Manchester United have a commanding seven-point lead in the Premiership; however, they have played an extra game. Arsenal understand that. Arsene Wenger knows that if his squad is able to win both its matches this week, the Gunners (at the very least) will only be four points off the pace.
By no means have United looked indestructible, and Arsenal just need a little window to open. If United slip up, the Gunners (and perhaps Chelsea?) will do their best to overtake the leaders.
At the bottom of the table, there are six squads within five points of the cellar. No one wants to be relegated, but will any team be able to make a serious run out of danger?
There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, and we will move one step closer after this week.
MATCH OF THE WEEK
Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1: The Gunners have two huge matches this week, and it starts with hosting the Reds. Liverpool dismantled Manchester City last week, and Andy Carroll had a brace that could be a promise for great things to come. That being said, I don't see those things happening this week. Arsenal know that their title hopes are on life support, and winning is imperative. A late winner will ensure pandemonium at Emirates Stadium this Sunday.
Birmingham City 1 Sunderland 0: Sunderland have been terrible of late. With only four points in their last eight matches (outscored 20-8 in that stretch), they are now in danger of dropping into the relegation zone. Albeit, they are not in serious danger, but they need to right the ship before it is a serious possibility. Birmingham City, however, are tough to score on at home, and I don't see the Black Cats poking through the stiff Birmingham defense.
Blackpool 4 Wigan Athletic 2: A few weeks ago, Ian Holloway seemed to have steered his club clear of the relegation zone. Unfortunately, Blackpool have been unable to record many points (five points in twelve matches) as of late. Nevertheless, they have a weak Latics side that hasn't won on the road since December. Expect an open match and Blackpool to come out on top.
Everton 1 Blackburn 0: Everton have entered the conversation for a top six finish. If they keep up their inspired play at home (only three losses in sixteen matches), they have a good chance of catching Liverpool. I think they will continue their table climb with a victory this week.
West Bromwich Albion 1 Chelsea 2: The Blues were eliminated from the Champions League on Tuesday, and now there isn't much left for them to play for; however, they do not want to drop out of the top four. The experienced side knows this, and they should play a solid match and earn a tough victory at the Hawthorns.
West Ham United 2 Aston Villa 1: The Hammers have sunk back into the relegation zone, and they need victories to climb out for good. Aston Villa have struggled away from Villa Park, and I think West Ham wants these points more. A draw isn't out of the question, but I think the Hammers earn a hard-fought three points at home.
Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 2: United struggle on the road, and they could drop some points here; however, I think they have worked out their troubles. They are riding a high after defeating Chelsea this week, and I think they will earn a very difficult three points at St. James' Park.
Chelsea 1 Birmingham City 0: This game will be one-sided. Chelsea will continue to attack, and if Ben Foster holds tough, Birmingham City could steal a point late in the match. Nevertheless, I think Chelsea will earn an ugly three points.
Which team has the least likelihood of finishing in the top six?
Tottenham Hotspur 0 Arsenal 1: Arsenal will be on short rest, but I think they will rebound well. If they maintain possession, they will be able to break down the Spurs' defense. Despite being at White Hart Lane, I think the Gunners' style could give them the upper hand.
Last Week: 7-2-1 (W-L-D)
Season: 139-73-76 (W-L-D)
Thanks for reading this week. Please let me know what you think about each of the matches. Thanks!