Leicester City is getting into a Sunday groove, with its third straight Sunday league match, but this one proves to be much tougher than the last two.
Meanwhile, both Arsenal and Liverpool are in a groove, but both have work to do after Manchester City, Manchester United, and Southampton all picked up points on Saturday.
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Leicester City vs. Sunderland — 8:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and Live Extra
With a seven-point advantage at the top of the table and a magic number of eight, the Foxes can put one hand on the title with a win on Sunday. A win over West Ham would give them six straight top flight victories for the second time in club history, and first since 1963. It would also mark 22 league wins for them this campaign, a club record for top-flight competition.
However, the Hammers have motivation themselves. With Manchester City’s demolition of Chelsea on Saturday, Slaven Bilic and company must earn three points to keep pace and hold onto any hope of sneaking into a Champions League place. Lose, and they would be four back of Manchester United in fifth and a whopping eight points adrift of the top four, which would leave them all but eliminated.
Squad health has been vital to Leicester’s title run, having named the same starting lineup in 11 of its last 13 matches, and they are primed to do so again with an entirely fit group of players. 11 Foxes have logged 1,900 or more minutes league minutes this season, with a clear pecking order undisturbed by injuries. Their opponents today have also found themselves in solid position in that regard.
Bournemouth vs. Liverpool — 8:30 a.m. ET, on Live Extra
The Reds are fresh off their all-timer in the Europa League, and here is where it will be determined whether Jurgen Klopp can translate that boost of energy to the Premier League, or if a run in European competition will come at a cost. Liverpool still sits just three points back of Southampton with a whopping three games in hand, and the Hammers are just a point above that. Liverpool will want to put league play on the back burner, considering they could end up next season out of European competition altogether should they fail to qualify through either venue. The loss of Emre Can to a serious ankle injury is a big one going forward, but they were without him in this match anyways due to yellow card suspension.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, has just about reached safety, having reached the 40-point threshhold, but with a pair of embarrassing losses to top teams only buoyed by a 1-goal win over Aston Villa last weekend, things teeter on edge, with season-ending form often a foreshadow of what will come next August. Their end-of-season schedule is packed with good teams, so it will be a tough road here on out.
INJURIES: Bournemouth— OUT: Adam Smith (hernia), Harry Arter (achillies), Benik Afobe (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE: Junior Stanislas (hamstring)| Liverpool— OUT: Emre Can (suspended, ankle), Jordan Henderson (knee) QUESTIONABLE: Christian Benteke (knee)
Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace — 11:00 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and Live Extra
With Manchester City’s win Saturday, the Gunners have dropped into fourth and must win on Sunday to regain their spot in third, lest they be pulled into the vortex that is the battle for next year’s Champions League. With both Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain close to returns to fitness, the club can finish the season strong, and will need to for Arsene Wenger‘s Champions League streak to stay intact.
Unbeaten in their last four Premier League matches, the Gunners have good history with Crystal Palace. The Eagles have beaten Arsenal just once in league play, back in 1994, and Arsenal has a six-game winning streak in this fixture. But they face an Eagles side also in good form, having kept two straight clean sheets after 12 games in a row without a single one. Arsenal’s end-of-season schedule appears soft, but that seems to be when they stumble most.