London: Manchester City will look to compound Arsene Wenger’s woes when they visit the Emirates stadium this weekend, knowing a win would take them closer to the Premier League title and inflict a potentially fatal blow to Arsenal’s chances.
Wenger’s side have capitulated in recent weeks and a win for Manuel Pellegrini’s team in London would almost certainly leave the battle for the Premier League crown as a three-way race between City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Arsenal, humiliated 0-6 at leaders Chelsea and held to a 2-2 home draw by Swansea City after conceding a last-minute equaliser on Tuesday, would have hoped for an easier match to revive their ailing title bid.
City lie third with 66 points, three behind Chelsea but with two games in hand, and they will look to build on their impressive 3-0 win at bitter local rivals Manchester United on Tuesday.
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea travel to struggling Crystal Palace and second-placed Liverpool, only a point off the top on 68 points, host Tottenham Hotspur.
Following back-to-back 0-3 home losses to Liverpool and City, United will look to relieve the pressure on beleaguered manager David Moyes with a win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford.
It is 10 years since Arsenal last won the league and they approach the match on Saturday looking not only to keep their slim title hopes alive but to cement a place in the top four and qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Fifth-placed Everton are breathing down their necks, six points adrift of Wenger’s men but with a game in hand and a trip to bottom club Fulham on Sunday presents the chance to move a step closer to the top four.
Wenger endured a torrid time in his 1,000th match in charge of Arsenal at Stamford Bridge and anticipates another tough match against City.
“Manchester City had a good result (against United), they look a bit unstoppable and are favourites because they still have two games in hand,” Wenger said. “City and Chelsea are the favourites for the title. We don;t have too much room to come back into it.”
Chelsea are expecting to be without striker Samuel Eto’ for their visit to Palace, but as the six goals from five different players proved against Arsenal, they should still have enough firepower to see off the hosts.
Brendan Rodgers’s Liverpool side will look to maintain their push for a first league title in 24 years against an unpredictable Tottenham on Sunday.