Domestic leagues are starting to dwindle down to their final few matches, European competitions are into the semi-finals (featuring four Premier League clubs) and the summer is filled with international fixtures. Before we look too far ahead, let’s look at this week’s matches and players to watch as the battle for the top four tightens in England.
Matches to Watch:
Everton (8th) v. Aston Villa (11th), Saturday (3pm EST)
With Grealish out of the line-up, Villa looked toothless attacking. Their only win in the last five came to relegation doomed Fulham and have a combined two wins in the last 11 matches. Everton have also only won once in their last five, last weekend against Arsenal, but the narrative is much different in the Northeast of England. With only 3 points back of a Europa League qualification spot, Everton will be hopeful for the clubs above in the table to slip up. Everton haven’t lost at home to Villa since 2008, look for the Toffees to take all three points on Saturday.
Manchester United (2nd) v. Liverpool (6th), Sunday (11:30am EST)
It is one of the biggest matches in Europe: Manchester United v. Liverpool. History and drama follow these teams to every match, but even more is expected when they play each other. Lets’ hope that is not a jinx. United beat Liverpool 3-2 in the FA Cup this season after playing to a 0-0 tie at Liverpool in January, both matches played seven days apart. Expect a lot of goals, each team boasting great individual attacking talent in Bruno Fernandes and Mo Salah. Manchester United are undefeated at home in their last 13 league matches while scoring an average of 2.5 in the last seven of eight home games. Chances will be easy to come by, expect Manchester United to win on Sunday.
Burnley (14th) v. West Ham United (5th), Monday (3:15pm EST)
West Ham manager David Moyes said Jesse Lingard “barely trained” in the lead up to last weekend’s defeat to Chelsea and is doubtful for the match at Burnley. Meanwhile, Burnley striker Chris Wood has six goals and three assists, including a hat-trick against Wolves, in his last six games. West Ham’s key defenders Aaron Creswell and Arthur Masuaku have injuries that may have them out, and midfielder Declan Rice and attacker Michail Antonio also set to miss another match. Burnley manager Sean Dyche has no reason to change his line-up after a 4-0 against Wolves. Hammers have lost three out of their last four away from the London Stadium, expect Burnley to put a dent in West Ham’s top four hopes by taking three points on Monday night.
This Weekend’s Schedule:
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