Premier League: Three things to look out for this weekend

With three points separating Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool, the trio battling it out for the Premier League title all face difficult away games this weekend and if Matchday 31 is anything to go by, this weekend should be a cracker. Here’s three storylines to look out for:

The exciting Premier League title race

Conor Bradley’s own goal against Sheffield United on Thursday night sent Anfield quiet with the game level at 1-1. Jürgen Klopp replaced a disgruntled Mohamed Salah and Ryan Gravenberch with Andy Robertson and Harvey Elliot but in truth, the latter changed the tie. Elliot, operating as a wide playmaker, kept Liverpool ticking and it was Alexis Mac Allister who put Liverpool back in the lead with a superb long-range striker 13 minutes from time. Cody Gakpo secured all three points to send Liverpool back above Arsenal, but they face a difficult game against Manchester United at Old Trafford, despite the Red Devils suffering their 12th defeat of the season.

Brighton have just two wins in their last seven Premier League games and have been in a slump which has seen them drop down into seventh. Arsenal are the visitors this weekend with Mikel Arteta’s side picking up 28 points from a possible 30. Kai Havertz is the in-form player for the Gunners and he’s already on par with his best Premier League season yet with eight goals and four assists. Facing the most difficult run-in, Arsenal can’t afford to lose.

Manchester City meanwhile travel to Selhurst Park where they face struggling Crystal Palace. There is a boost for Oliver Glasner though with the return of Michael Olise who has scored six and created three in just 756 minutes across 11 league games. The Frenchman has the ability to cause a makeshift City defence problems, but they may struggle to keep Phil Foden and Co. at bay.

Can Aston Villa bounce back to keep Champions League spot?

Unai Emery’s Aston Villa have been flying this season. Occupying the final Champions League spot, they sit two points above Tottenham Hotspur who have a game in hand. Saturday’s clash against Brentford is a must-win but Ollie Watkins and Jacob ramsey remain doubtful. Watkins has been in magnificent form this season with 16 goals and 10 assists in 30 games but if the Englishman is absent, it’s an excellent opportunity for Jhon Durán.

Tottenham’s game against Nottingham Forest was brought forward 24 hours due to the rail strikes and with just one win in their last three, this won’t be an easy game for Ange Postecoglou’s side. Brennan Johnson will face his former club, who come into this game with confidence having put three past Luton Town in midweek.

Sean Dyche has to win against his former club

Everton are now 13 games without a win in the Premier League but they sit four points clear of the relegation zone with a game in hand. A win against Burnley, Sean Dyche’s former club, this weekend would put the Toffees in an excellent position heading into the closing stages of the season. While Burnley have improved of late with three draws and a win, they sit six points adrift from guaranteed safety.

Get Football | Daniel Pinder

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