Things to look out for in the Premier League midweek action as Chelsea could lose third place


As we approach the final week of the season, the Premier League returns on Tuesday for a huge set of midweek fixtures.

Not every team is in action, but there are plenty of important games to be played with the battle for Champions League football heating up, the race for the golden boot going to the wire and, of course, Steven Gerrard coming up against Liverpool.

Chelsea could now actually slip out of third-place despite looking comfortable for so many months and resurgent Everton can go one step closer to ensuring Premier League survival on Wednesday night.

Sportsmail takes a closer look at the things to look out from Tuesday to Thursday, with twists and turns sure to occur at both ends of the table.

Chelsea are in danger of slipping out of third-place in the Premier League after a poor run

THIS WEEK’S FIXTURES

TUESDAY

Aston Villa v Liverpool, 8pm

WEDNESDAY

Leeds v Chelsea, 7.30pm

Leicester v Norwich, 7.45pm

Watford v Everton, 7.45pm

Wolves v Man City, 8.15pm

THURSDAY

Tottenham v Arsenal, 7.45pm

Can Chelsea actually lose grip of third?

Chelsea looked clear in third for quite some time, but they now face the danger of losing that spot, and even missing out of the Champions League although the latter looks unlikely.

The Blues have struggled of late, winning just two of their last six, and failing to win in their last three Premier League fixtures.

That poor run of form has seen Arsenal catch them up as they now sit just one point behind, while Tottenham are still five behind heading into the final three fixtures.

Thomas Tuchel’s side do, however, face an easier opponent in Leeds who are also struggling and have slipped into the relegation zone.

It is a must-win match for both sides for very different reasons, but the Blues’ new owner Todd Boehly will be urging them to ensure they have Champions League football next season.

A win over Leeds would all but secure a top-four finish with Arsenal and Tottenham facing each other on Thursday night. 

Chelsea must turn their fortunes around to finish third or face being caught by Arsenal

Chelsea must turn their fortunes around to finish third or face being caught by Arsenal

Gerrard vs Liverpool

When you think of Liverpool, you think of Steven Gerrard.

It will be strange for Reds supporters and the former midfielder himself to come up against each other once again tonight.

Nevertheless it’s something they will have to get used to, with Gerrard impressing already in his managerial career with Rangers and now Villa. 

Villa are coming off the back of Saturday’s 3-1 win at Burnley which left them 11th and Gerrard wants his men to stand up against his former club and even potentially end any hope they have in the title race.

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Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard will come up against his former club Liverpool on Tuesday

‘Liverpool are a world-class team. Arguably, the best team in the world right now. We’re well aware of the challenge,’ said Gerrard.

‘I’ve spoken many times about how I respect the coach and the coaching staff there. You either fear that or you put your shoulders back and try to take it on and find situations where you can have your moments in the game.

‘Every team on the planet, historically or now, there’s always areas or situations that happen in a game where you can hurt them.

‘We’re well aware of the size of the challenge, but it’s exciting and I’m looking forward to it. Big games of football are what it’s all about.’

Gerrard has described his former club Liverpool as the best team in the world right now

Gerrard has described his former club Liverpool as the best team in the world right now

Race for the Golden Boot hots up

Mohamed Salah is currently leading the race with 22 goals, although Tottenham forward Heung-Min Son is hot on his tail with 20.

The Egyptian international will be hoping to fill his boots against Aston Villa on Tuesday evening to end any hope Son – or even Cristiano Ronaldo – have of catching him.

Ronaldo has 18 goals and only one game left to play this season, so unless he scores a bucket load it’s a two-horse race for the title.

Son also has a tougher fixture than Salah as Spurs face fierce rivals Arsenal on Thursday – meaning it could be the perfect chance for the former Roma star to stretch his lead with the target of winning the award for a third time.

Mohamed Salah leads the scoring charts with 22 goals

Heung-Min Son is just two goals behind Salah on 20

The race for the golden boot could go to the wire between Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah (left) and Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son (right)

The biggest north London derby in years 

It’s a big occasion no matter when it is on the fixture list, but Thursday’s north London derby is even more important than usual.

The game between Tottenham and Arsenal will play a huge part in the battle for the top four, adding extra spice an already fiery clash.

Arsenal currently sit third and are four points clear of Spurs in fourth, but this is not only about Champions League football next season – and the small matter of around £35million in money earned by qualifying – but also major bragging rights.

The winner could prevent the other from playing in Europe’s elite competition, making them instead having to settle for Europa League football. 

The north London derby has even more spice than normal with it being a battle for the top four

The north London derby has even more spice than normal with it being a battle for the top four

Can Everton take another step towards safety?

A team that looked destined for relegation just a matter of weeks ago can go one step closer to ensuring their Premier League survival when they take on Watford on Wednesday evening.

The Toffees have won three of their last five Premier League fixtures, with the other results being a defeat to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby, and a draw at home with Leicester City.

Frank Lampard’s side will be backing themselves to continue that rich vein of form and take advantage of coming up against already-relegated Watford.

They’ll see it as a good chance to put their game in hand to good use, although Leeds are also playing, but they face a tough test in Chelsea. 

Everton can take another step towards Premier League safety with a win over Watford

Everton can take another step towards Premier League safety with a win over Watford



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