Pep Guardiola's Manchester City are closing in on the Premier League title
London (AFP) - Manchester City can take a giant stride towards a third consecutive Premier League title by beating Everton this weekend but rejuvenated Arsenal have not given up hope of springing a surprise.
Liverpool are suddenly in the conversation for a top-four finish after six straight wins cranked up the pressure on Manchester United and Newcastle.
At the bottom, Leeds and Leicester are in danger of being cut adrift, along with Southampton.
AFP Sport looks at some of the key talking points ahead of the action.
Chink of light for Arsenal?
Leaders Manchester City are hot favourites to wrap up their fifth Premier League trophy in six seasons but face a potentially tricky trip to Everton on Sunday.
Sean Dyche’s side clawed their way out of the relegation zone with a confidence-boosting 5-1 win at Brighton earlier this week.
Everton’s record against City is not pretty – their 1-1 draw in December, under former boss Frank Lampard, came after 10 consecutive defeats in all competitions.
Arsenal have returned to winning ways in the Premier League
The Merseyside club, just two points above the drop zone with three games to play, will be fighting for their lives.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has not given up on his title dream, saying “the prize is there, not too far” after his side’s 2-0 win against Newcastle last week.
Arsenal, with three games left, can reach a maximum of 90 points if they beat Brighton, Nottingham Forest and Wolves.
City, a point ahead of the Gunners with a game in hand, need nine points to guarantee the title, though their goal difference is significantly superior.
Pep Guardiola’s men have the trickier run-in, with matches against Chelsea, Brighton and Brentford to follow their trip to Goodison Park.
It is not over yet.
Man Utd seek home comforts
Manchester United are back at Old Trafford on Saturday and in desperate need of a win against Wolves as they seek to hold off fast-charging Liverpool in the battle for a top-four finish.
Manchester United have dropped eight points in their past four Premier League matches
Erik ten Hag’s men had one foot in next season’s Champions League before costly defeats against Brighton and West Ham.
The Red Devils, who have four games left to play, have lost eight away matches in the Premier League this season, their joint-highest tally in a single campaign in the competition.
It is a different story at home, where they have won 12 and lost just once.
“We have everything in our hands,” said Ten Hag, whose side are a point clear of Liverpool with a game in hand.
The Dutchman knows his first season at the helm will ultimately be judged on whether United qualify for Europe’s elite club competition despite cup success.
Third-placed Newcastle also had a wobble last week, losing to Arsenal, and are just three points ahead of Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Last chance for Leeds and Leicester?
Southampton are all but relegated and Leeds and Leicester are the bookies’ favourites to drop through the trap door along with them.
Leicester are facing the spectre of relegation from the Premier League
Sam Allardyce had a daunting first outing as boss of 19th-placed Leeds, losing 2-1 to title-chasing Manchester City last weekend.
The club are two points from safety and with matches to come against Newcastle, West Ham and Tottenham, few would give them much chance of survival.
Leicester fans are struggling to comprehend their rapid fall from grace.
The 2016 Premier League champions finished fifth, fifth and eighth in the past three seasons, and won the FA Cup in 2021 under Brendan Rodgers.
England midfielder James Maddison said after this week’s 5-3 defeat to Fulham that Leicester, level with Leeds on 30 points, were still battling, even though games against Liverpool, Newcastle and West Ham look tough.
“It’s not down to attitude or application,” he tweeted. “We will keep going until the very end.”
Fixtures (1400 GMT unless stated)
Leeds v Newcastle (1130), Aston Villa v Spurs, Chelsea v Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace v Bournemouth, Manchester United v Wolves, Southampton v Fulham
Brentford v West Ham, Everton v Manchester City (both 1300), Arsenal v Brighton (1530)
Leicester v Liverpool (1900)