Manuel pellegrini

Another coffin nail for Pellegrini
If a decision on Manuel Pellegrini’s future at Manchester City hasn’t already been made, then it almost certainly will be on Sunday. The headline Premier League match of the weekend is City’s visit to their rivals United for the Manchester derby, and they go into it hoping that the cliché of defenestrated formbooks rings true at Old Trafford. The defeat on Monday at Crystal Palace means its just five City wins from their last 13 league matches, form that has seen them drop to fourth place in the table, and now seems a worse time than ever to face a United side that is really kicking into gear. The 2015 collapse means a trophyless season for the blue half of Manchester, and it doesn’t look as if a win on Sunday will be enough to save their Chilean manager. JW

A step too far for Burnley
Burley’s last three Premier League ties have seen them earn four of nine points and claim crucial results over both Tottenham Hotspur, whom they drew against last week, and reigning champions Manchester City who suffered a potentially season ending loss to the Clarets mid-March. This weekend see’s Sean Dyche side welcome in-form Arsenal to Turf Moor in what many expect to be a game too far for the Clarets. Recent success over Champions League prospects would potentially set-up a tense tie for the travelling Gunners, however Arsene Wenger’s men’s form in recent weeks doesn’t paint a promising picture for the relegation battling Burnley. Arsenal have won seven successive Premier League games in which they have scored 17 times, their best run of form since their historic 2004 unbeaten season. Burnley will be buoyed by their fine performance against Tottenham last week but will not be expecting such a level tie as they welcome the second placed Arsenal side looking to gain ground on a stuttering Chelsea. BF

Tears of a different kind for Defoe and Sunderland
The derby win over Newcastle United has given Sunderland and their new boss Dick Advocaat a much-needed early boost, just as it did for Gus Poyet and Paolo Di Canio previously, and the Dutchman will need all of his experience to bring that belief into the club’s next match. On Sunday, Sunderland host a Crystal Palace side managed by a man who has unfinished business with The Black Cats. Alan Pardew had a dreadful Tyne-Wear derby record while at Newcastle, particularly in more recent years, but without the weight of occasion (and vitriol from his own fans) he will surely fancy his chances of three points. Palace have lost just two of their last 10 away league games, winning 6 of the 7 matches on the road since Pardew took over at the club, and Sunderland – who have to go for it – look set to fall victim to the counter attacking strength of their London visitors. JW

Pochettino will put Sherwood in his place
Tim Sherwood managed Tottenham for 22 Premier League between December 2013 and May 2014 and was remembered by Spurs fans for his impressive 59% win percentage at the club, the best of any club manager in the Premier League history. Sherwood’s tenure at the club came to an end, ironically, with a 3-0 win over this weekend’s opponents and his new club of employment Aston Villa. New Tottenham Head Coach Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping to earn a crucial win over his club’s former boss as his side look to re-ignite their Champions League hopes. Tottenham are unbeaten in 10 home matches in the Premier League since a November defeat to Stoke City and will feel that they are favorites ahead of a Villa side who have lost nine of their last 12 league games, winning only twice in their last 17. Tension will run high at White Hart Lane this weekend as Sherwood returns but Pochettino and the Spurs faithful will expect victory and a crucial three points. BF

Leicester to be spanked with West Brom’s flip-flops
West Bromwich Albion host a relegation-threatened side at The Hawthorns for the second week running, but go into it having lost quite emphatically in the previous instance. The 1-4 defeat to QPR, and the manner of it particularly, came as a surprise to everyone and Tony Pulis suggested his players might have been swayed by social media’s assurances that The Baggies were safe. Needless to say, after a week of kicked backsides the squad definitely won’t be on the beach for the visit of Leicester City tomorrow, and we’re sure to see The Foxes feel the wrath of West Brom’s wake-up call. Nigel Pearson’s Leicester have left themselves little margin for error and must play for the win, so expect to see a classic Pulis shut-out with his forwards picking off on the break.  JW

Words by Joe Walker & Ben Fawcett