Deadline Day and crucial fixtures make this a vital week in the Premier League, says David Jones
David Jones on a make-or-break week in the Premier League, with vital fixtures and Deadline Day looming.
Last Updated: 29/01/13 9:12am
On Thursday a flurry of last minute shopping will signal the end of the winter transfer window and I can assure you Sky Sports News are braced for their biggest Deadline Day yet.
Primarily it's those clubs near the bottom who've been the busiest so far as they try to equip their squads with tools enough to plot a great escape.
But I wouldn't be surprised if come Thursday night it's those chasing Champions League glory who are writing their own headlines.
After all, the rewards for a top four finish are as bountiful as the prize for maintaining Premier League status.
Before then though we have a full midweek programme to cherish with huge games at top and bottom, which could shape Deadline Day.
Aston Villa face Newcastle on Tuesday in a game neither dare lose. Either could find themselves in the bottom three by the night's end.
Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp's transfer business is rudely interrupted by the visit of Manchester City, who have the incentive of closing the gap on the leaders to just two points.
We'll be on Wearside to watch two of the form teams of 2013 so far.
After a season of struggle, Sunderland have strung together five wins from their last eight but are only slight favourites over Swansea City, rapidly becoming many fans second club.
Having seen off Chelsea to reach their first major cup final Swansea can now establish themselves as a top half club. So much for second season syndrome!
It's a chance to view two of the leagues top marksmen head-to-head and I note Sky Bet offer 5/1 that both Michu and Steven Fletcher will find the net again.
And then on Wednesday our focus is on the race for Champions League places when Arsenal take on Liverpool.
There has been an element of unpredictability about both teams of late but at their best both can be scintillating and both scored five last time out in the league.
Daniel Sturridge seems to have added a new dimension to Liverpool's attack, though Oldham fans may beg to differ.
It was around this stage last season that Arsenal embarked on a run of seven wins on the bounce which carried them up to third. Arsene Wenger's side might need to produce that form again to carry them beyond Everton, Chelsea and Spurs, who all play on Wednesday night as well.
Be warned though the last 8 meetings between Arsenal and Liverpool have featured seven goals in or after the 90th minute, so this match could go down to the very last seconds, just like Deadline Day.
Due to Deadline Day there is no Footballers' Football Show this week - but the show will return next Thursday