 48 points in 29 games and Tottenham had the same tally in 28 games, while Wolverhampton Wanderers, who host Leeds United on Friday, have collected 46 points in 29 games.
The odds are intriguingly balanced and the weekend’s clash will be pivotal to West Ham and Tottenham’s hopes.
For much of the season, it looked like West Ham would clinch fourth place in the best single-season finish in the top flight since 1986.
But they fell behind Arsenal, and defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday would be a huge blow to their hopes of hosting the London Stadium for the elite European Championship.
He was also distracted by his visit to Sevilla in the Europa League on Thursday.
For its part, Tottenham, whose level is unpredictable, revived their chances of achieving four wins in the last six league games, despite doubts that the poor performance could return at some point.
Antonio Conte, who took charge of Spurs in November, has always downplayed expectations and questioned the quality of his squad, but the Italian has been lucky to have striker Harry Kane back.
“We showed tremendous development and that’s good for the present and the future,” Conte said after Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.
He added: “Sunday’s game will be decisive against West Ham, who have the same motivation and we are talking about a team that advanced us last season and is competing in the European League. Getting the three points is very important to maintain the delusion”. reaching fourth place.
Arsenal are still in a comfortable position, but a dangerous visit to Villa after a fierce battle against Liverpool will be a tough test of their ability to stick together.
“Don’t worry, the players will gain energy on Saturday, they will sleep and eat well, but thanks to the League for putting together this schedule,” Arteta joked on Wednesday.
Brentford could take a big step towards staying in the Premier League when they visit Leicester City on Sunday, and a win means they are 11 points clear of the relegation zone.