Premier League Preview: Unai’s men with a chance to play ultimate Villans and derail Gunners title surge

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Just six or seven games remain in this enthralling Premier League season, which has seen more twists and turns than Boris Johnson at an all inclusive buffet. It has been a campaign for the ages; one which has kept us on tenterhooks since the first ball was kicked in anger back in early August, and the best thing is there is still everything to play for at all the major touchpoints in the division. 

A three-horse title-race separated by a single point; two teams – level on points – fighting tooth and nail for fourth spot; countless sides still in with a viable chance of securing European football and a relegation battle which has the potential to be decided after the season is finished thanks to the most unprecedented points-deducting saga we’ve ever known. If there was ever a shred of doubt that England’s top-flight is the best league in world football, such doubt has now been firmly arrested. 

Following Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United last Sunday, the battle for top spot has intensified even further and the Reds’ grasp on first-place has loosened considerably. Arsenal are hot on their heels and have the potential to move top this weekend should they win their game and the Merseysiders slip up at home to Crystal Palace. A significant challenge lies in wait for the Gunners, however, with Gameweek 33’s standout fixture pitting them against Aston Villa on Sunday at 4.30pm. 

Unai Emery visits his former workplace hoping to upset the applecart and in the process bolster Villa’s chances of securing Champions League football next season. Villa are well-placed for a top-four finish as things stand, they lie fifth after 32 games – level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham having played a game more than the north Londoners. Avoiding defeat this weekend would be a brilliant result for the West Midlands outfit and throw a spanner in the works for Arsenal and their aspirations of winning the league. 

Spurs play Newcastle away for Saturday’s early kick-off which is a seismic test. The scars from last season’s embarrassing 6-1 defeat at St. James’ Park, which occurred almost exactly a year ago under the interim mentorship of Christian Stellini, could easily be reopened in a game of such high importance, although the 4-1 victory Tottenham clinched over Newcastle in the reverse fixture back in December suggests that a repeat is unlikely to be on the cards this time around. 

Manchester City are in action a matter of hours after Spurs kick off and with the greatest of respects to Luton, you would expect Pep’s men to emerge with three points at the Etihad. The same can be said for Liverpool who host Crystal Palace on Sunday at 2pm, and should those two teams in the top-three do as expected and secure three points, it would only heap more pressure on Arsenal against Villa. 

The formbook would suggest an Arsenal win here, Arteta’s men having won four of the last five meetings between these two sides, but Villa’s solitary victory during that run was the most recent – a 1-0 win on December 9th. A repeat here changes the landscape in the top-four for both teams; only time will tell who will be the happier party come closing time on Sunday evening.

Premier League Gameweek 33 – Fixtures in full


Newcastle United 12:30 Tottenham Hotspur

Brentford 15:00 Sheffield United

Burnley 15:00 Brighton & Hove Albion

Manchester City 15:00 Luton Town

Nottingham Forest 15:00 Wolverhampton Wanderers

AFC Bournemouth 17:30 Manchester United


Liverpool 14:00 Crystal Palace

West Ham United 14:00 Fulham

Arsenal 16:30 Aston Villa


Chelsea 20:00 Everton

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