Arsenal seeks swift response to take title fight to Man City

Arsenal has no time to lick its wounds after losing the top spot in the Premier League to Manchester City as the Gunners aim to snap a four-game winless streak at Aston Villa on Saturday. City must end Nottingham Forest's five-month unbeaten run at the City Ground in the league if the club is to maintain its momentum towards a fifth title in six seasons. Liverpool's trip to Newcastle has big implications on which teams finish in the top four places colookme the end of the season, while there is a huge relegation six-pointer at the bottom as Leeds visit Everton.

Here is a  at some of the key talking points ahead of the weekend's action.

Arteta still believesArsenal's unbeaten home record came to end on Wednesday as City walked away from the Emirates with a 3-1 victory, taking over first place for the first time since November. After dropping just seven points from its opening 19 league games, Arsenal let eight slip away in the last three following a defeat at Everton and a controversial 1-1 draw with Brentford.

"I have more belief than I had before the game," a defiant Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said after losing to City. "With the performance and the level, the team put in, we had the feeling we could beat them. Until the second goal we had them. But we gave them three goals and the game at the end. Certain errors at this level, you can't make. At the same time, the team put the level very high."

City leads only on goal difference and Arsenal still has played one fewer game than its title rivals. Victory at Villa Park would right the ship for Arteta's men, but there is fear that fatigue, and injuries are beginning to hamper a young squad. Influential midfielder Thomas Partey is expected to miss Saturday's game due to a muscle injury, while forward Gabriel Jesus remains out injured.

Last chance for Liverpool? Liverpool's first league victory of 2023 against Everton on Monday night brought the Reds back into contention for a top-four finish.

Jurgen Klopp's team still has a lot of ground to make up if it is to qualify for the Champions League for a seventh consecutive season. Liverpool is nine points behind fourth-placed Newcastle but has played one fewer game than the Magpies. The Reds have the chance to cut that gap at St. James' Park on Saturday.

Newcastle's only league defeat of the season so far came at Anfield in August. But five draws in its last six games has slowed the Magpies charge towards a place in the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.

Everton back to earth. An upturn in form for West Ham, Wolves and Leicester means it is increasingly likely that one if not both Leeds and Everton face the possibility of relegation.'

The Toffees were brought back to reality in the Merseyside derby on Monday after shocking Arsenal in Sean Dyche's first game in charge. Everton's struggle for goals is not helped by the continued absence of forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin due to a hamstring injury.

"The Arsenal game's a reminder of the quality that is here," Dyche said. "Of course, the striking department has got less options that you would like in the Premier League, and especially for a club of this size and the expectation of its fans."

Leeds remains under the caretaker charge of Michael Skubala after failing to land a series of targets to replace Jesse Marsch as manager. Skubala oversaw two positive performances against Manchester United last week, but the club only reaped one point as Leeds remain without a league win since November.

Saturday: Aston Villa vs Arsenal, Brentford vs Crystal Palace, Brighton vs Fulham, Chelsea vs Southampton, Everton vs Leeds, Nottingham Forest vs Man City, Wolves vs Bournemouth, Newcastle vs Liverpool
Sunday: Man Utd vs Leicester, Tottenham vs West Ham


© Agence France-Presse

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