Gameweek 18 of the Premier League will witness a key clash at the top of the table with second-placed Leicester City taking on holders Manchester City, who are below them in the standings.
Liverpool won’t feature over the weekend due to their FIFA Club World Cup final against Flamengo in Qatar and that offers the likes of Leicester and Manchester City with the chance to close the gap on the Reds.
The Foxes are currently 10 points behind the leaders when compared to the Cityzens, who are 14 points adrift. Neither of them are within sight of the top of the table but the game should be more crucial for the Foxes, who are due to host the Reds on Boxing Day.
Three things to watch out for this weekend:
Leicester City’s title credentials: Brendan Rodgers has regularly stated that the Foxes are not in the title race but the team, no doubt, will have been hurt after the 1-1 stalemate against Norwich City last weekend.
The Foxes can move within seven points of Liverpool ahead of the Boxing Day meeting, but they will need to earn the result on the road to the reigning champions, who recently sealed a comfortable 3-0 win at Arsenal.
Jamie Vardy has scored in eight of his previous nine league games for the Foxes and he should prove the main threat on the counter-attack against a Cityzens backline, which has looked vulnerable.
Chelsea’s response in the derby: The Blues have stuttered in the league in the past five matches where they have accumulated three points and suffered four defeats – three against teams in the bottom half of the table.
As a result, they are clinging onto the final Champions League spot with a slender three-point margin over Tottenham Hotspur, whom they are scheduled to face on the road on Sunday.
The Blues have picked up just one point against this season’s top-six but Frank Lampard will definitely want his team to play on the front foot and take the game to their cross-town rivals.
Tottenham’s chance to break into the top four: At the November international break, Spurs were 12 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and it seemed that they could have a tough season on their hands.
However, the hierarchy made the decision to sack Mauricio Pochettino and appoint Jose Mourinho at the helm, and that has contributed to a drastic change in fortunes with four wins from the past five league matches.
The north London outfit have the opportunity to leapfrog their London rivals to the fourth spot with a victory on Sunday and that would cap off a tremendous turnaround for the club.
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