With Week 28 of Premier League action freshly in the books, it's never too early to look ahead to a crucial Matchday 29 that will shape the top of the table.
Let's take a look at the updated table that features Chelsea at the top.
|Premier League Table: Week 29|
Jose Mourinho's Chelsea squad has taken a decent lead over the EPL table at 63 points. Arsenal dropped a contest over the weekend, and Liverpool won 3-0 against Southampton, tying the two sides in second place with 59 points.
However, Manchester City have two games in hand on those three leaders, as they took the Capital One Cup title on Sunday and have some making up to do in league .
The FA Cup has somewhat hampered this weekend's schedule, as Arsenal, Everton and Manchester City will all have their league matches postponed. Just as well, Liverpool have the weekend off.
Even though City are off again, Mourinho hasn't been spooked and still realizes they're a serious contender, per Chelsea's Twitter:
There are some big-time repercussions heading into Matchday 29 with the title race heating up.
Here are some predictions for the upcoming weekend.
Chelsea Will Struggle to Draw vs. Tottenham
With a four-point lead in the Premier League with a chance to add to it this weekend, Chelsea will go home to Stamford Bridge and struggle to pull out three points against an improving Tottenham side.
Ever since firing Andre Villas-Boas early in the season, Spurs have seen a 2013-14 revival as Tim Sherwood has kept Tottenham four points shy of a top-four spot. They are coming off a week in which they topped Dnipro 3-1 in the Champions League before disposing of Cardiff 1-0 on Sunday.
Chelsea's Andre Schurrle netted a hat-trick in the Blues' 3-1 win over Fulham Sunday, but he was the only squad member to score. When you add that to the fact that Chelsea have only scored once in each of their two previous EPL matches, goalscoring may be a budding problem.
That could be compounded against the Spurs, who give up the sixth-fewest goals in the EPL (33). Just as well, Tottenham haven't given up more than one goal in any since Jan. 29.
Expect Chelsea to struggle on the offensive zone as Tottenham's underrated defense makes it tough for them to score.
Crystal Palace Will Upset Southampton
Crystal Palace were deep in the relegation zone just over a month ago, but now after winning three of their last six league matches, they are quickly making that a distant memory.
The underdogs will their ascension up the table—or at least away from the bottom of it—on Matchday 29 by knocking off reeling Southampton.
The Saints were throttled 3-0 by Liverpool in Week 28, making it a three-game losing streak for Southampton, who also have a 1-0 loss to Sunderland in the FA Cup to show.
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino wasn't too happy with his club's performance, per their official Twitter:
Meanwhile, other than a loss to Manchester United on Feb. 22, Crystal Palace have looked awfully good as of late and that will only be amplified by playing at home against a struggling foe.
As long as Marouane Chamakh continues to be his dangerous self, Crystal Palace should be able to get on the scoreboard and keep Southampton off it.
Manchester United Will Rout West Brom
It hasn't been a season to remember for Manchester United, and one weekend certainly won't change that.
But the talent-laden United squad have had enough of losing this season, which they will prove in their first Premier League match in two weeks when they face West Brom on Matchday 29.
United were beaten badly in a 2-0 loss to Olympiakos, in which the Red Devils arguably haven't looked worse all season long.
Even though they had the weekend off of league action and now have a game in hand, United have pulled out a result in each of their last three EPL matches. They also looked solid in their last two road matches, drawing to Arsenal Feb. 12 and winning 2-0 against Crystal Palace on Feb. 22.
Meanwhile, West Brom are just one point away from relegation.
Going on their third straight road match in league play, United will continue to have success on the road in league play by dominating West Brom.
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