London: Tottenham host Arsenal at Wembley this weekend aiming to crush the optimism created by the Gunners’ new-look forward line while the absent Riyad Mahrez will be missed by both teams at the Etihad. Elsewhere, Antonio Conte’s Chelsea welcome West Brom with the Italian manager’s job looking precarious following embarrassing back-to-back defeats to Bournemouth and Watford.
Leaders Manchester City host Leicester, who will again be without Mahrez after he failed to force through a move to the Premier League leaders, while Manchester United travel to Newcastle and Southampton welcome back Virgil van Dijk in a Liverpool shirt. Excitement coursed around the Emirates last weekend as Arsenal’s club-record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored on his debut and Henrikh Mkhitaryan conjured three assists in a 5-1 demolition of Everton.
A tougher task awaits at Wembley on Saturday against a high-flying Tottenham side, who have not lost in 11 games. Spurs are currently in fifth but would climb into third — at least temporarily — with victory and move seven points ahead of sixth-placed Arsenal. Riyad Mahrez could have been lining up for Manchester City this weekend and he should certainly be playing for Leicester.
Saturday’s match at the Etihad will be the third consecutive league game the winger has missed since Pep Guardiola’s City failed to get their man on January 31, transfer deadline day. Mahrez, 26, has not even trained with the Foxes since his dream move to the League leaders collapsed.