Gueye v Spurs narrow attacks
Tottenham will expect to pummel Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon, but Remi Garde's recent switch to a 5-3-2 formation could cause problems. Spurs struggle against teams that play in an ultra-defensive style largely because of their relentless attempts to create chances through the centre of the pitch, and thus Villa's narrow, congested approach could frustrate Mauricio Pochettino.
Idrissa Gueye has been in phenomenal form of late, averaging a quite incredible 6.67 tackles and 6.0 interceptions per match across his last six Premier League games - which includes amassing 10 interceptions against Liverpool and making ten successful tackles against Everton. His form will be crucial in that defensive midfield zone, where Spurs' inverted wingers gather to overload the centre of the pitch.
Gueye has greater freedom to roam across this area of the pitch now that Villa are playing with three centre-backs (their numerical advantage from within a tight shell allows the central midfielders to flit between the lines without leaving gaps behind them), and Garde will need the Senegalese to restrict Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, and Erik Lamela.
In the 1-0 defeat at West Ham, Tottenham's obsession with exploiting the centre of the park was exposed. Pedro Obiang made seven tackles and four interceptions from Gueye's defensive midfield position, whilst the Hammers' 3-5-2 formation made the match scrappy and lifeless in the middle. Spurs failed to adapt and could not create chances; Villa and Gueye will repeat this model on Sunday.
Back under 0.5 goals in the first half at 19/10
Arsenal midfield v Berahino/Rondon
Live on Sky Sports 1
Arsenal's injuries are piling up, and this weekend they will be forced to use Mohamed Elneny alongside Francis Coquelin in central midfield; against the quick movement and creativity of a reinvigorated Sadio Berahino, West Brom could be dangerous on the counter-attack.
Elneny showed good defensive discipline against Tottenham by staying deep alongside Coquelin, but he still failed to influence play - making zero interceptions and two tackles. Given that Coquelin himself has struggled for form since returning from injury (he is averaging 1.6 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per match since his return, down from 3.0 tackles and 2.8 interceptions) this is clearly Arsenal's most vulnerable area. Berahino could flourish.
Berahino floats in space behind Rondon, and although his influence against Man United was limited the threat his lurking presence poses should not be underestimated. His movement on the counter-attacks helps shift attention away from Rondon, which helps to explain the Venezuelan's sudden upturn in form (two goals in his last two games). He should win the physical battle with Per Mertesacker and provide a major threat from set-pieces, where Arsenal traditionally struggle.
Back double chance West Brom or draw at 19/10
Depay v West Ham's 3-5-2
Live on BT Sport 2
West Ham have the best record in the division against the top seven teams (17 points from nine matches), and thus will expect a good result against Manchester United in the FA Cup. Their compact, aggressive defensive positioning has been further solidified by a recent switch to 3-5-2, and given that Man United are without Juan Mata this should be enough to stunt the home side. Memphis Depay's pace is arguably the only real threat.
Slaven Bilic's 3-5-2 positions Cheickhou Kouyate at centre-back, although in truth he frequently pushes forward to create a four man central midfield; it is for this reason that Tottenham could not break through the middle (they made a combined 10 tackles and 13 interceptions), and why Man United will shift the ball to the left flank as often as possible.
41% of United's attacks come down the left, and this is only likely to increase in Mata's absence; his controlled passing from the tip of midfield was the key factor in their increased tempo, and without it they will suffer from sluggish build-up play once more. Kouyate's ability to shift across to cover this space behind Michail Antonio - the right wing-back that loves to get forward - will be crucial in deciding the outcome of this match.
Back West Ham to win at 14/5
Lukaku v Ivanovic
Live on BBC One
After the humiliating defeat against West Ham last weekend Everton's FA Cup tie against Chelsea is a vital moment in Roberto Martinez's career; failure to advance in this competition would end their season. In a rich vein of form and up against a shaky defence, Romelu Lukaku will be the key player this weekend.
Everton have been surprisingly direct in recent weeks, frequently pumping long balls towards Lukaku in an attempt to advance up the pitch more swiftly than usual. This has had mixed results, but could prove very effective against Branislav Ivanovic, who continues to add a disorganisation to the Chelsea defence. Ivanovic's positional awkwardness is less obvious whilst deputising at centre-back, but he remains weak in the air and creates a zigzag back line that sends the offside trap into disarray.
Chelsea have now gone seven matches without a clean sheet. Lukaku's aerial threat (2.4 won per match) is likely to disrupt Ivanovic and allow Aaron Lennon space on the outside of the Serbian defender; this is unlikely to end goalless.
Back Everton to win at 9/5