NORWICH CITY VS WATFORD, WEDNESDAY
Thereֳ no doubt about it РNorwich NEED to win tonight to give themselves any sort of chance of staying up. Victory would put them level on points with Newcastle, who do not play midweek, but they will have to hope Everton get a result at relegation rivals Sunderland. Cityֳ form since the turn of the year can only be described as woeful, with just three wins to their name in the entire of 2016. The Canaries enter this evening’s˧ame on the back of four straight defeats in which they have failed to muster a single goal. Itֳ looking pretty bleak for Alex Neilֳ side.
INJURY NEWS: Jonny Howson is set to miss six to eight weeks after straining knee ligaments on Saturday, but there is more positive news with Ryan Bennett who will be able to feature after recovering from illness. Alex Tettey (ankle ligament damage), Timm Klose and Andre Wisdom (both knee ligament damage) wonִ play again this season, although Klose is still aiming to feature at the Euros for Switzerland.
Watford were unable to build on their last-gasp victory at home to Aston Villa after falling to a meek 2-0 defeat at Anfield, failing to breach a rotated Liverpool side. On the road, the Hornets have only hit one goal per game on average, although their overall defensive record places them seventh in the league. A top-half finish isnִ out of their reach should they triumph at Carrow Road. Itֳ dependent on other results, of course, but theyֶe got a decent chance, as theyֶe only lost two games against bottom-half sides this season and they face Sunderland on Sunday.
INJURY NEWS: Valon Behrami took a blow to his rib during training before the Liverpool game and he is not expected to play again this season as he recovers in time for the Euros. Etienne Capoue will continue to miss out with a knee problem.
SUNDERLAND VS EVERTON, WEDNESDAY
The Premier League race to avoid the drop is all in Sunderlandֳ hands. A fired-up Stadium of Light witnessed a vital 3-2 victory over Chelsea last weekend and the Black Cats are now unbeaten in four games Рin fact, their only defeat in their last nine league matches was to champions Leicester. Sam Allardyceֳ men have, however, only won twice since February. Three points tonight˷ill ensure they survive while Norwich and rivals Newcastle face the drop, yet Sunderland are one of the lowest scorers on their own turf and those three goals against Chelsea were the first their home fans had seen since the start of March.
The Toffees carry the hopes of Newcastle and Norwich fans everywhere but itֳ not looking great for them. Everton have won just once in all competitions over the last nine games, while their only league win on the road in two months came against Villa. They appearedˢereft of ideas against a celebrating Leicester on Saturday and boss Roberto Martinez is coming under increasing pressure as his side try and stumble their way to a top-half finish, which wonִ happen should they lose in the North East.
INJURY NEWS: Ramiro Funes Mori is available after completing a three-match ban for his red card against Liverpool. Both Tony Hibbert (twisted ankle) and Steven Pienaar (muscular) were injured in training at the end of last week and itֳ unclear at this stage whether they will be ready for Wednesday. Gareth Barry, however, has ӡ good chanceӠof recovering from a groin injury in time. Phil Jagielka and Seamus Coleman (both hamstring) are unlikely to be available but they will both be assessed ahead of Sunday, while Gerard Deulofeu (MCL) wonִ play again this season.
LIVERPOOL VS CHELSEA, WEDNESDAY
Back-to-back victories and clean sheets on home soil is the perfect way for Liverpool to prepare for their final game at Anfield this season. With a Europa League final against Sevilla to look forward to in a weekֳ time, Jurgen Klopp is expected to continue to rotate his squad. However, he still must try and claim a place in next season’s competition through theˬeague in case they are defeated in Basel, whileˡ clash against Chelsea could be a good time to experiment with some key players and tactics ahead of the final. The Reds are the fourth-best team in the division in terms of attack, hitting 61 goals in 36 games, but have only beaten three of the nine top-half sides they have welcomed to Anfield this season.
INJURY NEWS: Divock Origi (ankle ligament damage) and Jordan Henderson (LCL) are both targeting a Europa League final return, although in Hendersonֳ case, it is far more likely that he will miss the Sevilla clash but recover in time for the Euros. Danny Ward should also be able to feature for Wales this summer after an ankle injury ruled him out of the remainder of the current campaign. Joe Gomez and Danny Ings are both still recovering from ACL injuries; Ings is back in full training but isnִ expected to feature this week, although Klopp has hinted at including him in his squad before the end of the season.
Theyֶe already missed out on a European spot and even their top-half finish is at risk should they lose tonight; itֳ not been a successful season for Chelsea and they wonִ want to end it on a whimper. Their form has been mixed of late, particularly away from home; firing four goals each past Villa and Bournemouth was balanced out by defeats to Sunderland and Swansea. Defensively, they are evenly-matched with their opponents ahead of this encounter, conceding only one more goal on the road than Liverpool have at home.
INJURY NEWS: Diego Costa has been ruled out of the rest of the seasonʨhamstring), while Branislav Ivanovic will not be available˴onight (groin). Pedro could feature at Anfield wearing a protective mask after breaking his nose during an accident at home; the fourth Chelsea player to suffer the injury this season. John Terryֳ Chelsea career came to an abrupt end at the weekend following his sending off against Sunderland Рthe skipper will miss his sideֳ last two games as itֳ his second red of the season. Pedro missed the game against the Black Cats with a knock and will be assessed before tomorrow. Loic Remy (groin) is unavailable, as is Kurt Zouma (ACL) who is aiming for a September return.
WEST HAM UNITED VS MANCHESTER UNITED, TUESDAY
The Hammers will be looking to end their 112-year stay at Upton Park on a high, particularly after last weekendֳ below-par showing against Swansea City. The 4-1 defeat was their first in the league since early February, and the first time they had failed to score two league goals in a single game for two months. West Ham have the best points-per-game record in the division against fellow top-half sides but their defensive record at home isnִ as impressive, leaking 24 goals in 18 games. A win wouldnִ see them overtake tonightֳ opponents in the league, but it would put them four points ahead of Liverpool as they aim to seal a Europa League spot with a sixth-placed finish.
INJURY NEWS: Goalkeeper Adrian is set to miss out once more with a calf problem РDarren Randolph will keep his place between the sticks. Boss Slaven Bilic has no other concerns, apart from long-term ACL casualty Carl Jenkinson.
Meanwhile, three points for Manchester United will see them leapfrog rivals City into fourth place Рa tempting prospect for Louis van Gaal. United are now unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions, keeping clean sheets in three of those encounters.ˏverall, the Red Devils are second only to Tottenham Hotspur in terms of defensive solidity, conceding just 31 goals in 36 games. However, they are rather blunt at the other end of the field, particularly on the road where they have barely mustered one goal per game on average. Van Gaalֳ men left victorious from their last visit to East London, when Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini sealed their progression in the FA Cup.
INJURY NEWS: The big news is that Anthony Martial has travelled to London with the squad and will face a late fitness test, following his withdrawal from the warm-up before the Norwich City game with a hamstring injury. Fellaini serves the second game of his three-match suspension for clashing with Robert Huth during the 1-1 draw at home to Leicester, while Matteo Darmian was stretchered off with an ankle injury against the Canaries and will not feature tonight. Daley Blind and Marcus Rashford could be recalled after they were rested at the weekend, while Bastian Schweinsteiger (MCL) and Luke Shaw (broken leg) remain unavailable.