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Premier League: MD28 Preview

After a dramatic few days of European football, the Premier League returns for matchday 28 from this Friday night, with relegation-threatened Newcastle hosting Aston Villa starting this weekend’s action.

Newcastle United v Aston Villa

Steve Bruce’s Newcastle side will look at Friday night’s game against Aston Villa as a huge opportunity to claw themselves away from the bottom three. Villa have struggled recently, in part down to the absence of their injured captain Jack Grealish, who will not travel to the North East this weekend. Both of these sides have just one win in their last five top flight games.

Leeds United v Chelsea

One of English football’s most notorious rivalries will be reignited when Chelsea visit Leeds United on Saturday. With four defeats in their last five games, Marcelo Bielsa’s side appear to have lost any momentum that could have secured an unlikely place in the UEFA Europa League. Meanwhile, Chelsea have been relentless in their pursuit of a top four place since Thomas Tuchel took charge of the club. It seems unlikely that the German will suffer the first defeat as Blues manager at Elland Road.

Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion

Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace will look to edge themselves closer to that magical 40 point mark when struggling West Brom visit Selhurst Park on Saturday. With just ten games remaining this season, the task facing Baggies boss Sam Allardyce looks increasingly daunting. However, West Brom are yet to give up on their survival bid, and with just one defeat in their last five top flight games, you wouldn’t back against the Baggies picking something up in south London.

Everton v Burnley

Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton will look to bounce back from their disappointing defeat at Chelsea when Burnley head to Goodison Park on Saturday. The Toffees still have realistic hopes of playing in the UEFA Champions League next season, but they cannot afford to slip up against the Clarets. Sean Dyche’s side have just one Premier League win in their last eight games, and are still very much in danger of dropping to the Championship.

Fulham v Manchester City

Saturday’s action ends with Fulham welcoming champions-in-waiting Manchester City to Craven Cottage. With just one defeat in seven Premier League games, Scott Parker’s side find themselves in the bottom three by goal difference only. However, Fulham have lost their last ten games against Manchester City, failing to score in each of the last six meetings with Pep Guardiola’s side.

Southampton v Brighton & Hove Albion

Sunday’s Premier League action starts with a south coast derby at St. Mary’s. With just one Premier League win in their last eleven games, Southampton have slipped right down into the relegation reckoning, and Brighton will hope to drag Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side further into danger. The Seagulls are now winless in six Premier League games and find themselves out of the bottom three by goal difference only.

Leicester City v Sheffield United

Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City will look to further solidify their place in the Premier League’s top four when Sheffield United visit the King Power Stadium on Sunday. With just ten matches remaining, the Blades are running out of time to make up the 12 point deficit that sees them in adrift of safety. The Foxes have won each of the last six meetings between these sides in all competitions, a seventh win will all but confirm Chris Wilder’s side to relegation.

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur

Arguably the biggest game in stature over this weekend’s Premier League games, but there’s not too much more than bragging rights at stake for this north London derby. After a disappointing start to the season, Arsenal find themselves in no man’s land, with little hope of securing qualification for European football. Spurs are fairing slightly better, with a slim hope of a top four finish. Can Arsenal close the seven point gap between them and their rivals? It should provide an entertaining spectacle at the Emirates.

Manchester United v West Ham United

Manchester United’s impressive win over city rivals Manchester City last weekend kept their slim title hopes alive. On Sunday, they’ll hope to add another three points to their tally when West Ham United arrive at Old Trafford. David Moyes’ Hammers have a good chance of finishing in the top six this season, and only Manchester City have won more points in 2021, despite no team playing fewer Premier League games than West Ham this calendar year.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool

Liverpool will hope to get their Premier League campaign back on track when they head to Molineux on Monday night. Wolves will feel relatively safe with 35 points and ten games remaining this season. However, only Newcastle United and Southampton have won fewer points than Liverpool since the turn of the year – form that has seen the defending champions concede their title. With a seven point gap between them and the top four, Jurgen Klopp will demand that his Reds return to winning ways in the Premier League.

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