Weekend in Numbers: Arsene Wen...

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Weekend in Numbers: Arsene Wenger needs a win and Crystal Palace aim to stop the rot

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

03:53 5 Feb 2016


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Claudio Ranieri resists the urge to say "Yes we can" to the Leicester's title prospects, but for everyone else, their 2-0 win over Liverpool in midweek solidified their credentials as title contenders.

Arsenal also dropped points, allowing London rivals Tottenham to climb above them on goal difference on the back of a three-game win streak.

We shouldn't discount Manchester City, either, who are hot on Leicester's trail in second position, making this weekend's round of fixtures very, very interesting.

1) Leicester's trip to Manchester City looks destined to be a straight shootout

Jamie Vardy captured the headlines with his stunning strike on Tuesday night and reaffirmed his position as one of the league's most potent strikers.

Not to be outdone, Sergio Aguero scored the only goal of the game at the Stadium of Light to bring his goals tally to five goals in his last three Premier League games.

The top two met on December 29th at the King Power Stadium in an intruiging encounter which served to test the mettle of both sides.

Now, the pair both look to make serious strides in the title race and a win for either team would put them in the driving seat.

Leicester have conceded just once in their last six league games, a far cry from their victories from losing positions earlier in the season.

Manchester City, meanwhile, have relied heavily upon Sergio Aguero for goals and are now unbeaten in their last six league games.

With Leicester looking particularly incisive on the counter attack against Liverpool and Manchester City's impressive home record this season (W 9,D 2,L 1) this is a game which could be decided by the potency either team's strikers.

 

Jamie Vardy scored one of the goals of the season on Tuesday night. Image: Nick Potts / PA Wire/Press Association Images

2) Arsenal are in desperate need of a win

Arsene Wenger takes his title-chasing Arsenal side to Bournemouth on Sunday in search of some vitality of their own.

The Londoners have slipped down to the more familiar surroundings of fourth position and are without a win in their last four Premier League fixtures.

Wenger will have lamented his side's poor finishing against Southampton on Tuesday night and now face the potentially tricky trip to Dean Court.

Bournemouth, for the moment, remain out of a relegation scrap and are unbeaten in their last three league games including coming from behind to beat Crystal Palace this week.

Eddie Howe will be under no illusions as to how difficult the task will be, but knows a win will leave them in a good position to climb out of the bottom half of the table when they host Stoke City in a week's time.

Olivier Grioud was left frustrated during this week's scoreless draw against Southampton. Image: Adam Davy / PA Wire/Press Association Images

3) Alan Pardew seeks a response from his players

Crystal Palace's scoreless draw against Swansea on December 28th proved to be a negative turning point in their season. The London side now travel to Wales to right some wrongs and get their season back on track.

Despite success in the FA Cup against Stoke and Southampton, their fortunes in the league since the start of the year haven't been quite as positive.

Palace have lost their last five league games in the league, a run which began directly after their draw with Swansea.

Francesco Guidolin's side, meanwhile, are unbeaten in three games and haven't failed to score since their trip to Selhurst Park.

Palace's lack of goals is well documented, but there were positive signs during their defeat to Bournemouth on Tuesday night. 

However, another defeat could leave them less than 10 points from the relelation zone and leave the club in full crisis mode.

Palace threw away a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 at Selhurst Park. Image: Paul Harding / PA Wire/Press Association Images

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