Premier League week 25 preview: Manchester City battle Chelsea, Brentford host Reds

Manchester City and Chelsea will renew acquaintances at the Etihad Stadium, with City looking to continue their push to reach the top. City have won their last 11 games in all competitions, and come into this on the back of a 3-1 midweek Champions League victory over FC Copenhagen.

They are two points behind Liverpool, and the Reds could go five points clear momentarily if they beat Brentford in the early kickoff. 

City have not lost any of their last 22 League games at the Etihad, and have won six of their last eight matches against Chelsea, keeping a clean sheet in five of those wins. They have failed to keep a clean sheet in 11 of their last 13 games though, which is a minor cause for concern, but the attack has continued to deliver the goods. 

Chelsea on the other hand beat Crystal Palace in their last game to lie just two points behind seventh placed Newcastle. Picking up three points here will be a massive challenge however, as they have failed to win any of their last seven matches against the Citizens since registering a 1-0 victory in the 2021 Champions League final. They have also failed to keep a clean sheet in 18 of the last 19 against them, making them firm underdogs ahead of this one.

Liverpool will go five points clear at the top, at least for a few hours, if they beat Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium in the day’s early kickoff. The Reds were 3-1 winners over Burnley last time out, with Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez getting on the score sheet. It was a good response to the defeat to Arsenal, though it should be noted that City have a game in hand. 14 of the 18 points that Liverpool have dropped this season have been on the road, but they will fancy their chances of beating a Brentford side who only just returned to winning ways.

The Bees were 2-0 winners over Wolves, a victory which saw them move up to 14th on the table, as well as ending a run of 14 games without a clean sheet. Their last game at this stadium ended in defeat to Man City, and though Liverpool have never registered an away win against them in the league, the chances of victory remain very slim.

After picking up the largest away win in their Premier League history, Arsenal now travel to take on 19th places Burnley at Turf Moor. The Gunners put West Ham to the sword in an emphatic 6-0 thrashing, with William Saliba, Bukayo Saka (two), Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Magalhaes getting on the score sheet before Declan Rice rounded off the rout with a stunning hit from long range. Only once before had Arsenal won their first four league games of a calender year, when George Allison led them to title glory in 1934/35, and victory against the Clarets will see them win their first five games in a calender year for the first time in their history. Burnley are yet to win a game in 2024, and not long ago lost seven matches in a row on this ground. Against a rampant Gunners side, an upset is not likely in the slightest sense.

Tottenham will aim to extend their winning run at home when they host Wolves at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Though not entirely convincing, the Lilywhites picked up a 2-1 win over Brighton in their last game, with Son Heung Min coming off the bench to square for Brennan Johnson to score with the last kick of the game. The win now means Spurs have now won their last five at home, while leapfrogging Aston Villa into fourth. Wolves were dealt two devastating blows in their last game against Brentford, as in form striker Mathews Cunha had to be subbed off with a hamstring injury, and will now be out for a number of weeks. The game then ended 2-0 to the Bees, with Gary O’Neill’s men failing to score at home for the first time this season. They are just four points behind seventh placed Newcastle and are unbeaten in their last five games on the road. Their last game here ended in defeat though, but they have won the last two against Spurs, at the Molineux, and a win here will see them overcome the Lilywhites three times in a row for the very first time.

Newcastle will look to extend their unbeaten run to five matches when they host Bournemouth at St James’ Park. The Magpies have scored 51 goals this season, with only three teams managing more, but they have struggled at the back, with no clean sheet in their last seven league games. Bournemouth on the other hand have gone five games without a win in the league, losing three and drawing two, while also conceding 11 goals in their last five away games. They have failed to win any of their last four trips to St James’ Park, putting their chances of getting a positive result in doubt.

Aston Villa will hope to bounce back from their 2-1 loss to Manchester United when they travel to face Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Fresh from a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Arsenal, West Ham will now look to pick themselves up and go again when they face Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

On Sunday, Manchester United travel to Kenilworth Road to take on Luton Town, as they look to maintain their unbeaten start to 2024. The Red Devils have won five and drawn one of their six games so far this year, with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa being the latest of the bunch. They are now sixth on the table, just six points behind fourth placed Tottenham. Luton Town fell to a surprise 3-1 defeat to Sheffield United last time out, and remain 17th on the table, just one point ahead of Everton, though with a game in hand. They are sure to give the Red Devils a run for their money, but it might not be enough to secure the points against Ten Hag’s resurgent charges.

Brighton will be eyeing up all three points in their push for a European place when they travel to Bramall Lane to take on bottom side Sheffield United.

The Seagulls were beaten 2-1 by Tottenham in their last game, but they are just six points behind sixth placed Man United. It will be a tricky task though, with Sheffield United picking up a rare 3-1 win against Luton Town. Whether that will be the catalyst for an up turn in form, though, remains to be seen.