International Soccer - England

City hosts Arsenal at the Etihad

Manchester, England (SportsNetwork.com) - The Etihad will host a clash of two clubs inside the top-four of the Premier League on Saturday as Arsenal heads north to take on Manchester City.

The two sides come into the contest on identical runs of form, earning a draw last time out after winning three successive league matches.

But Arsenal's sublime start to the season has seen the club set the pace in England's top flight, leading the league with 35 points through 15 games.

And it is because of Arsenal's comfortable lead that manager Arsene Wenger believes the pressure is on City to avoid falling nine points back of the Gunners.

"Of course [a win would] strengthen your belief, but I am convinced we believe in ourselves anyway, no matter what happens," Wenger said. "Let's not forget as well that if you are in City's position and they lose, then they're nine points behind, so they have more negative pressure than we have.

"We have a positive pressure that we can make a big difference with them, so let's look at it like that."

City has a bit of "positive pressure" as well as the Citizens are a perfect 7-0-0 in league play at the Etihad this season, giving the club a reason to feel confident heading into Saturday's clash.

Chelsea enters the weekend tied with Liverpool for second place in the Premier League with 30 points. The club's season has been marred by inconsistency, and just when a three-game winning run appeared to indicate that the Blues had found top gear, a 3-2 loss to Stoke City knocked them back down to reality. Jose Mourinho's men will attempt regain their form on Saturday when they host a Crystal Palace side that has won its last two league matches.

Fulham snapped a six-game slide last time out as Rene Meulensteen picked up his first win in charge of the Cottagers, and they will hope to keep that roll going on Saturday when they head to Goodison Park to take on Everton.

Also on Saturday, Cardiff City hosts a struggling West Bromwich Albion, Southampton looks to snap a four-game winless run in its trip to Newcastle, Sunderland attempts to climb out of the cellar with a positive result at West Ham United and Hull City welcomes Stoke City to the KC Stadium.

The level of frustration at Manchester United reached a high point as the reigning champions, who are on a four-game winless run in Premier League play, lost their last two matches at home. The Red Devils will attempt to bounce back on Sunday when they head to Aston Villa.

Liverpool will hope to match Arsenal's result at the Etihad in order to keep pace with the Gunners as the Reds head to White Hart Lane for a massive showdown with Tottenham on Sunday.

And rounding out the weekend slate, Swansea City travels to Carrow Road to take on Norwich City.

12/13 12:50:08 ET

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