By Eric White
MANUEL Pellegrini knows his Manchester City side must clinch all three points against Tottenham at the Etihad if they are to maintain their pursuit for consecutive Premier League titles.
City have played some glamorous football at times this season, but the five point gap between themselves and leaders Chelsea does make not make good reading for the Champions so early on in the campaign.
Their recent form hasn’t been disappointing. In their last two fixtures they produced all of the grit and determination needed to keep up their fight as they gained away wins at Aston Villa and Hull City. Tottenham meanwhile will know a win in Manchester could give their season a huge lift as they will be level on points with City with a victory.
Chelsea travel to Selhurst Park to play a Palace side that has been slightly rejuvenated from the recent appointment of Neil Warnock. Palace are by no means in a comfortable position, sitting only four points off the relegation zone but recent positive results and the infamous win over Mourinho’s side at the back end of last season will give the home side a lot of hope.
Everton would have gained a point at least at Old Trafford had it not been for the heroics of David De Gea but Roberto Martinez will know better than anyone that six points and a seventeenth placed position is not good enough from his side.
The Toffees host Aston Villa on Saturday and anything other than a win will see more questions asked of Martinez’ methods.
Louis Van Gaal will look to guide his Manchester United team to a third win in a row when they travel to play West Bromwich Albion. United have scored seven goals in their last three games but failed to keep a clean sheet in any those games. You have to feel this is definitely something manager Alan Irvine will look to exploit.
Queens Park Rangers host out of form Liverpool on Sunday knowing a win is a must if they are to ease the growing pressure on the team at the bottom of the table. Liverpool haven’t been convincing themselves this season but can take confidence from the fact that both Joey Barton and Jordon Mutch look set to miss the clash due to hamstring problems.
Arsenal host Hull needing a win to get their title challenge back on track after being outplayed by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the last round of games. Rumours have also been circulating that Â£42m man Mesut Ozil wants out at the Emirates and Arsenal are ready to sell the playmaker as soon as January. A season that looked so promising for Arsenal is in risk of being shrouded in disappointment.