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Arsenal v Liverpool: Part II

Watch Arsenal v Liverpool and Boro v Man Utd, live on Sky Sports 1

The second instalment of Arsenal's epic trilogy against Liverpool takes centre stage in the Premier League this weekend, live on Sky Sports 1.

Wednesday night's 1-1 draw in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final set the scene for the second Emirates Stadium meeting in the space of four days, with just as much at stake for both teams on the domestic stage.

The Gunners have gone from five points ahead of Manchester United to six adrift in the space of just over a month and cannot afford to allow the leaders to extend their advantage any further.

Any title hopes that were still flickering in the most optimistic of Anfield fans' minds were firmly snuffed out by their recent defeat at Old Trafford, but ensuring they remain ahead of Everton in the race for fourth place is essential.

Should either manager opt to rest key players on Saturday with one eye on Tuesday's Champions League showdown on Merseyside, it will send a clear message as to where their ambitions and priorities truly lie this season.

Not that United will be too concerned by the plans of their rivals, given their position at the summit of the league and the fact they already have one foot in the Champions League semi-finals after their 2-0 midweek win away to Roma.

A trip to Middlesbrough on Sunday awaits for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, live on Sky Sports 1, but Gareth Southgate's side have produced some of their best displays against the 'big four' this term.

Arsenal took just one point from their two meetings with Boro, Liverpool were held at the Riverside and Chelsea were fortunate to scrape a 1-0 success against Southgate's men at Stamford Bridge last time out.

Blues boss Avram Grant remains a man under pressure, despite Chelsea being in contention for silverware on two fronts, with Wednesday's 2-1 defeat against unfancied Fenerbahce in Istanbul giving more ammunition to his critics.

A trip to Eastlands to face fading Manchester City could provide the tonic Grant requires, but the home side will be fully motivated after their 6-0 battering at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season and having performed so ineptly at Birmingham last weekend that they managed to raise the hackles of the normally unflappable Sven Goran Eriksson.

Despite last weekend's Merseyside derby defeat leaving them five points adrift, Everton still retain ambitions of overhauling their neighbours from across Stanley Park and will see the visit of relegated Derby on Sunday as a home banker.

Eight other teams are jostling to avoid the two remaining places in the bottom three, with current occupants Fulham and Bolton in danger of being cast adrift and handed the unwanted tickets into the Championship.

With Sunderland the visitors to Craven Cottage on Saturday, Roy Hodgson's men must halt a recent Black Cats resurgence that has seen them record back-to-back victories against Aston Villa and West Ham.

Bolton travel to Villa Park on a miserable sequence of eight defeats and three draws from their last 11 games, but Martin O'Neill's men have not won in their last five and are on a run of three consecutive defeats.

Wigan manager Steve Bruce will put all sentiment aside as he comes up against his former club Birmingham, who he left in somewhat acrimonious circumstances earlier in the season, in a vital six-pointer at the JJB Stadium.

The visitors are four points clear of the drop zone in 17th spot, while Bruce's charges are just one point better off and need to recover from consecutive defeats away to Blackburn and Portsmouth.

Fears that Kevin Keegan's dream return to Newcastle was in danger of descending into a nightmare have eased substantially with successive wins against Fulham and Tottenham.

A hat-trick of wins when Reading visit St James' Park would make the Magpies all-but safe, however the Royals are equally eager for the points to preserve their hard-earned Premier League status into a third campaign.

The final fixture of the weekend sees Blackburn play host to Tottenham who, despite claims to the contrary, appear to have switched off somewhat since their Carling Cup final triumph at the end of February.

Rovers retain hopes of securing a Uefa Cup spot via their league position, but have a seven-point gap to make up on Everton in fifth.

Arsenal v Liverpool

The Gunners are unbeaten in their last 20 Premier League home games, with their last defeat on home soil coming against West Ham on 7th April, 2007. Arsenal have won each of their last four home league clashes with Liverpool and are unbeaten in seven home games against the Reds in the Premier League. They have scored 12 goals in total in their last four home league games against Liverpool. The Merseysiders have won just one of their last six away Premier League games.

Aston Villa v Bolton

Seven of the last nine league meetings between these two sides have ended in draws. Villa have failed to beat Bolton in their last six league meetings. The Trotters have won just one of their last 18 away league fixtures. The Villans have won just one of their last four home league games. This is Villa's best points tally from 32 games since 1997. Bolton were last relegated in 1998, and that season they had five points more from 32 games than in this campaign.

Blackburn v Tottenham

Rovers' 2-1 win against Tottenham earlier this season was their first league victory against Spurs in eight meetings. Four of the last six league clashes involving the two sides have ended in draws. Benni McCarthy has scored in the last two games against Tottenham. Mark Hughes' charges are unbeaten in six home league games, while Spurs have won just one of their last seven away league games, losing five of those matches. Tottenham's league games have produced an average of 3.63 goals per game this season.

Fulham v Sunderland

Fulham have won all three home Premier League games against Sunderland, with the Black Cats netting only one goal in total in those games. Sunderland have scored seven 90th minute goals this season, three of them giving the Black Cats a win. Fulham have lost only one of their last four league games. Sunderland have won their last two Premier League games, and have not won three in a row since December 2000. The Whites have thrown away 27 points from winning positions this season, with those points they would be in seventh place.

Manchester City v Chelsea

Chelsea have won their last five Premier League games against Manchester City and have conceded only one goal in their last 11 Premier League meetings against the Eastlands outfit. Chelsea have scored in their last seven Premier League away games. City have tasted victory in only one of their last seven Premier League games at Eastlands. This is the first time in Premier League history that Manchester City have lost fewer than 10 of their opening 32 games.

Newcastle v Reading

Despite two successive wins, Newcastle have never had as few points after 32 games as they do this campaign (35). Reading were 12 points better off this time last season. Reading have scored more away goals than Liverpool and Spurs this season, but only Derby have conceded more on the road. The Magpies have won just one of their last seven Premier League games at St James' Park. Reading have won just one of their last 16 away league encounters, at Middlesbrough.

Wigan v Birmingham

Wigan and Birmingham have met on three previous occasions in the Premier League and the Latics are still looking for their first win. Five of the 10 meetings between the two sides in all competitions have ended in draws. The Blues have won just one of their last 14 away Premier League fixtures and they have shipped more than one goal in nine of those 14 games. Wigan are unbeaten in four home league games, keeping clean sheets in all those four games. Birmingham's Stephen Kelly is the only outfield player in the entire league to have played every minute of every game this season.

Middlesbrough v Manchester United

Manchester United are unbeaten in their last six meetings with Middlesbrough and if the visitors were to win this game, it would be their 50th league victory over Boro. Seven of the last 10 goals scored in this fixture have come in the first 45 minutes. Middlesbrough have only won two of their 12 Premier League fixtures at home against United. United have never failed to score at Middlesbrough in the Premier League. Only four teams in Premier League history have had more points from 32 games than United do now, including last season's title-winning Red Devils side (78).

Everton v Derby

Everton have lost just one of their last six Premier League meetings with Derby. The Toffees' Lee Carsley played for Derby in their last away victory at Everton, back in February 1998. Everton have lost just one of their last 10 league games at Goodison Park. The Rams have now gone 20 Premier League games without an away win. Derby will set a new record for games without a win (27) if they fail to triumph at Goodison Park. Derby need four points from their last six games to avoid equalling Sunderland's record for fewest points in a season (15).