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WEEKEND PREVIEW: The BIG 7

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Why Arsenal must end their losing streak against Man City.

First, Manchester City lost, then Liverpool slipped too.

The Premier League’s three-horse race recently became an affair of two teams, the others fighting a war of their own.

Then came the miserable matchday, at least that is what it is for both Liverpool and City but not Tottenham Hotspur who saw a chance to revive the three-horse race.

This time, replacing Chelsea who’s poor run have the London club kicked out of the top four and down in fifth place.

The battle has been turned back on it’s head, City further behind Liverpool following Tuesday’s defeat to Newcastle and now they welcome Arsenal at the Etihad.

The Gunners haven’t defeated City in their last three attempts, and neither has Unai Emery gotten a win over Pep Guardiola dating back to their time together in Spain.

Both sides desperately need a win; City need to keep pace with Liverpool and Arsenal need to hold onto their advantage in fourth place.

We have a game in our hands people.

Barça face a rejuvenated Valencia.

Valencia’s season is finally back on track.

Asides Atlético Madrid (1) and Barcelona (2), Los Che is the team with the least number of defeats in the league (4).

However, Valencia is joint top alongside Athletic Bilbao as the team with the most number of games tied (11) in the opening 21 games of the season.

Barça, on their own, haven’t lost in two-and-half months.

The last defeat, a 3-4 defeat to Real Betis at Camp nou. Since then, Barça have won, from their last nine league games, eight consecutively to set a league record of most consecutive wins this season.

Valencia haven’t defeated Barça in the league since April 2016, and although they’re are in good form now and had held Barça to a 1-1 draw at Mestalla, it’s hard to think they can hold the blaugrana this time. Nevertheless, this should make for an interesting game.

AS Roma and AC Milan battle for fourth place

Over the past five meetings, these two have been evenly matched with the Rossonerri winning each of the last two.

AC Milan come into this tie on the back of four clean sheets in their last five games, the only blemish: the 1-0 Supercopa Italiana defeat to Juventus last month.

Milan even managed consecutive clean sheets against Napoli in three days.

This side have put aside the troubles that slowed their season down and they’re actually catching up.

Same cannot be said of Roma who was pummeled 7-1 by Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday.

A damning defeat that they may not forget in a hurry.

However, Roma is a point behind AC Milan and win is the best response.

Olympique Lyon vs PSG has the makings of a classic

Had Lyon not dropped points unnecessarily all season, this game, at this point should have been a title decider. A “winner takes all.”

But I guess we can’t count on the Lyon that was unbeaten against Manchester City in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League to manage a consistent domestic run.

Big omission, Neymar. The Brazilian is out injured at about this time for the second year in a row and by the time he returns as projected, Neymar would have missed 54 games due to injuries since the first occurrence in 2014.

54 games?! That’s about a whole season out injured. Shame.

Benfica’s revival will face a Stern test at Lisbon.

The season had gone bad with Benfica in third behind FC Porto and Braga.

The manager, Rui Vitoria, was packed and for a very brief spell, Luis Felipe Vieira courted the thought of employing Jose Mourinho.

Okay, ignore the homeless romance, that was never going to materialize. However, Benfica is back in second, a point above SC Braga and a tricky fixture at Sporting CP this weekend.

The four games between these two have ended in a stalemate but it has served up unmatched entertainment.

LA Lakers vs Warriors: the rematch

This has the makings of a potential conference final in the playoffs, it all depends on the Lakers.

First, they need to beat Clippers on Thursday night before setting their sight on conference leading Golden State Warriors.

LeBron James is back on court, but it’s unlikely he will play the clippers from the start on Thursday night.

Perhaps, his first game back in action will be against the Warriors, the last team he faced before leaving the court injured on Christmas day.

James Harden vs Utah Jazz

For the love of the unofficial MVP this regular season, catch this game.

James, not LeBron, has dominated the league this season and it is only for his sake that the Rockets are within playoffs rank.

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