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Premier League talking points: Sky Sports football writers analyse key talking points from midweek fixtures

Sky Sports' football writers analyse the main talking points from every Premier League game this midweek; watch free highlights of every single Premier League fixture this midweek straight after full-time on the Sky Sports website and app

Goal difference a major boost for Arsenal - can they keep it up?


Arsenal vs Luton - Wednesday, kick-off 7.30pm

Manchester City and Liverpool have the know-how, but Arsenal have the numbers in their favour. Having both the best attack and defence in the league means the Gunners have the best goal difference, which could be crucial come May 19.

Should Arsenal keep their healthy tally over their two title rivals, then all they need at this stage is to better Liverpool and Man City's run-in by one positive result to claim the title.

So while the visit of Luton may represent a game that Arsenal should win, the manner of which they pick up three points will sit in their minds, especially given Liverpool and City both have home games against Sheffield United and Aston Villa - the latter can be leaky at times with a high line.


The omens look good for the Gunners too. Luton have conceded two or more goals in six out of their last eight away games in the league, while Arsenal have won five from five against the newly-promoted sides this term, scoring at least three goals in each of those games.

The goal difference situation means winning ugly may not suffice anymore, it's about how you win. The tense crawling over the line in recent weeks against Brentford, Porto and Man City cannot become a regular occurrence for Arsenal.
Sam Blitz

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New hope of a turnaround springs for Brentford?

Brentford vs Brighton - Wednesday, kick-off 7.30pm


April signals a month of reckoning for a Brentford side that currently sit just five points clear of the relegation zone with only two wins in their last 18 matches.

The west London side dominated against Manchester United on Saturday, striking the woodwork four times, but struggled to make their chances pay. It is a tale of Brentford's season, perennially unlucky with both injuries and results.

Poor luck can only justify so much and despite the credit Thomas Frank has accrued he will need that luck to turn around in April with crucial games against Luton and Everton on the horizon.

The first test comes from fellow Liverpool managerial candidate Roberto De Zerbi, whose Brighton side will expose whether Brentford's performance was the first sign of a spring rejuvenation or merely a reflection of United's struggles.
Laura Howard

Man City face another huge test in their title race run-in

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Gary Neville thinks that Manchester City are still well-placed to win the title and expects them to make fewer mistakes during the run-in than their rivals

Man City vs Aston Villa - Wednesday, kick-off 8.15pm

Perfection is required of Manchester City now. Placed third on both points and goal difference following their scoreless draw against Arsenal on Sunday, all Pep Guardiola's side can do is deliver a faultless run-in and pray.

That is easier said than done. Aston Villa presents the toughest test of the Citizens' mettle from the remaining games having come out on top at Villa Park in December. Leon Bailey made the difference on that occasion as City failed to score.

The defending champions also struggled to convert chances on Sunday, and this time, Villa will be galvanised by the nearing prospect of Champions League qualification. They are also in search of an immaculate run-in of their own with Tottenham breathing down their necks in the race for fourth place.

City so often find a way to turn it on when it matters, but Sunday could indicate that their late season perfection is wavering along with their title hopes.
Laura Howard

Liverpool must maintain focus as title race excitement heats up

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Roy Keane was left purring by Mo Salah's 65th-minute goal, which proved decisive for Liverpool against Brighton

Liverpool vs Sheffield United - Thursday, kick-off 7.30pm

After Manchester City and Arsenal cancelled each other out with a 0-0 draw at the Etihad on Sunday, Liverpool have been put firmly in the Premier League title race driving seat. Guarding against unnecessary slip-ups now seems their greatest challenge.

On the surface, Sheffield United seem an unthreatening foe. Having conceded 11 in their last three games, the fixture appears more of an opportunity to boost goal difference rather than a threat to Liverpool's title hopes.

The league leaders must not rest on their laurels. Having conceded early to Brighton on Sunday, they have shown they are not infallible. As a clash at Old Trafford against Manchester United at the weekend awaits, Liverpool must maintain momentum to ensure there are no slip-ups along the way.

The league leaders' hopes will be boosted by the imminent return of Curtis Jones, while the Blades continue to struggle with an extensive injury list.
Laura Howard

Mount targets momentum on Stamford Bridge return

Mason Mount thought he had scored the winner for Man Utd at Brentford in the 96th minute
Image: Mason Mount thought he had scored the winner for Man Utd at Brentford in the 96th minute

Chelsea vs Man Utd - Thursday, kick-off 8.15pm

A mid-table battle might not have been how Mason Mount anticipated his Chelsea return to play out, but he will arrive at Stamford Bridge wanting to prove his own decision right.

For all of three minutes on Saturday, Mount appeared to be belatedly living up to his billing as Manchester United's hero. That was until Kristoffer Ajer corked celebrations with a deserved 99th-minute equaliser.

It was another underwhelming United performance in a season which has proved equally underwhelming for the Englishman. Ruled out through injury since November, Mount returned with a cameo in the FA Cup victory over Liverpool touted to kickstart a so far limp season for Erik Ten Hag's side.

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Upon leaving Chelsea for Manchester United in the summer, Mason Mount released an emotional message via his Instagram to say goodbye to the Blues

While United's boost has not materialised, Mount could be finding his stride. His goal against Brentford was his first of the season and a clash with his former club, who have conceded two in each of their last five matches, presents an opportunity for more.
Laura Howard

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