The main talking points ahead of the weekend’s Premier League action

PA Sport staff
·4-min read

Another round of important Premier League fixtures this weekend could start to see the end of season picture begin to take form.

With much to play for in the race for Europe and the battle to avoid the drop, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the key talking points.

Will Manchester City feel the Ful force of Parker’s men?

Scott Parker led his Fulham side to victory over Premier League champions Liverpool last weekend.
Scott Parker led his Fulham side to victory over Premier League champions Liverpool last weekend. (Clive Brunskill/PA)

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are still heavy favourites to win a third title in four years and recovered from derby day defeat to Manchester United last weekend with a comfortable victory over Southampton.

That leaves them 14 points clear of United, who have a game in hand, but a trip to face Fulham at Craven Cottage offers a different prospect to earlier in the season.

Scott Parker’s side are only in the bottom three on goal difference having taken seven points from their last four games – including a win at reigning champions Liverpool last time out – and will go into a difficult game with as much confidence as possible that they can upset the odds once again.

Moyes looking to finally hammer home victory at Manchester United

Moyes won 27 of his 51 games during a nine-month stint in charge of Manchester United.
Moyes won 27 of his 51 games during a nine-month stint in charge of Manchester United. (Martin Rickett/PA)

Other than his short-lived reign as manager of the Red Devils, David Moyes has never won a Premier League game at Old Trafford.

He has taken Everton and Sunderland there and returns with West Ham this weekend, with arguably his best chance of breaking his duck.

West Ham sit fifth in the table heading into the weekend’s action, six points behind their hosts with a game in hand and knowing United have struggled more at home than on the road this season.

United loanee Jesse Lingard has been in fine form for the Hammers but will be ineligible against his parent club. However, if Moyes can find a workaround he may well get some cheer against his former side.

Is only the pride of north London at stake as Arsenal host Tottenham?

Jose Mourinho has won both north London derbies since taking charge at Tottenham.
Jose Mourinho has won both north London derbies since taking charge at Tottenham. (Paul Childs/PA)

The second north London derby of the season takes place at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday – but rarely has a game between the two old foes seemingly mattered so little.

With Spurs sitting seventh, three places and seven points above the Gunners heading into the weekend’s action, both sides will have lingering hopes of a late surge into the top four.

In reality, a lack of consistency all season has meant the north London neighbours now have different priorities with Spurs in the Carabao Cup final and both teams looking to win the Europa League.

With no supporters in attendance, the ferocity of previous meetings will be lost on many but Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and Spurs counterpart Jose Mourinho will no doubt be aiming for the spoils.

Foxes aim to further Blades

Chris Wilder left his job as Sheffield United manager ahead of their trip to Leicester.
Chris Wilder left his job as Sheffield United manager ahead of their trip to Leicester. (Clive Rose/PA)

Leicester’s fine season hit a standstill recently, with the midweek win at struggling Brighton their first win four games across all competitions.

Brendan Rodgers’ side remain third in the table and host bottom club Sheffield United on Sunday, knowing a win would take them above Manchester United – who play later in the day.

The Blades go into the game with manager Chris Wilder apparently set to leave after five years at the helm.

Big Sam needs a big win at Palace to finally kick-start West Brom survival bid

Sam Allardyce has so far been unable to halt West Brom's slide back to the Championship.
Sam Allardyce has so far been unable to halt West Brom’s slide back to the Championship. (Carl Recine/PA)

West Brom turned to Sam Allardyce back in December when it was clear they faced a battle against the drop.

Despite having never been relegated during his managerial career, Allardyce has been unable to work his usual magic at the Hawthorns, winning just two of his 16 games in charge.

The Baggies just about remain in touch of survival, sitting eight points behind 17th-placed Brighton, but – with games fast running out – a win over former club Crystal Palace would be very timely for Allardyce and his side.