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Premier League talking points

A number of teams have the chance to make significant moves in this weekend's round of Premier League matches.

Here Press Association Sport looks at some of the issues in the forthcoming fixtures.

SURVIVAL SATURDAY?

Southampton and Watford have the chance to push themselves to the magical 40-point mark with wins this weekend, while previously doomed-looking Leicester and also Stoke can make it to 39, which should be more than enough with seven games to go after this round. Watford have the toughest task at second-placed Tottenham, although Southampton will not relish West Brom at the Hawthorns.

SHAKESPEARE TO WRITE HIS PLACE IN HISTORY?

Champions League winners Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola are the only managers to win their first six Premier League matches. They could be joined by the less-decorated figure of Craig Shakespeare if Leicester win at Everton. The Foxes have already tasted victory at Goodison Park this season, in the FA Cup, when the team was struggling under Claudio Ranieri, and won there last season so it is an entirely realistic prospect.

BIG DAY FOR BILIC

West Ham are in freefall with no win in seven and five successive defeats leaving them just five points above visitors Swansea, who are currently in the relegation zone. The Hammers have not won at home since mid-January - their only victory at the former Olympic Stadium in four months - and with manager Slaven Bilic having received the dreaded vote of confidence he really needs a positive result considering they still have top-seven sides Spurs, Liverpool and Everton to face.

JURGEN KLOPP CAN'T AFFORD ANOTHER REDS MISS

The litmus test for the character of any side appears to be whether they can do it at Stoke and, irrespective of the weather or day of the week, Liverpool have to prove they have the mettle needed to get over the hurdle. They let a late lead slip against Bournemouth via their set-pieces Achilles heel and their top-four hopes will be dented further if they drop more points in the Potteries.

WILL IT BE A HAPPY MONDAY FOR WENGER?

Arsenal make the short trip to Crystal Palace on Monday night, by which time they could be seven points adrift of the top four. The Selhurst Park encounter represents one of two matches the Gunners will have in hand on Manchester City before kick-off, but any dropped points against Sam Allardyce's side would be a major blow to hopes of extending Arsene Wenger's proud Champions League qualification record.

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