After an eventful Saturday at both ends of the Premier League table, today sees huge clashes as Tottenham face Everton in the top four race. Sunderland then hosts Manchester City as they look to liven up the relegation battle.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Everton
This is a massive game because a win for Tottenham will see them stretch their advantage over those near them. Everton are however on an unbeaten run and looking to close the gap between second to seventh to six points.
Spurs are expected to have a near full squad available except for Erik Lamela and Danny Rose.
Everton are set to welcome Dominic Calvert-Lewin back after two months back. Muhamed Besic is however still out despite returning to full training.
If Mauricio Pochettino can get his side firing on all cylinders from the off, the Toffees could well find their defence melting at the seams.
The key battle is up front between Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku as the ‘Golden Boot’ race heats up. Both strikers are currently joint top alongside Alexis Sanchez and if either score then they will become the sole leader and favourite to finish as this season’s top league scorer.
Everton have been unbeaten since crashing out of the FA Cup in the third round. They however are without a victory over their hosts in their last eight meetings. Tottenham are flying on home turf with eight consecutive victories at White Hart Lane so will be tricky to beat here.
The match itself should open up if Ronald Koeman’s side can shut down’s Spurs’ high tempo. If they can do that then counter attacking will represent their best chance of getting at least a draw from this fixture.
Prediction: Tottenham 1-1 Everton
Result: Tottenham 3-2 Everton
Sunderland vs Manchester City
Both teams need the win for very different reasons. Sunderland need to get a win if they are to stay up whereas Man City need to stay in the top four battle.
The Black Cats welcome back Papy Djilobodji from suspension but lose Jason Denayer, who is ineligible to face his parent club. Jan Kirchhoff and Steven Pienaar are unfit to play this match along with Jack Rodwell, after he picked up a hamstring injury.
Pep Guardiola could hand places to Vincent Kompany and Aleksandar Kolarov, who return to action after injury. David Silva and Willy Caballero could start after being rested in midweek.
Sunderland need to be switched on right from the whistle against a dangerous City side.
The Citizens will dominate possession so David Moyes’ side need to soak up pressure then attack on the counter and at set pieces. If City start like they did against Huddersfield on Wednesday then Sunderland must take advantage early on then sit back and play defensively.
The Stadium of Light has often been City’s bogey side so expect Guardiola to get a taste of their bogey ground here. With four matches in the next fortnight, expect to see various squad rotations and a slip up somewhere.
Sunderland have next weekend off so expect them to dig deep to get a win that could put the frighteners on those around them, who play next weekend. They often start to find their consistency around this stage of the season before a barnstorming run in so a win will have huge significance here.
If City decide to focus on Wednesday’s home match against Stoke, the Mackems can sneak it here for their first win over City since November 2013.
Prediction: Sunderland 1-0 Manchester City
Result: Sunderland 0-2 Manchester City