The English Premier League 2020-21 season is fast approaching its end with the last few matchweeks remaining. And while the title race is almost won by Manchester City, who play very late this matchweek, the race for the remaining three spots cannot get any competitive.
While Manchester United (63 points) have a comfortable seven-point lead in the second place, Leicester City (56 points), West Ham United (55 points), Chelsea (54 points) and Liverpool (52 points) are all competing for a place in the UEFA Champions League next season.
Here we look at how EPL matchweek 31 could pan out with some crucial clashes coming up.
Arsenal vs Fulham
Ninth-placed Arsenal's European ambitions look bleak via the Premier League. The Gunners are nine points behind fifth-placed Chelsea with only seven matches remaining. However, Mikel Arteta's men are in the Europa League semi-final, where a title win could fetch them a place in the UEFA Champions League next season.
Arsenal take on relegation-threatened Fulham on Sunday and will be the favourites to win given their past head-to-head record.
Arsenal have a better chance against the Cottagers in current form as well. While Arsenal have won twice, lost once and drawn twice in their last five EPL fixtures, Fulham have lost four times and won once.
Manchester United vs Burnley
Manchester United are finally starting to click in the Premier League after years. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær has worked well to bring together a group of young talents that look increasingly likely to challenge for the title in recent seasons.
The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last five matches with just one draw and their momentum is evident on the European front as well. United have also reached the semi-final of the Europa League, where they have a real chance of silverware this season.
They take on a struggling Burnley side next who sit 16th in the points table with two defeats and two draws in their last five matches. United will undoubtedly be the favourites to win the fixture given their past record against Burnley
Chelsea vs Brighton
The London side has started life very different under Thomas Tuchel and while the mid-season managerial change has been a hiccup for the Blues, they are very much alive on both fronts - domestic as well as European.
While Chelsea sit fifth in the Premier League table with very little gap between Leicester City (3rd) and West Ham United (4th), they have also reached the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League with Spanish giants Real Madrid awaiting them.
Their PL fixture against Brighton should be an easy win mainly because of the star-studded line-up that Chelsea boast of. Fifteenth-placed Brighton have also remained winless against Chelsea in all their encounters.
Leeds United vs Liverpool
Defending Premier League champions Liverpool have had a horrendous season so far. Not only have Manchester City left them behind in the race to the title, but Jurgen Klopp's men have also been eliminated from the UEFA Champions League by Real Madrid.
The Reds would want to end in the top four to keep their UCL spot for next season and they are facing fierce competition from Leicester City, West Ham and Chelsea. And their next opponents in the Premier League, Leeds United won't make their job any easier.
While Leeds might have won just six times in their last 25 encounters against Liverpool, Marcelo Bielsa's men have been eccentric this season scoring 49 goals in 31 matches. Their last week's win over Manchester City with 10-men further makes them a dangerous opponent to face.
|Last 5 matches in EPL|
Featured photo: AFP/ Phil Noble