Tottenham will have the chance to close the gap on leaders Chelsea to just one point when they take the short trip across London to face West Ham at the London Stadium on Friday night.
Victory over Arsenal in the North London derby brought them back within four points of the Blues, and with the advantage of playing first this weekend they can really put the pressure on Chelsea.
West Ham, on the other hand, are still not mathematically safe and sit seven points clear of the relegation spots with three games left to play – but know a win will be enough to secure survival.
Four successive games without a loss has steadied the ship somewhat for the Hammers after a poor run of no win in seven games, and it’s looking like they’ll just about limp over the line this season.
Consecutive 0-0 draws against Everton and Stoke City have done little to raise spirits after a disappointing first season at the London Stadium, but their early season form looks to have done enough to secure top-flight football for another year.
Just the four wins in their last 17 Premier League matches – coming against relegation battlers Crystal Palace and Swansea – could leave Slaven Bilic’s job in jeopardy heading into the summer though.
Tottenham, by contrast, are arguably the in-form side in the league after winning nine straight games since the 2-0 loss to Liverpool back in early February.
Wins over Everton and most recently fierce rivals Arsenal have seen them keep the pressure up on Chelsea as the season heads to a close and there’s a real sense of momentum amongst the side.
Yet it’s their away form that’s tripped them up this season, only picking up 21 out of a possible 48 points on the road, and they’ll need to rectify that on Friday if they want to stay in the title race.
For the hosts, West Ham manager Slaven Bilic will be left sweating on the fitness of Andy Carroll ahead of the visit of Tottenham but Mark Noble should make a return in the centre of midfield.
Arthur Masuaku should also be fit to start after picking up a knock against Stoke City, whilst it’s expected that Bilic retains his system of three central defenders after successive clean sheets in recent weeks.
The main dilemma for Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino will be whether to start Kieran Tripper or Kyle Walker at right-back; Trippier was given the nod for the visit of Arsenal last week, but since then there have been reports of a big fall-out between Walker and Pochettino, with the defender’s future in doubt.
Belgian midfielder Mousa Dembele should have overcome the ankle problem that saw him left out of the starting eleven last weekend, with Heung-Ming Son the likeliest candidate to make way.
Match Prediction: West Ham 1-2 Tottenham
Whilst Tottenham have been scintillating at White Hart Lane this season, their away form has been far from the best and they only just scraped past relegation battlers Crystal Palace last time out.
With West Ham needing points to secure survival – and the added bite that’s always added to a derby match – Mauricio Pochettino’s side will need to come out firing to see off this West Ham side.
Yet with spirits high after a convincing win over the Gunners and the chance to make the first move in the chess match that is the Premier League title race, it’s an opportunity that Spurs can’t afford to miss.
With Dele Alli and Harry Kane enjoying the season of their lives, and West Ham’s season spiralling towards a disappointing end, the visitors should pose too much of a threat for their London rivals.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Bournemouth: Premier League match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction
Tottenham Hotspur head into tomorrow’s clash with struggling Bournemouth still searching for their first Premier League victory at Wembley Stadium. Much as been made about Spurs’ hoodoo at the national stadium, where they are temporarily based while construction continues on their new ground.
Mauricio Pochettino’s charges have dropped more points at ‘home’ so far this season than in the entirety of the last campaign. However, they take on a Bournemouth outfit that have collected four points and are above only Crystal Palace in the league standings.
Despite their difficulties at Wembley, Tottenham are unbeaten in the top-flight since August and sit third in the table with 14 points from seven matches. Their demolition of Huddersfield Town before the international break, in which the in-form Harry Kane netted a brace, highlighted their ability to crush opponents.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe will be acutely aware of the task facing his side. The Cherries have a terrible record against Spurs since being promoted to the Premier League and have yet to gain a single point on their travels this term.
Pochettino has no fresh injury concerns and could be boosted by the return of Mousa Dembele, who has recovered from a foot problem. Victor Wanyama is still sidelined with a knee injury, though. Harry Winks, who impressed on his England debut, is set to retain his place in the starting XI. Long-term absentees Danny Rose and Erik Lamela are several weeks away from first team action.
Howe’s line-up will depend on whether striker Joshua King passes a fitness test after suffering a tight hamstring for Norway. Ryan Fraser and Brad Smith are both poised to miss out, after suffering knocks during the international break. Callum Wilson has been continuing his recuperation by getting minutes under his belt for the Under-23s.
Match prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Bournemouth
Spurs have thrashed Bournemouth in the two fixtures between the clubs at White Hart Lane – and a change of venue is unlikely to bring the Cherries better fortune. If at their best, Howe’s side can at least give Tottenham something to think about and prey on the anxiety they have experienced at Wembley. However, with no away form to speak of, Spurs look set to be too strong.
Liverpool vs Manchester United: Premier League match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction
The two most successful clubs in the history of English football will resume hostilities tomorrow, when Liverpool welcome Manchester United to Anfield. It is a mouth-watering return to the Premier League following the international break, which sees Jose Mourinho’s side put their unbeaten start to the season on the line. The atmosphere is sure to be electric for Saturday’s early kick-off and victory for the hosts would bring them to within four points of their fierce rivals.
With only one win from their past four top-flight outings, Liverpool’s form has stalled somewhat after a bright start. Scoring goals has not been a problem for Jurgen Klopp’s men – but in contrast, no club in the top half has shipped more. It is these defensive shortcomings which have been to blame for too many dropped points.
United meanwhile, have been mightily impressive, taking 19 points from 21. For all their attacking flair, they have also been watertight in defence, with the only goals they have conceded coming in the 2-2 draw away to Stoke City.
Klopp has been left reeling from the news that key player Sadio Mane has been ruled out from up to two months after injuring his hamstring during the international break, which means Daniel Sturridge may keep his place in attack. Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne are edging towards a return, although no date has yet been set.
United have selection problems of their own and will be without Marouane Fellaini, who suffered damage to his knee while playing for Belgium. Paul Pogba, Phil Jones, Michael Carrick and Marcus Rojo all remain sidelined.
Match prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United
Mourinho is a master tactician whose game-plan will be to keep it tight and frustrate Liverpool. Klopp’s team are more than capable of ruining his approach however, although Mane’s absence is a huge blow. The first goal will be crucial in deciding the outcome.
Everton vs Burnley: Premier League match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction
Everton will look to record just their third Premier League win of the season when a high-flying Burnley take the short trip across the north west to Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon.
Sean Dyche’s side have started the year in impressive fashion, losing just once in their opening six matches, and they’ll provide another stern test for an Everton side that are struggling to grind out results.
Yet Ronald Koeman will hope his side’s comeback victory over Bournemouth last time out can add some inspiration around Merseyside and kick-start a season that hasn’t got going just yet.
Despite spending over £100million during the summer on some well-known names, Everton have found it difficult to convert that into results on the pitch with just two wins from their first six league games.
Consecutive defeats against Chelsea (2-0), Tottenham (3-0) and Manchester United (4-0) had dampened spirits around Goodison somewhat but they secured a much-needed win last week against the Cherries.
Their Europa League adventure hasn’t quite gone to plan either, losing heavily away at Atalanta before being held at home by Cypriot minnows Apollon Limassol to leave them at the bottom of Group E.
The visitors have fared a little better so far this season, only losing the once against West Brom, and they’ve already surprised a few by drawing with Liverpool and Tottenham and seeing off Chelsea.
They’ll arrive on Merseyside with a fine away record too, unbeaten in their first three matches – all three of which ironically were against these top-six contenders – and they’ll want to extend the run.
Ronald Koeman could be without the services of both Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane after the defensive duo missed out on the draw with Apollon Limassol through respective injury problems.
That could see young Mason Holgate drafted into the centre of defence alongside Ashley Williams, with Everton potentially reverting to a four-man defensive system to cater for their lengthy injury list.
There’s little to report for Burnley ahead of Sunday’s clash, although Jonathan Walters could be in contention for a spot on the bench after recovering from an ongoing ligament problem in his ankle.
Match Prediction; Everton 2-1 Burnley
Ronald Koeman will be desperate to see a reaction from his team after their disappointing late set-back against ten-man Apollon on Thursday, and he will want to make it two wins from two in the league.
But it certainly won’t be an easy task against a disciplined Burnley team, who have only conceded five goals all season despite facing a tough run of away games against Premier League title contenders.
Oumar Niasse is in-line for a start after his starring role in the win last weekend and his presence could lift a depleted Everton side, and whilst it won’t be a stroll in the park the hosts should nick a close affair.
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