Midweek Premier League action continues on Wednesday, as four of the league’s top five teams enter the final third in races for the title and Champions League places.
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Liverpool knocked off Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Tuesday, blowing open the top-four race even further, as the third- through seventh-placed teams are currently separated by just three points.
Chelsea vs. Everton (2:45 pm ET, watch live on NBCSN and online via Live Extra)
With just over three months still to play in the Premier League season, it certainly feels like Chelsea (1st, 56 points) are pretty close to wrapping up the title already, doesn’t it? Their remaining league schedule isn’t too bad the rest of the way (Southampton, Man United, Arsenal and Liverpool remain), so this might just be their fifth biggest remaining game. Everton (12th, 27), on the other hand, are six points outside the top half, an unacceptable place to be this time of year.
Manchester United vs. Burnley (2:45 pm ET, watch live online via Live Extra)
Just three wins in eight league games (following six-straight wins) for Manchester United (5th, 44 points), and suddenly Louis van Gaal’s men are in a fight for fourth, when just a month ago it looked like they might run away with third. Wayne Rooney hasn’t scored in six weeks, but van Gaal says that’s not a problem. Burnley (19th, 21) are just a 4-4 draw (or better) away from exiting the relegation zone.
Stoke City vs. Manchester City (2:45 pm ET, watch live online via Live Extra)
Zero wins in four (three draws) for Manchester City (2nd, 49 points) is the biggest reason’s Chelsea’s title lead currently sits at seven points. Unfortunately for Man City, they’ll be without midfielder Yaya Toure one more game following Ivory Coast’s AFCON 2015 triumph on Sunday. They’ve been dreadful without him, and Stoke (10th, 33) already beat City in Manchester this season (with Toure). Upset alert? Perhaps.
Southampton vs. West Ham United (2:45 pm ET, watch live online via Live Extra)
If Southampton (3rd, 45 points) are to finish in the top four this season, at home against West Ham (8th, 37) is a game they have to be winning. Saints won the first meeting of the season, 3-1, at Upton Park back in August. Something tells me Sam Allardyce won’t be complaining about long balls after Ronald Koeman’s side passes his to death at St Mary’s Stadium.
Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle United (3 pm ET, watch live online via Live Extra)
With all due respect to the ongoing races for the league title and Champions League places, the story of the day is Alan Pardew facing his former club, Newcastle United (11th, 31 points). It’s a shame this game couldn’t be played at St James’ Park instead. Palace (13th, 26) have lost just one in six (five wins) since Pardew took over, while have just one win from six under interim manager John Carver.
West Bromwich Albion vs. Swansea City (3 pm ET, watch live online via Live Extra)
Don’t look now, but West Brom (16th, 23 points) are only two points clear of the final relegation place. Just one win from their last eight and two from 14 for the Baggies, while Swansea (9th, 34) cruise right along in that can’t-go-any-higher-never-getting-relegated no man’s land.