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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Manchester City in Leicester battle as Manchester United head to Chelsea

There's a title showdown at the Etihad on Saturday as Premier League surprise package Leicester travel to Manchester City, while Manchester United face a trip to Chelsea on Sunday.

ESPN FC's club bloggers preview their match and give a prediction. Do you agree or disagree? Have your say below by voting in the match poll.

MAN CITY: It might not seem like it, but Manchester City are in good form, with only one defeat in 11 games. Performances, though, have been hit-or-miss, so the supporters are nervous ahead of a crucial top-of-the-table clash with Leicester at the Etihad. Jamie Vardy has stood out all season, but so has Sergio Aguero. This one will be very, very tight.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-2 Leicester -- David Mooney

LEICESTER: If Leicester beat City they will arguably become favourites for the title. It's a big ask away from home but Vardy, fresh from his wonder goal against Liverpool in midweek, won't be overawed. Leicester, though, may well be brought back to earth with a bump.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-1 Leicester -- Ben Jacobs

CHELSEA: Once a barometer for the destination of the title, this fixture -- like the clubs involved -- has lost its lustre. Chelsea may be unbeaten in 10 matches while United have chalked up a couple of decent wins, but the reality is both teams are mediocre shadows of their former selves.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United -- Mark Worrall

MAN UNITED: Louis van Gaal's men are showing surprising signs of vitality, with a resounding midweek win over Stoke in the Premier League. Chelsea, meanwhile, are recovering under Guus Hiddink and are seven games unbeaten in the Premier League. This looks like a spirited draw at Stamford Bridge.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United -- Musa Okwonga

BOURNEMOUTH: Eddie Howe's side are on a roll ahead of facing Arsenal after coming from behind to win a Premier League game for the first time, at Crystal Palace on Tuesday. Benik Afobe has scored in each of his past three starts and will be the main threat against his old club.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 Arsenal -- Steve Menary

ARSENAL: The visitors simply must win to get their title challenge back on track and a first goal in four games would help. It is unfortunate, then, that in Afobe they face a player who has scored in his past three games and spent 15 years on Arsenal's books. He could come back to haunt his old club.
Prediction: Bournemouth 1-1 Arsenal -- Tom Adams

TOTTENHAM: Mauricio Pochettino showed his respect for Watford's strike duo -- Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney -- when he changed his usual formation and used three centre-backs in the previous meeting at Vicarage Road. Whatever system Pochettino opts for, Tottenham are on a roll with five successive victories and will be confident of extending that run on home turf.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Watford -- Ben Pearce

WATFORD: When Watford faced Tottenham at Vicarage Road on Dec. 28 they were unfortunate to lose to a late Son Heung-Min goal. Hopefully their gritty midweek stalemate against Chelsea marks a return to their most resilient form. Mario Suarez could start to provide more defensive steel at White Hart Lane, but that might not be enough to stop in-form Spurs.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 Watford -- Michael Moruzzi

SOUTHAMPTON: The Saints could not come into the game in a better run of form, having won their past four games without conceding a goal. Ronald Koeman's side produced one of their most disappointing performances of the season in the reverse fixture at Upton Park, so are out to make amends.
Prediction: Southampton 0-0 West Ham -- Alex Crook

WEST HAM: Slaven Bilic's side travel to the South Coast wanting to maintain the five-point gap between themselves and closest rivals Southampton. The home team are in good form but the Hammers have a fine record against the Saints and a draw looks likely here.
Prediction:  Southampton 1-1 West Ham -- Peter Thorne

LIVERPOOL: After losing to Leicester in midweek, the top four is now but a distant dream for struggling Liverpool, who now must look to avoid finishing in their lowest ever Premier League position. It was close the last time these two sides met, with the Reds edging it thanks to a Christian Benteke goal. It promises to be another tight, nervy affair for Jurgen Klopp's men.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-0 Sunderland -- David Usher

SUNDERLAND: The transfer window leaves Sunderland in better shape but time is running out. Encouraging performances, as in the undeserved defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday, must be turned into points. Liverpool are not unbeatable but stirring performances are needed from new Sunderland signings Jan Kirchhoff, Lamine Kone and Wahbi Khazri.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Sunderland -- Colin Randall

SWANSEA: The Swans will look to build on a promising debut from Alberto Paloschi as they host a Palace side that hasn't won a league game since last year. Swansea watched a win fizzle into a draw in injury time on Tuesday against West Brom but should be determined enough to take all the points this time.
Prediction: Swansea 2-0 Crystal Palace -- Max Hicks

CRYSTAL PALACE: Alan Pardew's side have suffered five league defeats on the bounce. They'll take a 1-0 win at Swansea with an own goal settling it -- anything to stem the slump that has seen the early season form unravel so quickly.
Prediction: Swansea 0-1 Crystal Palace -- Jim Daly

STOKE: The home side will be eager to bounce back from their midweek mauling at Old Trafford when Everton roll into town, but it will be a task made harder by their ever-growing list of injured defenders. Giannelli Imbula should make his debut in what promises to be a difficult match for the Potters.
Prediction: Stoke 1-1 Everton -- James Whittaker

EVERTON: Two clean-sheet victories in four days have finally given Everton supporters something to cheer. Roberto Martinez's men head to Stoke in search of successive league wins for the first time since April. The Blues must improve on a run of three consecutive defeats against Mark Hughes' side.
Prediction: Stoke 1-2 Everton -- Luke O'Farrell

NEWCASTLE UNITED: It's getting serious for Newcastle -- every game they fail to pick something up increases the chance of relegation. They simply have to take three points out of West Brom game, with testing trips to Chelsea and Stoke next. Nerves are starting to kick in.
Prediction: Newcastle 1-1 West Brom -- Lee Ryder

WEST BROM: The Baggies have lost just one of their past nine games, but have only three victories during this run. Saido Berahino's goals could start turning draws into wins if he returns up front against Newcastle, who had a bid turned down for him in January.
Prediction: Newcastle 0-1 West Brom -- Matthew Evans

ASTON VILLA: Norwich may have lost five straight games but in Villa, they have the perfect opponents. With Jordan Ayew suspended, Remi Garde's team are missing the one player who does carry an attacking threat -- unless either Libor Kozak or Rudy Gestede recover from injury, the goalscoring responsibility falls to out-of-form Gabby Agbonlahor. Lose this and Villa Park will be an angry stadium.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Norwich -- Kevin Hughes

NORWICH: This looks like a defining moment for Norwich in their bid to avoid joining Villa in the championship next season. City have leaked 14 goals in four league games but Villa have struggled at home all season. Expect plenty of tension and precious little quality.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Norwich -- Paddy Davitt


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