The Premier League will continue with 10 more epic battles on Matchday 21.
Arsenal have been the most consistent club through the first half of the 2013-14 campaign, but heavyweights Manchester City and Chelsea are right on the Gunners' heels ahead of this weekend's pivotal action.
Meanwhile, defending champions Manchester United find themselves nearly a dozen points off the championship pace heading into Saturday's must-have clash with Swansea City at Old Trafford.
With plenty to watch for in Week 21, here are some predictions to tide you over until kickoff.
|Premier League Matchday 21 Predictions|
|Sat, Jan. 11||7:45 a.m. ET, 12:45 p.m. GMT||Hull City||0-2||Chelsea|
|Sat, Jan. 11||10 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. GMT||Cardiff City||2-1||West Ham United|
|Sat, Jan. 11||10 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. GMT||Everton||1-0||Norwich City|
|Sat, Jan. 11||10 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. GMT||Fulham||1-1||Sunderland|
|Sat, Jan. 11||10 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. GMT||Southampton||2-1||West Bromwich Albion|
|Sat, Jan. 11||10 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. GMT||Tottenham Hotspur||2-0||Crystal Palace|
|Sat, Jan. 11||12:30 p.m. ET, 5:30 p.m. GMT||Manchester United||3-1||Swansea City|
|Sun, Jan. 12||9:05 a.m. ET, 2:05 p.m. GMT||Newcastle United||2-4||Manchester City|
|Sun, Jan. 12||11:10 a.m. ET, 4:10 p.m. GMT||Stoke City||1-3||Liverpool|
|Mon, Jan. 13||3 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. GMT||Aston Villa||1-2||Arsenal|
Hull City 0, Chelsea 2
Hull City will take aim at their sixth league home win of the season on Saturday when they host Chelsea at KC Stadium. However, the Tigers will have their work cut out for them, with the Blues having gone unbeaten in the Premier League since Dec. 7.
After Hull's most recent 2-0 league loss at Liverpool on New Year's Day, The Hull Daily Mail's Philip Buckingham wrote that fatigue had finally caught up with the Tigers:
...in a New Year's Day defeat at Liverpool, there was nothing left in its tank. City ran on empty at Anfield and it showed in a 2-0 defeat. December had been fruitful, with nine points from its seven games, but it had also taken its toll. The Tigers were all out of gas on Merseyside.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are on an absolute roll ahead of Week 21's showdown and could leapfrog Manchester City and Arsenal by week's end if the chips fall in their favor.
Through the first half of the season, it's been all about defense for Jose Mourinho's squad. Only Arsenal have conceded fewer goals through their first 20 matches than Chelsea, who have conceded just 11 times total in 10 road games.
Even better, the Blues have surrendered just two goals over their previous five Premier League outings since their loss at Stoke City a month ago.
Manchester United 3, Swansea City 1
Although the defending champions have struggled to find elite form all season long and are coming off a shocking 2-1 loss to Swansea City in the FA Cup, watch for them to bounce back against the Swans this weekend at Old Trafford.
By the time kickoff arrives, David Moyes' men will have had several days to recover from Wilfried Bony's 90th-minute stunner, which knocked them out of the FA Cup and leaves them plenty of added motivation to win on Saturday.
Moyes was encouraged by some of what he saw in the loss, but has pinned United's struggles on a lack of confidence, per The Telegraph:
Yeah, well I thought today, I thought we played well enough. I think Swansea had not been up the pitch at all when they got their first goal. I think we had sort of bossed most of the game. We had done well, we had got back in it (the game) very quickly.
I thought that period after that was when we should have got on and forced a second goal and we did not do so. You can definitely see that we are just lacking a bit of confidence when we are getting into the final third at times and we are not taking the chances when we are getting them.
With the Red Devils' focus shifting back to the Premier League points chase this weekend, expect a much-improved showing offensively.
Aston Villa 1, Arsenal 2
The league leaders have been sensational following their blowout loss to Manchester City on Dec. 14, reeling off 10 points over the past three weeks and conceding just once over their past four matches.
Arsenal's stellar defensive play certainly doesn't bode well for an Aston Villa squad that have struggled to produce goals this season. Villa have scored just seven goals in 10 league home games in 2013-14. Unsurprisingly, they are just 2-2-6 in those matches.
Meanwhile, the Gunners have been nearly just as dominant on the road as they have been at home, winning seven of their first 10 away league matches and boasting a league-leading plus-nine goal differential away from Emirates.
Therefore, expect the league leaders to maintain their narrow advantage atop the table on Matchday 21.
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