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Tottenham, West Ham and Man United feature in our PL talking points

| 04.12.2017

Another weekend of scintillating Premier League action saw Manchester City retain their grip at the top of the table.

The Citizens were made to work hard for their win in a result that could give Manchester United confidence ahead of next weekend’s huge derby match at Old Trafford.

But how will the Red Devils cope in the absence of Paul Pogba?

Next weekend’s top-of-the-table clash provides the basis for this weekend’s Premier League talking points…

Pogba’s costly red card

Arsenal v MAnchester United belonged to David De Gea.

But it was Paul Pogba’s stamp on Hector Bellerin that could have far-reaching effects in terms of the Premier League title race.

The Frenchman will now miss United’s crucial derby match with the Citizens next Sunday.

And with City in scintillating form, that loss could be crucial in the middle of the park for Jose Mourinho and co.

United will now have to alter their preferred system for the match at Old Trafford, which could give the edge to Pep Guardiola’s Sky Blues.

Tottenham’s top-four credentials falter

A few weeks ago, Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino claimed that his side were focused on winning either the Premier League or Champions League.

After Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Watford took Spurs’ winless run to four in the top-flight, their chances of a title tilt this season look somewhat forlorn.

The Lilywhites now sit 18 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City.

And that’s without a trip to the Etihad still to come on December 16.

With competition tight at the top end, Spurs may have to start questioning whether their side has the quality and consistency to finish in the top-four.

While their title odds are out to an astronomical 150/1, you can still get 6/4 on the Lilywhites to finish in fourth or better.

Hammers showing signs of life

In the end, a 2-1 defeat for West Ham United at the Etihad could be deemed a pretty good result.

But it could have been so much more.

The Hammers had the better openings in the first-half and squandered a golden opportunity towards the end through Diafra Sakho.

Add in two defensive lapses from youngster Declan Rice and it paints a picture that suggests the Irons really should have come out of the match with at least a point.

For David Moyes, this sort of performance now needs to be the benchmark.

If they can replicate that sort of display against the rest of the league, the East Londoners should be out of trouble in no time.

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the UEA where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper. He supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Darts and Horse Racing are among his other favourite sports.