Sunday’s slate of Premier League fixtures sees the last two remaining title chasers, leaders Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur, back in action after Arsenal dropped points and all but fell out of the title race on Saturday.
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Leicester City vs. Sunderland — 8:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and Live Extra
With a victory over Sunderland in Sunday’s early game, Leicester will be 10 points clear of Tottenham by the time they kick off their Round 33 fixture at White Hart Lane, at which point the first royal blue ribbons are to be attached to the handles either side of the PL trophy in advance of the Foxes’ impending coronation (the white accent ribbons come next week, if/when the beat West Ham United to restore their 10-point advantage).
When Leicester visited the Stadium of Light on the opening day of the season, it was the visitors and eventual champions-elect who kicked off the campaign with three points, thanks to a trio of first-half goals scored by Riyad Mahrez (twice) and Jamie Vardy. Mahrez and Vardy, along with everyone else at the East Midlands club, haven’t looked back since. After a dry spell either side of the New Year, both Mahrez (5 combined goals and assists in his last eight PL games played) and Vardy (7 combined in his last 10 games played) are back amongst the goals as Leicester grind out 1-0 win after 1-0 win (each of their last four PL games have finished 1-0 in favor of the Foxes).
INJURIES: Leicester — None | Sunderland — OUT: Emmanuel Eboue (suspension), Duncan Watmore (ankle)
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United — 11 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and Live Extra
When Spurs visited Old Trafford on the season’s opening day, Mauricio Pochettino‘s side made their intentions for the season mighty clear from the word “go” — they were to be taken seriously this time around, and no side would outwork them — even in their 1-0 defeat courtesy of Kyle Walker‘s own goal. That ethos has paid off in spades this season, as the north London side has gone on to concede the fewest goals in the PL (25 in 32 games) and piece together the league’s best goal differential (+32) to boot.
Following in the path of their stinginess, you’ll find Man United, the side with the league’s second fewest goals allowed (27), but a vastly inferior attacking record (39 goals scored, to Spurs’ 57, for a goal differential of +12). United have scored multiple goals in just two of their last 10 league games (six wins), while Spurs have achieved the feat seven times in the same period (seven wins). Harry Kane (22 goals) currently sits three clear in the race for the Golden Boot (Jamie Vardy has 19, followed by Romelu Lukaku and Sergio Aguero on 18).
INJURIES: Tottenham — OUT: Nabil Bentaleb (knee), Clinton Njie (knee); QUESTIONABLE: Jan Vertonghen (knee) | Man United — OUT: Bastian Schweinsteiger (knee), Luke Shaw (leg), Will Keane (groin); DOUBTFUL: Wayne Rooney (knee), Daley Blind (undisclosed)
Liverpool vs. Stoke City — 11 a.m. ET, on Live Extra
The dogfight for eight place in the PL is on, and getting hot between Liverpool and Stoke. Ahead of Sunday’s meeting at Anfield, it’s the visitors who hold a slim one-point on the hosts in either side’s bid for mid-table superiority and perhaps avoidance of the UEFA Europa League. Following Thursday’s 2-2 draw away to Borussia Dortmund in that very competition, Jurgen Klopp simply has to survive his partial first season in the PL before his first summer transfer window, at which point he can begin building a squad in his own image.
When the two sides met back in August, Liverpool kicked their season off with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at the Britannia Stadium (they also faced off in the League Cup semifinals with the Reds scraping through over two legs, on penalties).
INJURIES: Liverpool — OUT: Jordan Henderson (knee), Emre Can (suspension), Christian Benteke (knee), Jordan Rossiter (hamstring), Danny Ings (knee), Joe Gomez (knee); RETURNING: Lucas Leiva (thigh) | Stoke — OUT: Jonathan Walters (knee), Jack Butland (ankle), Glen Johnson (knee) DOUBTFUL: Marko Arnautovic (knee)