Everything to play for as Man City visit Fulham

They are unlikely to slip up against Fulham but Marco Silva’s team are no pushover, especially at Craven Cottage.

In Summary

• With Erik Ten Hag’s job very much threatened after the 4-0 defeat fiasco on Monday and Arsenal running into impressive form, it is difficult to see the Gunners losing this one.

•Tottenham are at home and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is a fearsome place to visit with very loud volume from the crowd.


Manchester City have everything to play for being one point behind Arsenal with a game in hand.

They are unlikely to slip up against Fulham but Marco Silva’s team are no pushover, especially at Craven Cottage.

City’s main asset is Erling Haaland’s return to form just in time to make a difference in the title run-in. He has played 28 games, scored 25 goals and made five assists.

After putting four past Wolves at the weekend, he posted a picture of himself with the caption “Peace”. The race is on for the Golden Boot this season. Halland’s 25 goals puts him four ahead of Chelsea’s Cole Palmer.

Pep Guardiola said: “We have to win against Fulham and Arsenal have to win against United. And not just the starting XI. The staff, the players, the fans, everyone knows you cannot make one little mistake because you will lose the Premier League…hopefully we can beat Fulham and Arsenal will play at Old Trafford but United are playing to get into the Europa League so it will be a tough match."

"Since the winter break, the way Arsenal are playing, it’s not the fact that they are winning. It’s the way they play, so you smell that they are not going to lose the games they have left. They are not going to. Three games to play and if we win those, we will be champions.”

Rodri will again be the midfield general, the dependent, the solid focus of so much that is great about City. Last weekend, when the game against Wolves was won, Guardiola took off Haaland, Phil Foden, Nathaniel Ake, Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne but left Rodri on the field.

He has played more games than any other City player this season. It is interesting that City missed Rodri earlier in the season when he was suspended for four games and they lost all four, including an exit from the Carabao Cup.

The match is likely to be won or lost in midfield with Fulham’s Andreas Pereira matching up against Rodri. Willian and Alex Iwobi will play either side of him and are capable of causing problems in the City defence.

The Cottager’s backline of Antonee Robinson, Calvin Bassey, Issa Diop and Timothy Castagne will have all the trouble they can handle trying to stop Haaland, Foden and De Bruyne.

Fulham’s 15th place in the table somewhat belies the belief they have in themselves and they deserve to be in the top ten and manager Silva has trained the team hard this week to stop the City juggernaut. 

Tottenham v Burnley

This is an intriguing match with two clubs desperate for points. It will have a significant influence on where they finish. One more loss for Burnley will leave them doomed to Championship football next season.

However, Tottenham cannot buy a win at the moment. Burnley are on 24 points, just two behind Luton and five behind Nottingham Forest.

It is difficult to see any other outcome than relegation for Luton and Burnley to join already demoted Sheffield United, but coach Vincent Kompany refuses to give up the fight.

Tottenham have given away their Champions League hopes and remain seven points behind Aston Villa. Catching the Claret and Blues seems an unlikely outcome, especially as their midweek match is against Man City.

Ange Postecoglou will again rely on Brennan Johnson, Son Heung-Min and Dejan Kulusevski to score the goals against centre-backs Dara O’Shea and Maxime Esteve, who shipped in four against Newcastle last weekend. 

Manchester United v Arsenal

With Erik Ten Hag’s job threatened after the 4-0 defeat fiasco on Monday and Arsenal running into impressive form.

It is difficult to see the Gunners losing this one. There is always a possibility that with players such as Rasmus Hojlund, Alejandro Garnacho, Mason Mount and Kobbi Mainoo, United could spark into life in front of their faithful supporters.

Pep Guardiola said this week that Arsenal will not lose any more games this season which is a bold statement. Arsenal, fresh from a 3-0 win over Bournemouth, will again rely on the midfield pairing of captain Martin Odegaard and Declan Rice with Thomas Partey or Jorginho between them. That is where the game will be won, according to sources inside the Emirates. 

Tottenham v Manchester City (Tuesday)

By the time this match is played, Tottenham might have already failed in their bid to overhaul Aston Villa, depending on their result against Burnley on Saturday and City will be marching on to yet another title.

But this match will have much to recommend watching it. Tottenham are at home, a fearsome place to visit due to its loud crowd.

Son Heung-Min is capable of scoring a goal or two and is an inspirational leader.

Tottenham will be playing for pride and influencing the coach who has already said he will change his squad for next season.

Providing no one gets injured in Saturday’s game against Fulham, City will again rely on Haaland and Foden for the goals. With Rodri and De Bryune running the show, it could be a difficult afternoon for Tottenham.