Liverpool and Arsenal will take the center of the Premier League stage for Matchday 25, as the two top-four clubs battle at Anfield on Feb. 8.
After a one-week absence, the Gunners have moved back into the top spot in the table. Arsene Wenger's men cruised to a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday, Feb. 2.
They then watched Manchester City tumble to Chelsea, 1-0, on Monday. That match came at the Etihad and stands as City's first blemish at home on the league year. As a result, the Gunners are back on top but have just a two-point lead over both Manchester City and Chelsea. Meanwhile, Liverpool are just eight points back in fourth.
Have a look at the entire table, and then I'll offer up my predictions for Matchday 25.
|Liverpool vs. Arsenal||Feb. 8||12:45 p.m. GMT/7:45 a.m. ET||1-2|
|Aston Villa vs. West Ham||Feb. 8||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||1-1|
|Chelsea vs. Newcastle||Feb. 8||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||2-0|
|Crystal Palace vs. West Brom||Feb. 8||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||1-1|
|Norwich vs. Manchester City||Feb. 8||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||0-3|
|Southampton vs. Stoke City||Feb. 8||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||2-1|
|Sunderland vs. Hull||Feb. 8||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||2-1|
|Swansea vs. Cardiff||Feb. 8||5:30 p.m. GMT/12:30 p.m. ET||1-0|
|Tottenham vs. Everton||Feb. 9||1:30 p.m. GMT/8:30 a.m. ET||1-2|
|Manchester United vs. Fulham||Feb. 9||4 p.m. GMT/11 a.m. ET||2-1|
Liverpool vs. Arsenal
It wasn't all that long ago when it was Liverpool who stole the table's top position only to hold it for just a week.
Now, Liverpool are eight points back of the Gunners. They can shrink that deficit to only five, however, by beating the Gunners at Anfield.
On Nov. 2, the Gunners took down Liverpool 2-0. Arsenal won 54 percent of possession in that match and fired off three more shots on goal than the Reds.
Obviously, that match came fairly early in the league year, but Liverpool's offense was already rolling. That was the only contest in a string of seven from Sept. 29 to Nov. 23 where Liverpool failed to score at least two goals.
The Reds will benefit in this match from playing at home, but I still don't like them against Arsenal. This is a bad matchup for Liverpool.
The Reds are aggressive and like to overwhelm teams with their attack. Arsenal are not a team that is prone to being overwhelmed, and they are skilled at making teams pay for mistakes. Liverpool occasionally make a mistake:
29 - Liverpool have made more defensive errors leading to a goal/attempt than any other team in the PL this season. Problem.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 2, 2014
Arsenal will again play sound football and capitalize on Liverpool's miscues.
Prediction: Liverpool 1, Arsenal 2
Swansea vs. Cardiff
Swansea are seven places ahead of Cardiff in the Premier League table, but they are just three points ahead of them.
Cardiff were triumphant their last time on the pitch with a 2-1 win over Norwich. That was their first win in their last seven league matches.
Meanwhile, Swansea have won just one of their last 10 league matches, and that came over sinking Fulham.
The first time these two met in league action this year, Cardiff won 1-0. Still, that match was close. Swansea won 55 percent of possession and fired off the same amount of on-target shots as their opponents.
Swansea will get revenge for that prior outcome in this match with a 1-0 win of their own.
Tottenham vs. Everton
What I didn't mention above with Liverpool, but you may have noticed in the table, is that the Reds are just two points clear of Everton and three points clear of Tottenham for the all-important fourth spot.
With Liverpool facing Arsenal this week, there is a good chance that the winner of this match will sneak into the fourth spot in the table.
On Nov. 3, these two played to a draw at Goodison Park and couldn't muster a single score. Everton won 52 percent of possession in that match but only used that to fire off one on-target shot. The Spurs had six.
Neither side has flashed fantastic form as of late.
Everton were decent while beating Aston Villa 2-1 their last time on the pitch, but it was just the match before when they were trounced by Liverpool. That match was far closer than the 4-0 score appeared, however.
Meanwhile, Tottenham had a 1-1 draw with Liverpool their last time on the pitch. Their time before that, they were routed, 5-1, by Manchester City.
I like Everton's recent form more than the Spurs' and expect them to flex a little muscle here by stealing a 2-1 away win.
Prediction: Tottenham 1, Everton 2