Saturday, January 10, 2015 12:49 pm
Going into the weekend with rarely identical records, Premier League joint leaders Chelsea and Manchester City will aim to take outright possession of the top position on Saturday.
Appearing first at the moment based on alphabetical order, Chelsea welcome managerless Newcastle United to Stamford Bridge while up north, Man. City will be guests of struggling Everton at Goodison Park.
City is boosted by the return to fitness of strikers Sergio Agüero and Edin season with Manuel Pellegrini’s men also on a 14-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
Everton on the contrary have been struggling for results, with the 1-1 draw against West Ham – earned courtesy of a last minute Romelu Lukaku goal – last time out in the FA Cup ending a run of four successive losses for the Toffees.
Roberto Martinez’s men in fact have won just one match in their last 10 outings and may well find City too much to handle on Saturday.
Meanwhile at Stamford Bridge, Newcastle would be equally pessimistic of their chances against Chelsea having won just once in their last seven visits to the Blues.
Indeed it was the Magpies that inflicted a first defeat of the season on Jose Mourinho’s men earlier this season. Since then however, Newcastle have seen manager Alan Pardew join top flight rivals Crystal Palace and suffered a dip in form.
Chelsea meanwhile eased into the FA Cup fourth round and remain undeterred despite manager Mourinho getting a misconduct charge for comments made concerning a supposed plot against his side by the rest of the league.
Elsewhere in the Premier League, the matchday kicks off at the Stadium of Light where Sunderland host a resurgent Liverpool while later on Saturday, Pardew takes charge of his first top flight match when Crystal Palace host fellow Londoners Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park.
On Sunday, Arsenal host Stoke City and are boosted by the return to fitness of playmaker Mesut Özil while later on, third placed Manchester United have the rare luxury of a full squad available for selection when fourth placed Southampton visit Old Trafford.