Premier League preview: Four midweek ties as United host City in Manchester derby

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League

A huge weekend of Premier League drama may have only just been put behind us, but there is arguably an ever bigger round of midweek fixtures around the corner and it is this quartet of clashes that will have a huge say as to how things finish this season.

Whether it be the title race, the battle for Europe or the quest for survival, we’ve got it covered and we’ve also got you covered, as we now offer up our big match tips on a big midweek of English top flight action.

TUESDAY 23 APRIL

TOTTENHAM VS BRIGHTON

It’s fair to say that the recent Champions League tie between Manchester City and Tottenham will undoubtedly go down as an all-time classic, and although that was played at breakneck speed, it was always going to be a big ask for the two sides to then do it all over again three days later.

That second showing at the Etihad was one that saw Mauricio Pochettino’s men go behind to an early Phil Foden header, and although they had chances of their own, they simply could not get the better of Ederson in the Manchester City goal.

That defeat would have once again asked questions as to whether or not Tottenham can finish in the top four this season, and while it was far from the perfect outcome, the north Londoners will certainly have been boosted by defeats to both Arsenal and Manchester United a day later.

This Tuesday sees Spurs play host to Brighton, and with the Seagulls fighting for their lives at the bottom end of the table, this is not necessarily going to be the easiest of tasks for the Champions League semi-finalists.

Brighton have struggled for goals as of late, but they will at least be boosted by the fact that they were resilient in their 0-0 draw away at Wolves on Saturday, and that point could prove to be crucial in their bid to steer clear of the relegation zone.

Tottenham now know that there really is no more margin for error in terms of a top four finish, and the perfect way to bounce back is by picking up another win at their new home. (GMB odds - Tottenham to win to nil 19/4)

WATFORD VS SOUTHAMPTON

If the race to finish in the top four is an interesting one, then the battle to end up seventh is also garnering a large amount of attention as of late, and going into these midweek fixtures, it is Watford who are arguably in the box seat.

Huddersfield Town v Watford FC - Premier League

Although the Hornets currently find themselves eighth, they do have the all-important wild card of a game in hand and if they do get the better of Southampton on Tuesday, it will see them leapfrog Everton into seventh place.

That said, it must not be forgotten that Watford are also in next month’s FA Cup final, and this presents another potential route into next season’s Europa League, leaving manager Javi Gracia with an interesting dilemma.

Does he aim to finish seventh and use that as something of an insurance policy against a cup defeat, or does he put all his eggs in a Wembley shaped basket. If it’s the latter, then Southampton certainly stand to benefit.

The Saints currently find themselves five points clear of the relegation zone and they know that if they can pick up a win at Vicarage Road on Tuesday, then it will all but secure their top flight status for another season.

Southampton FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

However, if that is to be the case then they will need to perform better than Saturday’s away display at Newcastle, one that saw them slip to a 3-1 defeat.

If the same was to happen on Tuesday, then this would mean over 3.5 total goals. (GMB odds - over 3.5 goals 11/5)

WEDNESDAY 24 APRIL

WOLVES VS ARSENAL

Another of the teams in the race for seventh place is Wolves, and although they have won just two of their last six Premier League outings, they will still be confident in securing European football come the end of the season.

This Wednesday, they play host to an Arsenal side whose hopes of finishing in the top four and in turn returning to the Champions League took an almighty dent after defeat to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Arsenal FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League

That defeat meant that the Gunners passed up the opportunity to leapfrog their arch rivals Tottenham into third place and put themselves firmly in the driving seat as far as this titanic struggle goes.

What is perhaps more surprising is the fact that the defeat came at the Emirates, a ground that has truly been a fortress as of late, and Unai Emery knows that his players are going to have to offer a lot more on the road come Wednesday night.

Something that is perhaps easier said than done, especially when you consider that Arsenal do have the tendency to be indifferent away from home and Wolves love nothing more than testing the ‘Big Six’ on their own turf.

With both teams looking for a win to further their own European aspirations, this is a game that will be firmly in the balance. (GMB odds - Wolves double chance 10/17)

MANCHESTER UNITED VS MANCHESTER CITY

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League

Old Trafford is going to play host to not just the biggest game of this rescheduled set of fixtures, but arguably the biggest game of the season and it is one that will have huge ramifications in the race for the Premier League title.

This is the game in hand that Manchester City have been looking forward to playing in and they know that if they get a win, then it will be they who once again move to the top of the table with just three games remaining.

From that point onwards, it will be a case of all things being equal and who if anyone drops points between themselves and Liverpool between now and the final day. However, if this is to be the case, City of course have to get the better of their crosstown rivals Manchester United.

United will be looking for a win to not only severely damage the title hopes of Pep Guardiola and his players, but also to revive their chances of earning a Champions League paying position at the end of the season.

FBL-ENG-PR-EVERTON-MAN UTD

Those chances have taken an almighty knock after a miserable showing at Goodison Park on Sunday and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to hope that the 4-0 defeat to Everton then goes on to provide something of a wake-up call.

United have looked lacklustre as of late, while City look unstoppable in their bid to win the title, and they know that they cannot fall at one of these final hurdles. (GMB odds - Man City to win and over 2.5 goals 20/23)

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