1. Man City and relentless Sterling’s run is title-winning material
This relentless Manchester City side are clicking through the gears at the right time and, more than Liverpool, are the team to stop in the title race.
They have now won 10 of their last 11 games in the Premier League – with victories in their last six matches. With main man Raheem Sterling in tow, they do not look like losing any time soon.
Sterling has now scored in 52 games for City, not losing any of those. If they keep him among the goals, as he was on Saturday, they are easily the favourites for the title.
Raheem Sterling celebrates after scoring against Watford in Manchester City’s victory
2. Main man Mane is keeping Liverpool in the race
Liverpool are not giving up without a fight and that is being led by one person in particular – Sadio Mane.
He became the fifth Liverpool player to score in six consecutive home appearances in the Premier League, after Michael Owen, Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez and Mohamed Salah, on Sunday.
While Salah is dipping off and Roberto Firmino having only found his goal-scoring feet again against Burnley, Mane has helped see them through a tricky patch in their push for the title. He’s as important as anyone to their hopes.
Sadio Mane celebrates after scoring Liverpool’s fourth goal against Burnley on Sunday
3. Arsenal are whipping boys no more – and that could see them into top four
It used to be ‘Lads, it’s Spurs’. Over the last few years, some big six managers must have been tempted to give the team-talk: ‘Lads, it’s Arsenal’.
Not anymore. Arsenal are now in the top four and part of that is down to their improvement against the top sides. They have taken 12 points from big six teams, double the amount they did in Arsene Wenger’s last season.
That’s a difference maker in the chase for the Champions League. If they get it, it’ll have come from games against teams like Manchester United. Finally they can compete on the big occasions.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery applauds his player’s during their big victory over United
4. Chelsea no longer bat small teams aside
Chelsea have lost the steel required to beat their top six rivals under Maurizio Sarri but their capacity to be flat-track bullies has also deserted them.
They have failed to win two of their last four home games against newly promoted sides. That compared to five straight wins before that shows the difference under the Italian compared to former managers.
If they miss out on the Champions League it will come down to, as much as anything, their inability to kill off the weaker sides.
David Luiz and Eden Hazard look on after falling behind to Wolves at Stamford Bridge
5. Spurs’ sorry spell needs sorting before top four slips away
Something is clearly up with Spurs. Their defeat at Southampton was only the second time they have lost three consecutive away games in the Premier League under Mauricio Pochettino.
They have also lost two of their last four Premier League games when leading at half-time, compared to one in 51 previously.
Whatever is amiss needs to be sorted. Whether it is overconfidence or a lack of drive – even the beginning of the end of a cycle – it could see them miss out on the top four.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettinio looks on during his team’s defeat to Southampton
6. Ryan Fraser should be on the radar of the top sides
Bournemouth have a number of players that will be on the radars of the biggest sides in the Premier League, from Callum Wilson to David Brooks. They will cost big money.
A savvy transfer guru might eye up Ryan Fraser, though. After their win at Huddersfield he has 10 assists this season – only Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard, in Europe’s top five leagues, have more, with 11 apiece.
At 25 he seems to be hitting the top level. Do not be surprised to see him moving to a top side in the summer.
Ryan Fraser attempts to dribble past Eric Durm during Saturday’s clash at Huddersfield
7. Vardy and Maddison need to be at heart of Rodgers’ thoughts
If Brendan Rodgers needs an indication of which players to build his Leicester side around, he got it against Fulham.
Jamie Vardy scored his 100th goal for Leicester in the 3-1 win, and he has really returned to top form since Claude Puel went.
Not only that, but James Maddison set him up – the third of his last four assists that have been for Vardy. They have a dynamic attacking duo that can work in tandem to push the Foxes up the table.
Jamie Vardy celebrates with James Maddison after putting his side ahead against Fulham
8. Newcastle on the march in March again
Set your watch by it. At this time of the season, Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle simply do not lose games at home.
Their brilliant comeback against Everton was their fifth straight win at St. James’ Park, a run that has seen them pull away from the relegation pack. On this weekend last season, they won the second game of a run of four wins at home in a row.
That helped them stay in the Premier League. This timed spell is clearly intentional and may just do the same this campaign.
Newcastle players celebrate after Ayoze Perez scored their third goal against Everton
9. Consistency deserts West Ham – and needs to be fixed in summer
More than anything, what Manuel Pellegrini will need to give West Ham next season is consistency.
They are still too heavily impacted by the up and down nature of mid-table Premier League football. They have, for example, not won in six away games after three wins on the spin on the road before that.
West Ham have had good patches but now need to spread it across the entire season to do anything.
Manuel Pellegrini looks on during West Ham’s defeat to Cardiff in Wales on Saturday
10. Lack of home comforts could spell end for Hodgson
There are murmurings of opposition to Roy Hodgson among the Crystal Palace fans – and their home form is not helping.
They have won just one of their last seven games at Selhurst Park and only picked up 39 per cent of their points at their own ground – the lowest in the Premier League. It is a tough sell for any fan to know the team can do better than how they perform where you see them most frequently.
If Hodgson wants to stay on next season and show he can move Palace forward, Selhurst Park is the place for improvements.
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson looks disappointed during his side’s defeat to Brighton