Friday, May 6, 2022

Match Week 36 Preview: Races On! ; Spurs Visit Anfield; City Hosts Newcastle; Gunners Set Sights on Leeds; Everton At Leicester in Hunt For Survival; Burnley Looks To Extend Unbeaten Run; Hammers Need Points At Norwich; Chelsea Face Wolves In London; Another Farewell For Roy

Eight of ten matches this weekend have bearing on Premier League races. The league title, relegation, and qualification for all three European competitions next year remain in play as the season enters its final weeks. Liverpool hosts Spurs on Saturday hoping to take over first place in the table before Manchester City faces Newcastle the following day. Liverpool have not lost a home match this season and are undefeated in the league in 2022 as they try to chase down Manchester City. Spurs, meanwhile, are two points behind Arsenal for the fourth Champions League slot as the two north London rivals hurtle toward their May 12th meeting.

Newcastle visits Manchester City for another opportunity to influence the race after a loss to Liverpool last week. Manchester City, eliminated from all cup competitions after this week’s Champions League loss, has a one-point lead on Liverpool entering the weekend as the Citizens try to hold on to the first position in the table which they have occupied since December 4th. Newcastle, chasing a top half finish, has lost on its last twelve visits to the Etihad.

Fourth place Arsenal is home to Leeds this weekend. The Gunners have won three consecutive matches to surge past Tottenham Hotspur as Arsenal seeks to return to the Champions League after a five-year absence. Leeds, meanwhile, has been drawn into the relegation scrap as both Burnley and Everton have accumulated more points than the Whites over the past four matches.

Leeds has a two-point advantage over Everton for the last safe position in the table but have played one additional match than the Toffees. Leeds, which is currently level on points with Burnley, loses any goal differential tiebreaker against either Burnley or Everton.

Everton is away at Leicester this weekend as the league’s worst road warriors try to win away from Goodison Park for the first time under Manager Frank Lampard. Leicester, eliminated from the Europa Conference League this week, is looking for a top half finish to what has been a highly disappointing season.

Burnley, winner of three straight matches, is home to Aston Villa as the Clarets fight to stay in the Premier League for a seventh consecutive Premier League season. Burnley is undefeated in four matches under interim Manager Mike Jackson to emerge from near certain relegation. Aston Villa is three points behind 10th place Newcastle as Manager Steven Gerrard tries to lead the Villans into the top half of the table.

Manchester United has a six-point advantage over West Ham for sixth place and Europa League qualification. The Red Devils are at Brighton this weekend hoping to enjoy their visit to the coast as much as Brighton’s previous opponents.

Only Norwich and Watford, two clubs who will be playing in the English Championship division next season, have captured fewer points at home than the Seagulls. Manchester United, however, have lost their last four league away matches.

West Ham is in a tricky spot after losing three of its last league matches. The Hammers trail Manchester United by six points but have a match in hand which provides some hope for the Hammers to return to the Europa League. Seventh place West Ham, however, is also in danger of losing its current Europa Conference League spot in the table. Wolves are three points behind West Ham and have played one fewer match than the Hammers. West Ham needs to shake off its loss at Eintracht Frankfurt Thursday, refocus on its domestic league, and capture all three points at relegated Norwich this week.

Wolves will have a tough time making up ground this week as they face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge where they are winless in the last eight visits. Manager Bruno Lage’s Wolverhampton side has lost four of its last five league matches to damage its European hopes.

Crystal Palace will host Watford with a chance to relegate the Hornets. Watford Manager Roy Hodgson, who has announced his return to retirement following this season, could be hard done by the Eagles he managed for four seasons. Crystal Palace has lost fewer times at home than all but the top three teams this season. Unfortunately, 8 of their 17 matches at Selhurst Park have resulted in draws.

Southampton travels to London to face Brentford in a battle of two clubs situated comfortably mid-table. The clubs are level on 40 points, but the Saints have won just 3 of their 17 away matches entering this weekend’s match at Brentford and the Bees have registered clean sheets in their last three home matches. 


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