Premier League storylines: Matchweek 18

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Matchweek 18 of the Premier League season is swimming in storylines, even with the league leaders in Qatar battling for the Club World Cup.

We could see a change in the Top Four for the first time since Chelsea climbed into fourth with a defeat of Burnley.

Jose Mourinho aims for Top Four against 2x former employers [STREAM]

  • Tottenham Hotspur v. Chelsea, Sunday (Watch live, 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN)

The Mourinho bump has been very real for Spurs, and imagine the joy he’d get from getting his club back into the Top Four by beating old pals Chelsea. Spurs have lost their last two meetings with the Blues, though both were at Stamford Bridge.

If Mourinho gets the job done, he’ll sink his longtime star midfielder Frank Lampard into his deepest hole as Chelsea boss. The Blues have dropped points in four of five league outings. Lampard’s being asked a lot more about who he’ll buy in January than how well the kids have developed under his watch.

Two versus three in Manchester [STREAM]

  • Man City v. Leicester City, Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC)

The visitors are coming off their first dropped points in nine outings across all competitions, and have a 4-point cushion on the third-place hosts. That’s not going to scare Pep Guardiola and the Etihad Stadium set, who is coming off a clean sheet of Arsenal, its first since October in any competition. To do the same to Leicester City would be very impressive, and a win would boost City to within a point of second.

With Top Four rivals squaring off, can Solksjaer’s Red Devils avoid a sting? [STREAM]

  • Watford v. Manchester United, Sunday (Watch live, 9 a.m. ET on NBCSN)

Since an Oct. 6 loss to Newcastle, Manchester United has played 15 matches and lost just twice. One of those came in Kazakhstan with a bunch of kids. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s men start the festive season with a 9W-4D-2L mark in their last 15, and a trip to Vicarage Road shouldn’t be an issue, yeah? With Chelsea facing Spurs, United could finish alone in fifth or within a win of the Top Four.

(Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Toffees look to continue upswing when wobbly Gunners visit [STREAM]

  • Everton v. Arsenal, Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN)

Arsenal has been as bad as its been in ages, and Mikel Arteta saw that first hand when his Man City popped the Gunners 3-0 last weekend. He’s probably going to be in charge of the Gunners one week later, though surely watching from the stands if in the stadium.

The Gunners will go up against a group of players who bothered to respond when their manager was fired earlier this season. Duncan Ferguson is still in charge of Everton as the pursuit of Carlo Ancelotti continues, and another win would give him a nearly unparalleled interim tenure.

Loser at Villa Park spends Christmas in the bottom three [STREAM]

  • Aston Villa v. Southampton, Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold)

Eleven goals of differential is the margin separating the hosts from the visitors’ place in the relegation zone. Starting the festive fixtures with a move clear of danger sure would be nice, wouldn’t it?