LONDON, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) — Manchester City’s FA Cup win against Swansea City in midweek was their 15th in all competitions and is now the longest running winning streak for a top-flight English Club.
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola will no doubt look to extend that run to 16 when his side entertain Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon – a match that once again reignites the old rivalry between Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, but which also highlights how the two teams’ fortunes have changed in recent months.
Back in November when Tottenham produced the perfect smash-and-grab performance to beat City 2-0 at White Hart Lane. The win took them to the top of the table, while City were left floundering with 12 points from eight games in which they had scored just 10 goals.
Manchester City now lead the Premier League by five points over Manchester United and have a game in hand, while Tottenham have slipped to eighth in the table 14 points behind, with their aim to qualify for Europe next season rather than win the title.
Mourinho won’t be happy at having to play on Saturday after his side’s thrilling but ultimately frustrating defeat 5-4 to Everton after extra-time on Wednesday which will have left his players lacking the freshness they need to cope with City at their best.
The weekend kicks off with a fascinating game between third place Leicester City and Liverpool, who are three points behind them in fourth, Liverpool’s defensive crisis means new signings, Ozan Kabak and Ben Davis have a chance of starting.
Neither side can afford to drop points if they are to have even the slimmest chance of maintaining their title challenge, with Liverpool anxious to avoid a third consecutive league defeat after losses to Manchester City and Brighton.
Brighton have moved away from the drop zone in recent weeks and will think they have the chance of three more vital points when they host Aston Villa, with Danny Welbeck back after injury for the home side.
Meanwhile Burnley face a visit to Crystal Palace in a game that looks unlikely to produce many goals given that the home side’s strikers have scored just six times between them all season.
Martin Odegaard is in line for his Arsenal debut as Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal entertain a swashbuckling Leeds United.
Manchester United will expect all three points from their visit to West Brom, who have slipped to 11 points from safety and if they are to get anything from the game, West Brom will need to use an aggressive approach to unsettle a not entirely reliable United defense.
Southampton need to put their 9-0 defeat away to Manchester United and a 2-1 loss to Newcastle behind them when they face Wolves.
Dominic Calvert Lewis will be out for Everton’s home game against relegation haunted Fulham with a hamstring problem, while Newcastle United suffered an injury setback ahead of Monday’s visit to play Chelsea, when it was confirmed striker Callum Wilson (who has scored 10 of their 25 goals this season) will miss the next two months after tearing his hamstring, with Fabian Scharr and Javier Manquillo both out for a similar period.
Monday also sees West Ham at home to Sheffield United, with West Ham relying on Michael Antonio for goals after selling Sebastian Haller to Ajax.