Chance for Arsenal to stretch lead as City chases FA Cup glory

Arsenal has the chance to go eight points clear at the top of the English Premier League this weekend, with the closest challenger Manchester City playing in the FA Cup quarterfinals.

After 27 games, Arsenal has 66 points, while City, in second, has 61 points.

Third-placed Manchester United has 50 points, having played a game less. It will also be in action in the FA Cup, meaning Tottenham, two points behind, has a chance to close the gap.

Spurs, however, have played 27 games.

Arsenal takes on free-falling Crystal Palace on Sunday (10pm), having collected a maximum of 15 points from its last five games.

In that period, Palace has only collected two points and suffered three consecutive defeats.

The Gunners showed their desire to claim their first league title in 19 years after coming from 2-0 down to beat Bournemouth 3-0 two weeks ago, thanks to a winner from Reiss Nelson in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

Arsenal followed up that victory with a 3-0 thrashing of Fulham last week.

Tottenham travels to bottom-placed Southampton tomorrow (11pm) and is optimistic about collecting all three points after winning three of its last five games.

The Saints, meanwhile, held Manchester United to a scoreless draw last weekend but lost 2-0 to Brentford on Thursday morning.

Southampton looks destined for the drop unless it can find a way to regain its form.

City, fresh from its 7-0 thrashing of RB Leipzig in the Champions League, faces Burnley in the FA Cup tomorrow morning (1.45am).

City has won the world’s oldest football tournament on six occasions, but its last triumph was in 2019, and as such, is determined to regain the trophy.

Erling Haaland, who joined the club in the summer, has already broken the club’s record for most goals in a season after bagging five against Leipzig.

It was his fifth hat-trick of the season, meaning he has 34 goals from 35 matches.

United hosts Fulham on Monday (12.30am), with the other quarterfinals being Brighton against Grimsby on Sunday (10.15pm).

The only tie not to feature a Premier League team is Sheffield United against Blackburn Rovers on Sunday (8pm).

FIXTURES (Malaysian time)
Nottingham Forest vs Newcastle (4am)
Brentford vs Leicester (11pm)
Southampton vs Tottenham (11pm)
Aston Villa vs Bournemouth (11pm)
Wolves vs Leeds (11pm)

Chelsea vs Everton (1.30am)
Arsenal vs Crystal Palace (10pm)

FA CUP (Quarterfinals)
Manchester City vs Burnley (1.45am)

Sheffield United vs Blackburn Rovers (8pm)
Brighton vs Grimsby (10.15pm)

Manchester United vs Fulham (12.30am)

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