The Premier League continues this weekend with Matchday 29, and Sportsnet will have live coverage of five games:
Saturday, March 3
• Tottenham vs. Huddersfield Town, 9:30 a.m. ET (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific)
• Southampton vs. Stoke City, 9:30 a.m. ET (Sportsnet ONE)
• Leicester City vs. Bournemouth, 9:30 a.m. ET (Sportsnet World)
• Liverpool vs. Newcastle United, noon ET (Sportsnet World and Sportsnet ONE)
Sunday, March 4
• Manchester City vs. Chelsea, 10:30 a.m. ET (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific)
Here’s what you need to know ahead of this weekend.
THE BIG GAME
Manchester City vs. Chelsea: It’s a battle of first versus fifth on Sunday when Man City welcomes Chelsea to the Etihad Stadium.
While the hosts have a comfortable 16-point lead over second-place Manchester United, Antonio Conte’s side is desperately trying to claw its way back into the top four in order to secure Champions League qualification. Chelsea sits fifth in the table, two points adrift of Tottenham. Spurs host Huddersfield Town this weekend, so the Blues can ill afford to drop any points in what is shaping up to a be tight battle to finish in the top four.
Chelsea will have their work cut out, though. Manchester City have won their last 13 Premier League home matches, scoring at least twice each time.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Sergio Aguero, Manchester City: The Argentine loves playing against Chelsea – he’s scored five goals in his last four Premier League matches against the London club. He’s also been in blistering form as of late, with eight goals in Man City’s last five league games, including a four-goal effort against Leicester City and a hat trick against Newcastle United.
IBRAHIMOVIC SET TO LEAVE MAN UNITED THIS SUMMER
Jose Mourinho told reporters on Friday that he expects Zlatan Ibrahimovic to leave Manchester United this summer. Ibrahimovic is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with a move the LA Galaxy in MLS. The Swedish striker, who scored 28 goals last season, has not played since Boxing Day after suffering a knee injury just weeks after returning from a injury layoff. “For Zlatan, we all think it’s his last season at Manchester United and it will be a very personal decision for him to play or to stop,” Mourinho told a news conference. Manchester United visits Crystal Palace on Monday.
HEAT TURNED UP ON ARSENAL
Arsenal is mired in a bit of a slump, and is coming off a pair of humiliating losses to Manchester City. In Sunday’s League Cup final, the Citizens thrashed the Gunners 3-0, and then thrashed Arsene Wenger’s team again with a 3-0 win on the road in the Premier League on Thursday. That loss means Arsenal sits sixth in the table, 10 points and two spots out of the Champions League qualification zone. The Gunners visit Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.
TRYING TIMES FOR WEST BROM
With each passing week, West Bromwich Albion appears destined for relegation. The Baggies are winless in their last five games and they currently sit in last place, seven points from safety. The pressure will be on Alan Pardew’s side in the coming weeks to earn results, as three of their final four matches of the season are against Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham. West Brom visits Watford on Saturday.
EVERTON’S MANGALA TO MISS REST OF SEASON
Everton’s on-loan defender Eliaquim Mangala is expected to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, manager Sam Allardyce confirmed on Friday. Mangala, who joined Everton on loan from Manchester City in January, underwent surgery after suffering the injury versus Crystal Palace last month. Everton visits Burnley on Saturday.
THE BIG QUESTION
Every week, Sportsnet’s soccer panel will debate The Big Question. Have your say by voting in the poll below:
HE SAID IT
“I feel sad because this is the club that I love and a man [Arsene Wenger] I have a lot of respect for.” – Thierry Henry to Sky Sports after Arsenal’s 3-0 loss to Manchester City on Thursday.