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Arsenal Under Pressure As Man City Pursue Premier League Title

Mikel Arteta’s team is leading by just one point with two matches left, while Manchester City has a crucial game in hand.

Newcastle and Chelsea are both mounting a late-season push for a European qualification spot, benefiting from Manchester United’s recent decline.

Nottingham Forest received news this week that their appeal against a four-point penalty for violating Premier League financial regulations was unsuccessful.

By Paul Tuama

Arsenal have been almost flawless in the Premier League this year. However, as the title race nears its end, they’re relying on Fulham to do them a favour by defeating Manchester City. Mikel Arteta’s team is leading by just one point with two matches left, while Manchester City has a crucial game in hand.

Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest could significantly improve their chances of avoiding relegation by defeating Chelsea, who are competing with Newcastle and Manchester United for a European spot.

When the 2023/24 fixture list was released, Arsenal’s Sunday visit to Manchester United might have appeared daunting. However, the scenario has shifted since then. The Gunners, aiming for their first Premier League title in two decades, are likely to have surrendered their top spot by the time they face Old Trafford on Sunday.

This is because second-placed City, vying for an unprecedented fourth consecutive Premier League title, will be playing against Fulham the day before. City has maintained an unbeaten record against the London side across 21 games in all competitions.

Despite Arsenal’s confidence in defeating a struggling United team, who seem increasingly unlikely to secure European football next season following their humiliating 4-0 loss to Crystal Palace, the odds are not in their favour.

City’s upcoming game against Tottenham, their next fixture and where they have never scored in the league, offers a glimmer of hope for Arsenal, especially with Spurs’ recent poor form and Erling Haaland’s return to top form. However, Arsenal’s reliance on City slipping up is not promising, despite their superior goal difference.

European Spot battle

Newcastle and Chelsea are both mounting a late-season push for a European qualification spot, benefiting from Manchester United’s recent decline. Under Eddie Howe, Newcastle currently lead the race for either a Europa League or UEFA Conference League berth, contingent on the outcomes of the final rounds of the Premier League and the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Manchester United.

Depending on further setbacks for Tottenham, Newcastle could even secure fifth place. Positioned sixth, Newcastle, set to face Brighton on Saturday, have triumphed in five of their last seven league matches.

Meanwhile, Chelsea, once lagging behind, have surged in form with just one loss in their last twelve league fixtures, offering hope for a redemption in what has been a challenging season. Mauricio Pochettino’s side, facing relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest, understand that a victory is vital to keep their European aspirations alive.

Relegation battle

Nottingham Forest received news this week that their appeal against a four-point penalty for violating Premier League financial regulations was unsuccessful.

However, despite this setback, they are edging closer to securing safety in the top-flight. If Forest outperform Luton in their match against West Ham, they will be on the verge of clinching a third consecutive year in the Premier League.

The season has been a turbulent ride for Forest, facing charges of improper conduct from the Football Association for criticizing VAR Stuart Attwell on social media following their defeat to Everton earlier this month.

Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo has stated that he has already moved on from the failed appeal. While they are considered favorites to avoid relegation, unfavorable results this weekend could still lead to a survival battle with Burnley on the final matchday.

Fixtures

Saturday (1400 GMT unless stated)

Fulham v Man City (1130), Bournemouth v Brentford, Everton v Sheff Utd, Newcastle v Brighton, Tottenham v Burnley, West Ham v Luton, Wolves v Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest v Chelsea (1630)

Sunday

Manchester United v Arsenal (1530)

Monday

Aston Villa v Liverpool (1900)

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