The Manchester derby leads this week’s EPL preview 2

The manchester derby, leads this weeks EPL preview as the perennial challenges Manchester United vs the noisy neighbors City. When this game was scheduled 12 months ago it was assumed that this fixture would be a late season title decider. But it hasn’t turned out that way, City have not held up there end of the bargain. United are 15 points ahead and the title is heading back to Old Trafford.

Manchester City's Carlos Tevez and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney  square off

Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney square off

City manager Roberto Mancini has conceded the title but is urging his players to play for pride. Sir Alex will be looking to make a statement in this game. As a win here pretty much settles the title once and for all.

Spurs vs Everton: Spurs are in 3rd place and face an in form and confident Everton side. Spurs have been in the top 4 all season and will need to continue picking up wins to maintain their hold on the Champions league spot, but they have played one more game than rivals Chelsea and Arsenal and have a tougher run of games. Tottenham’s task has been made harder as talisman Gareth Bale has gone down with an injury.

Chelsea have had a good week, picking up a win over Manchester United in the FA Cup then a win in the Europa league. They face a Sunderland side who have been in a slump the last few months that has seen them drop into relegation trouble. The slump cost manager Martin O’Neil his job and Sunderland have turned to the enigmatic Italian Paolo di Canio as O’Neil’s replacement. Di Canio is going to need to inspire them if they are to stay up.

Londoners Arsenal travel to face a difficult West Brom side in their continued pursuit of a champions league spot. The Gunners are in a good vein of form as they come in off a strong 4-1 win over Reading. But West Brom will provide a stiff challenge. The odds look good for Arsenal as they sit in 5th place, 4 points behind Spurs, but have that crucial game in hand.

Reading and Southampton meet as each team is experiencing different seasons. Reading come in off a heavy 4-1 defeat and look like they have conceded that they are being relegated and have began making their preparations for life in the lower tier. Southampton on the other hand come in off a fabulous 3-1 win over Chelsea. The Saints will be looking for another win

Relegation strugglers Aston Villa face Stoke City, in another must win game. They sit in 3rd from bottom with 30 points. They had a good run but have now lost two straight. Need a win as face Stoke as they are running out of winnable games.

Queens Park Rangers and Wigan square off in a massive 6 point relegation battle. QPR remain rock bottom in last place while Wigan are 4th from bottom on goal difference. The magic number to stay up maybe 37 points. Wigan on 30 need to wins to get them there. It’s a must win for QPR as a loss will certainly send them down.