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Premiership MatchDay 35 ~ Preview

last updated Friday 18th April 2014, 11:17 PM

MatchDay 35 sees the race for the Barclays Premier League title continue to hot up over the Easter weekend, with Chelsea hosting Sunderland on Saturday, before Liverpool and Manchester City play on Sunday and Monday respectively.
Premier League MatchDay 35
Saturday 19th April 2014
DateK.O.HomeAwayRefereeVenue TV
19:0412:45TottenhamFulhamLee Probert White Hart LaneBT1
19:0415:00Aston VillaSouthamptonLee Mason Villa Park
19:0415:00Cardiff StokeHoward Webb Cardiff City Stadium
19:0415:00NewcastleSwanseaChris Foy St James' Park
19:0415:00West HamC. PalaceMartin Atkinson Upton Park
19:0417:30Chelsea SunderlandMike Dean Stamford BridgeSky1
Sunday 20th April 2014
DateK.O.HomeAwayRefereeVenue TV
20:0412:00NorwichLiverpoolAndre Marriner Carrow RoadSky1
20:0414:05HullArsenalJonathan Moss KC. StadiumSky1
20:0416:10EvertonMan UtdMark Clattenburg Goodison ParkSky1
Monday 21st April 2014
DateK.O.HomeAwayRefereeVenue TV
21:0420:00Man CityWest BromPhil Dowd Etihad StadiumSky1

There are crunch clashes at the other end of the top flight too, with Cardiff and Fulham also in action on Saturday.

Liverpool are currently two points clear at the top ahead of the latest round of fixtures and will be looking to make it 11 wins in a row
Premiership table - after 17th April
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 34 15 1 1 51 15 9 4 4 42 27 51 77
2 Chelsea 34 15 2 0 42 9 8 4 5 24 15 42 75
3 Man City 33 14 1 1 54 12 8 4 5 34 22 54 71
4 Arsenal 34 11 5 1 32 11 9 2 6 27 30 18 67
5 Everton 34 12 3 2 34 16 7 6 4 21 18 21 66
6 Tottenham 34 9 3 5 24 22 9 3 5 24 26 0 60
7 Man Utd 33 7 3 6 22 19 10 3 4 34 19 18 57
8 Southampton 34 7 5 5 29 22 6 4 7 21 23 5 48
9 Newcastle 34 7 3 7 19 26 7 1 9 19 26 -14 46
10 Stoke 34 9 6 2 23 15 2 4 11 15 33 -10 43
11 C. Palace 34 8 2 7 15 18 4 2 11 12 23 -14 40
12 West Ham 34 6 3 8 23 25 4 4 9 15 22 -9 37
13 Hull 33 7 4 6 20 16 3 2 11 14 24 -6 36
14 Aston Villa 33 5 2 10 19 28 4 5 7 16 21 -14 34
15 Swansea 34 5 5 7 29 24 3 4 10 16 26 -5 33
16 West Brom 33 3 9 5 22 25 3 6 7 18 26 -11 33
17 Norwich 34 6 6 5 15 13 2 2 13 11 40 -27 32
18 Fulham 34 5 1 11 20 34 4 2 11 14 40 -40 30
19 Cardiff 34 5 4 8 18 32 2 4 11 12 32 -34 29
20 Sunderland 33 3 3 10 14 24 3 5 9 17 32 -25 26
when they travel to Norwich City, but Chelsea remain hot on their heels as they prepare to face bottom club Sunderland.

Arsenal visit Hull City in a preview of next month's FA Cup final and Everton host Manchester United on what could be a pivotal weekend in the fight for fourth, while the scrap for survival is also entering its decisive final phase.

Fulham can climb out of the bottom three, at least temporarily, by beating Tottenham Hotspur, while Cardiff City can boost their chances with a win at home to Stoke City. Sunderland can get closer to escaping the drop zone with a unexpected at title chasing Chelsea

Elsewhere, Aston Villa will be hoping to put a difficult week behind them against Southampton, Newcastle United take on troubled Swansea City and West Ham United meet Crystal Palace.

Premier League ~ Saturday 19th April March 2014

Premier League ~ 12:45 Tottenham v Fulham ~ BTSports 1  

Fulham were another side being written off in some quarters just a couple of weeks ago, but back-to-back wins over Aston Villa and Norwich have restored belief that a great escape is possible. They are now just two points adrift of the Canaries and their run-in appears kinder, but Saturday's early match against London rivals Tottenham will be a tough challenge. A top-four spot may realistically be out of reach for Spurs, who are currently sixth, but a strong finish to the season is important amid ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future of boss Tim Sherwood.

Mousa Dembele's return is the only good news on the injury front for Tim Sherwood with the Belgium international fit to face his former club after a hip problem, unlike countryman Jan Vertonghen (ankle). Kyle Walker (pelvis) and Michael Dawson (hamstring) also remain absent, as does Erik Lamela (back), Roberto Soldado (hamstring) and Etienne Capoue (foot).

Fulham are missing midfielder Lewis Holtby with the German on loan from White Hart Lane until the end of the season and ruled out due to the terms of the agreement. Club-record signing Kostas Mitroglou remains sidelined with a knee injury, but is expected to return against Hull next weekend.

Last season: Spurs 0 Fulham 1, Fulham 0 Spurs 3

Last five league matches: Spurs L W L W D; Fulham W L L W W

Top scorers (all competitions): Emmanuel Adebayor (Spurs) 13; Steven Sidwell (Fulham) 7

Referee: Lee Probert (England).

Verdict: Tottenham 3 Fulham 1

Premier League ~ 15:00 Aston Villa v Southampton

Aston Villa are another side still glancing over their shoulder, having suffered four defeats in a row to slide to within four points of the bottom three. Assistant manager Ian Culverhouse and head of football operations Gary Karsa have been suspended pending an internal investigation and boss Paul Lambert is under pressure to arrest the slump against Southampton. Mauricio Pochettino's Saints were left to rue a host of missed chances after losing to Cardiff last weekend and will not want an impressive season to fizzle out and end on a disappointing note.

Leandro Bacuna is back in the Villa squad after missing the defeat to Crystal Palace with a hamstring strain. Otherwise, Paul Lambert is choosing from the same squad with Christian Benteke, Libor Kozak, Charles N'Zogbia, Jores Okore, Nicklas Helenius and Gary Gardner all long-term absentees.

Southampton's Artur Boruc has beaten his back injury in time for the trip to Villa Park, offsetting the continued absence of fellow goalkeeper Kelvin Davis who also has back trouble. Maya Yoshida (knee) and Gaston Ramirez (ankle) will also miss out.

Last season: Aston Villa 0 Southampton 1, Southampton 4 Aston Villa 1

Last five league matches: Aston Villa W L L L L; Southampton W L W L L

Top scorers (all competitions): Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 11; Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) 17

Referee: Lee Mason (England).

Verdict: Aston Villa 1 Southampton 3

Premier League ~ 15:00 Cardiff v Stoke

Cardiff are the third side in the relegation zone but their survival hopes have been lifted after a 1-0 triumph away to Southampton last weekend put them within striking distance of 17th-placed Norwich. Bluebirds boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had previously declared that his men needed a 'miracle' to stay up but they will move level on points with Norwich, at least temporarily, if they can beat a Stoke team in decent form. The Potters are looking good for a top-half finish and could climb even higher after seeing off Newcastle 1-0 to move within three points of the Magpies in ninth.

Cardiff winger Craig Noone remains sidelined due to an abdominal injury but Kenwyne Jones could feature against his former club after he missed last weekend's 1-0 victory over Southampton following a blow to the kidneys suffered during the Crystal Palace game seven days earlier.

Mark Hughes has no fresh injury concerns ahead of Saturday's trip to south Wales. Charlie Adam had an operation on his broken nose on Monday but is expected to be available while Oussama Assaidi has stepped up his recovery from a knee injury and will travel. Matthew Etherington (back) remains sidelined.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Cardiff L L D L W; Stoke W W W L W

Top scorers (all competitions): Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff) 9; Peter Crouch (Stoke) 9

Referee: Howard Webb (England).

Verdict: Cardiff 2 Stoke 2

Premier League ~ 15:00 Newcastle v Swansea

The loss to Stoke was a fourth consecutive defeat for Newcastle and Alan Pardew has admitted that their recent poor form has taken the gloss of what had been an encouraging campaign. Pardew will now be desperate to give the St James' Park faithful something to cheer against Swansea, who still have a lot of work to do to retain their top-flight status. The Welsh side have struggled for consistency all season and are just three points above the drop zone in 15th after being beaten by Chelsea.

Striker Loic Remy (calf) and full-back Mathieu Debuchy (groin) could return to the Newcastle squad after both missed the last six matches through injury. Moussa Sissoko (hamstring) is back running, but still some way from a return, while fellow midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa is struggling to shake off the dead leg he picked up in last Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Stoke.

Swansea will be without defender Chico Flores as he starts a ban following his sending-off in last weekend's 1-0 Liberty Stadium defeat against title-chasing Chelsea. Jordi Amat looks set to deputise, while striker Michu faces a fitness test on his swollen ankle, having missed the Chelsea game.

Last season: Swansea 1 Newcastle 0, Newcastle 1 Swansea 2

Last five league matches: Newcastle W L L L L; Swansea L D W L L

Top scorers (all competitions): Loic Remy (Newcastle) 13; Wilfried Bony (Swansea) 20

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

Verdict: Newcastle 1 Swansea 1

Premier League ~ 15:00 West Ham v Crystal Palace

Upton Park provides the setting for a game which looked like being a relegation 'six-pointer' at one stage, but both West Ham and Crystal Palace now occupy positions of relative comfort in mid-table. The Hammers have lost their last two games but are still seven points clear of trouble, while Palace have hit the 40-point mark after continuing their remarkable run under Tony Pulis with a stunning victory over Everton to notch their fourth win in a row.

West Ham will be boosted by the return of influential trio Kevin Nolan, James Collins and Joey O'Brien. O'Brien is back after a dislocated shoulder, while Hammers boss Allardyce can call on midfielder Nolan, fit again after hamstring trouble and defender Collins (calf).

Marouane Chamakh, Joel Ward and Yannick Bolasie face late fitness tests ahead of the trip to Upton Park with Tony Pulis confirming they are amongst four or five players who are doubts. Defender Adrian Mariappa sustained a broken nose at Goodison Park on Wednesday but is expected to be available.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: West Ham L W W L L; Crystal Palace L W W W W

Top scorers (all competitions): Kevin Nolan (West Ham) 7; Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) 7

Referee: Martin Atkinson (England).

Verdict: West Ham 1 Crystal Palace 1

Premier League ~ 17:30 Chelsea v Sunderland ~ SkySports 1  

Saturday Night Football sees Chelsea's game against Sunderland, giving the Blues a chance to dislodge Liverpool from the top of the table for one night at least. Jose Mourinho's side start the weekend a couple of points behind the leaders but will be full of confidence after making it through to the Champions League semi-finals and defeating Swansea City 1-0 last time out.

They will now be trying to build further momentum ahead of a crunch period when they will play Atletico Madrid over two legs in Europe, either side of a league trip to Anfield. Sunderland, meanwhile, look doomed to relegation despite avoiding a sixth straight defeat against Manchester City in midweek. Vito Mannone's failure to keep out a late Samir Nasri strike denied the Black Cats a precious victory and kept them six points from safety with just five matches now to go.

Eden Hazard will miss the visit of Sunderland and also remains a doubt for the Champions League semi-final first leg trip to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday but Jose Mourinho has a clean bill of health for the rest of his squad.

Full-back Ondrej Celustka returns to the Sunderland squad after recovering from a knee problem, and his presence is timely with Phil Bardsley completing his two-match ban. However, Liam Bridcutt (personal reasons), Ki Sung-yueng (knee) and Carlos Cuellar (hamstring), remain on the sidelines alongside long-term injury victims Keiren Westwood (shoulder) and Steven Fletcher (ankle).

Last season: Chelsea 2 Sunderland 1, Sunderland 1 Chelsea 3

Last five league matches: Chelsea L W L W W; Sunderland L L L L D

Top scorers (all competitions): Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 17; Adam Johnson (Sunderland) 10

Referee: Mike Dean (England).

Verdict: Chelsea 3 Sunderland 0

Premier League ~ Sunday 20th April March 2014

Premier League ~ 12:00 Norwich v Liverpool ~ SkySports 1

Liverpool's clash away to Norwich sees Neil Adams' baptism of fire continue. Appointed in place of Chris Hughton for the final five games of the season, Adams' reign began with a 1-0 loss to fellow strugglers Fulham which left Norwich just two points clear of the drop zone, and their remaining matches after this weekend are against Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. Liverpool are not the side they would choose to face at this point, especially Luis Suarez, who has scored 11 goals in his last four appearances against the Canaries.

Brendan Rodgers' Reds are four wins away from becoming champions for the first time since 1990 and have already claimed ten victories in a row after holding off Manchester City in a 3-2 thriller at Anfield. In a week in which football marked the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, captain Steven Gerrard was tearful as he gathered his team-mates in a huddle after the City success and told them to 'go again' against Norwich.

Norwich will still be without defender Joseph Yobo (calf) so captain Sebastien Bassong could come back into contention having been left out of last weekend's 1-0 defeat at fellow relegation battlers Fulham by new manager Neil Adams.

Daniel Sturridge is likely to miss table-topping Liverpool's trip to Norfolk after being forced off with a hamstring problem during the Reds' 3-2 win over Manchester City last weekend. Midfielder Jordan Henderson begins a three-match suspension following his sending off late on at Anfield.

Last season: Liverpool 5 Norwich 0, Norwich 2 Liverpool 5

Last five league matches: Norwich L W L L L; Liverpool W W W W W

Top scorers (all competitions): Gary Hooper (Norwich) 7; Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 29

Referee: Andre Marriner (England).

Verdict: Norwich 1 Liverpool 3

Premier League ~ 14.05 Hull v Arsenal ~ SkySports 1

Hull City and Arsenal will meet again in the FA Cup final in May but on Sunday it will be Premier League points up for grabs rather than a trophy. It has been a good week so far for the Gunners in the competition for fourth, after they beat West Ham United 3-1 and Everton slipped up against Crystal Palace. Arsene Wenger's side are now back in front of their rivals by one point and know they will clinch UEFA Champions League qualification for a 17th straight year if they win their remaining games. Hull will be seeking a psychological edge ahead of their return to Wembley, having overcome Sheffield United 5-3 in the semi-finals.

Hull will be able to call on strikers Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic after the duo were cup-tied for last weekend's Wembley success over Sheffield United. Manager Steve Bruce may also consider moving to a back three against the Gunners, bringing central defender Alex Bruce into contention for a recall.

Record signing Mesut Ozil could return from a hamstring injury for the Gunners while midfielder Mathieu Flamini returns from a two-match suspension. Full-back Nacho Monreal is on course to have recovered from a dead leg but Kieran Gibbs (hamstring) is out, while midfielder Serge Gnabry (knee) and England international Jack Wilshere (foot) are still recovering, along with Abou Diaby and Theo Walcott (both knee).

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Hull L W L L W; Arsenal L D D L W

Top scorers (all competitions): Matt Fryatt (Hull) 5; Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) 20

Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire).

Verdict: Hull 2 Arsenal 1

Premier League ~ 16:10 Everton v Man Utd ~ SkySports 1

Everton are now in the position of needing other results to go their way and their final four games also appear tougher than those awaiting Arsenal. Roberto Martinez's men surrendered their advantage when they lost 3-2 at home to Crystal Palace on Wednesday, which ended a magnificent run of seven straight wins. They will try to get back on track on Sunday and complete a double against Manchester United, who have not played since being knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich and must now focus on overhauling Tottenham to secure sixth spot.

Phil Jagielka has an outside chance of being involved as he makes his way back from a hamstring problem. James McCarthy was only a substitute in the defeat by Crystal Palace on Wednesday but has now recovered fully from a muscular injury while fellow midfielders Steven Pienaar and Darron Gibson (both knee) miss out again.

Wayne Rooney has overcome a toe injury and is fit to play but fellow forward Robin van Persie (knee) remains sidelined. Midfielder Marouane Fellaini has recovered from a calf injury that kept him out of United's trip to Bayern Munich last week while defender Jonny Evans is a doubt due to a long-term calf problem and right-back Rafael (thigh) is unavailable.

Last season: Man Utd 2 Everton 0, Everton 1 Man Utd 0

Last five league matches: Everton W W W W L; Man Utd L W L W W

Top scorers (all competitions): Romelu Lukaku (Everton) 14; Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney (Man Utd) 17

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (England).

Verdict: Everton 0 Manchester United 1

Premier League ~ Monday 21st April March 2014

Premier League ~ 20.00 Man City v West Brom ~ SkySports 1

The weekend's action concludes with a huge game on Monday Night Football  as Manchester City bid to bounce back from a defeat by Liverpool and draw with Sunderland which appear to have derailed their title charge. City now have just one game in hand on their fellow challengers and are six points adrift of leaders Liverpool. West Bromwich Albion are the latest visitors to the Etihad Stadium and are just three points clear of the relegation trapdoor after being pegged back to 3-3 by Spurs last time out.

Playmaker David Silva is a doubt for City due to an ankle problem as is winger Jesus Navas, while Monday's game will come too soon for midfielder Yaya Toure to return after his leg injury. Defender Matija Nastasic, out of action since February because of a knee complaint, remains unavailable.

Defender Jonas Olsson and midfielder James Morrison are doubts for the Baggies after missing training this week with respective Achilles and ankle problems. On-loan winger Scott Sinclair will definitely sit the match out as it is against his parent club.

Last season: Man City 1 West Brom 0, West Brom 1 Man City 2

Last five league matches: Man City W D W L D; West Brom W L D W D

Top scorers (all competitions): Sergio Aguero (Man City) 26; Saido Berahino (West Brom) 8

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Verdict: Manchester City 2 West Brom 0

Source Sky/ Sporting Life
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