In Review

Premier League preview: all eyes on the Manchester derby

It's advantage City ahead of Sunday's clash, while Arsenal seek to keep up the pressure on Chelsea

Manchester City's slump in form has seen them drop to fourth, with Arsenal and Manchester United moving above the defending champions in the race to catch Chelsea. The two Manchester clubs square off in the clash of the weekend, while Arsenal and Chelsea both hit the road to play teams in the relegation zone. Will it be an easy three points or an embarrassing pratfall for the London clubs? 

Saturday

West Brom v Leicester, 3pm

The relegation dogfight is getting nasty and Leicester's trip to the Hawthorns could play an important part in determining who drops down to the Championship next month. Leicester's dramatic 2-1 victory against West Ham last weekend wasn't enough to drag them off bottom spot but they are now just four points behind Burnley and QPR. "The players have been positive all season," said Leicester boss Nigel Pearson. "People will have written us off, but there's a lot of football to be played." Defeat for WBA would leave them hovering above the relegation zone and with games still to come against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, a win over Leicester is imperative for the side hammered 4-1 by QPR last weekend.

Burnley v Arsenal, 5.30pm

Arsenal can close to within four points of leaders Chelsea on Saturday evening if they battle past 19th placed Burnley at Turf Moor. With the Blues facing an awkward local derby at QPR on Sunday, the Gunners travel north aware that a win is a must if they're to retain any hopes of overhauling their London rivals. Unbeaten in their least seven league outings, Arsenal nonetheless risk slipping on a banana skin against a side that have lost just one of their last four home games, and recently beat Manchester City. "Burnley is a tough test for everybody," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. "You shouldn't look at the table because they started slowly, but recently they have played very well against all the big teams in the league." Arsenal beat Burnley 3-0 when the sides met at the Emirates in November and Clarets midfielder David Jones is expecting another testing encounter: "They're playing well but we've faced almost everyone here at Turf Moor," he said. "We'll just work hard and give our all and see where it takes us. It will be another difficult game but we'll be up for it and giving our best to try to get another result."

Other fixtures

Swansea v Everton, 12.45pm

Southampton v Hull, 3pm

Sunderland v Crystal Palace, 3pm

Tottenham v Aston Villa, 3pm

West Ham v Stoke, 3pm

Sunday

QPR v Chelsea, 1.30pm

Rangers will be quietly confident of causing an upset against their London rivals after two good results in the space of the past week. Last weekend's 4-1 thrashing of WBA was followed on Tuesday by a battling 3-3 draw at Aston Villa, results that leave QPR two points behind 17th placed Hull City. The fact that they have lost only one of their last four home league matches to Chelsea is further cause for confidence and defender Clint Hill has called on the Loftus Road fans to create a "cauldron of fire and hate" on Sunday.

Man United v Man City, 4pm

Who would have thought a few months ago that the 169th meeting between the two Manchester clubs would entail the Sky Blues trailing the Red Devils in the table? In the first half of the season, Manuel Pellegrini's side were flying, while United were still struggling to adjust to new manager Louis van Gaal. Since the New Year, United have found their form, winning their last five league games, while City are mired in one of their worst slumps in seasons. Defeat to Crystal Palace on Monday was their fourth consecutive away defeat and they now lie fourth, nine points behind leaders Chelsea. United, who lost 1-0 to City in November's fixture, welcome back Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw – absent from last weekend's 3-1 win over Aston Villa - and only the suspended Jonny Evans in unavailable for selection. Pellegrini also has few injury worries ahead of Sunday's clash but instead must concentrate on restoring his squad's damaged morale. Striker Sergio Aguero is one of those whose form has deserted him of late, the Argentine without a goal in six games, but he struck an upbeat note when asked if City can still retain their title. "Of course we can still win it," he replied. "We've seen it so many times before and we'll see it again. We only focus on ourselves, try to win every game we play, and keep pressure on Chelsea."

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