The Premier League returns after a 2 week break due to international fixtures taking place. It may have been a much needed break for some teams as the league enters the ‘business end’ of the season, with pivotal matches taking place that can dictate teams’ fortunes come May.
Bet365 brought a panel together consisting of host Sam Matterface along with Kelly Sommers and Steve Freeth to break down some of the biggest talking points heading into the upcoming match week.
One of the biggest talking points heading into the final stretch of the season is the title race contested between first placed Manchester City and second placed Liverpool. Only one point separates the two teams who face each other in a mammoth clash at the Etihad Stadium in two weeks time.
Freeth touches on the massive gap between the two clubs at the top of the table, with Liverpool at one point during Christmas being as high as 10/1 to win the league due to City taking a 14 point advantage. Matterface highlights a key statistic, that 6 out of 10 teams with the best defence end up winning the league title, a good omen for City who currently boast the best defence in the league.
Somers also highlights the congested fixture list, as both teams have Champions League Quarter-Final ties to play, as well as playing one another in the F.A Cup Semi-Final. Somers believes that Liverpool have the advantage in terms of the ease of opposition in fixtures and tips Liverpool’s squad depth as an advantage for Liverpool.
An equally intriguing battle is the race for the fourth Champions League position, as both North London teams Arsenal and Tottenham are contending for the position. Freeth states that the odds and the feeling still favours Arsenal, as Mikel Arteta’s men have won 6 out of their last 7 games.
But Antonio Conte and his Spurs side are only three points behind – despite Arsenal having a game in hand – and still yet have to play Arsenal in a crucial North London derby which could ultimately decide who finishes fourth this season.
The Bet365 panel also discuss how Newcastle United have made a resurgence under manager Eddie Howe, Everton’s form under manager Frank Lampard and an in-depth discussion overall about the relegation flight at the bottom of the table.