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Premier League Sunday preview: Arsenal, Man United, Liverpool all in play

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The battles at the summit of the Premier League table continue as three of the top six teams take the field on Sunday.

The title race is still white hot, with both Manchester City and Liverpool swinging back and forth with every positive result. City jumped back into the lead with the win on Saturday over Tottenham, a point in front with four matches remaining on both the dockets.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE HERE

The fight for the Champions League places also looks a good one, with four teams battling for just two places. Tottenham sits precariously in third on 67 points, while Arsenal and Chelsea are level on 66 with the Gunners holding the goal differential tiebreaker by five. Manchester United is in sixth on 64 points, still in the mix.


Everton v. Manchester United — 8:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

The Red Devils are the first of the Champions League contenders to take the field as they visit Goodison Park. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s honeymoon period in charge of Manchester United is over and it’s time for him to prove he belongs. The Norwegian boss was given the permanent position after a record start to his interim tenure, but the timing was still odd and as the season winds down, the Red Devils could be left out of the mix for Europe’s biggest competition. Luke Shaw is suspended for the match for yellow card accumulation, but otherwise the injury news is good with Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, and Alexis Sanchez all reportedly available.

Everton, meanwhile, sits in a similar position as Manchester United, battling for a European place but bringing up the rear. The Toffees sit in 10th, back of the pack among a crowded fight for the last Europa League place. Everton is still just three points back of Watford who currently holds that spot, and while they can break everyone’s hearts by upsetting Manchester City in the FA Cup final, a loss would give the Europa League position to whoever finishes seventh.

INJURIES: Everton —  OUT: Yerry Mina (hamstring), Andre Gomes (suspension). | Manchester United — OUT: Luke Shaw (suspension).


Cardiff City v. Liverpool — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Liverpool yet again has to put pressure on Manchester City to have any hope in the Premier League title race. Ahead of the midweek Manchester derby, the Reds have the opportunity not just to take the lead but to stay there should City slip up at all against the Red Devils with their game in hand.

They’ll need a result against a team fighting for its life. Cardiff City is in 17th in the Premier League table, three points shy of safety. A shocking win would put Cardiff in much better position, while a loss would see them potentially fall two games out. They’ve lost three straight and haven’t scored in their last two, so Liverpool will be licking its chops.

INJURIES: Cardiff City —  OUT: Souleymane Bamba (knee), Callum Paterson (ankle), Matthew Connolly (ankle), Harry Arter (calf), . QUESTIONABLE: Aron Gunnarsson (back). | Liverpool — OUT: none. QUESTIONABLE: Dejan Lovren (illness), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee).


Arsenal v. Crystal Palace — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold and NBCSports.com

The Gunners will know Manchester United’s result before taking the field, to see whether they will be looking to strengthen their Champions League position or hoping to recapture it. Arsenal is currently in fourth, clinging barely to its spot in the top European competition, but they have been strong of late and have a soft schedule to finish the season, so there is no reason not to lock the spot down. Still, the injuries are rampant and there are fears that Aaron Ramsey‘s Arsenal career will end with the thigh injury he picked up midweek in Europa League play. Coupled with the three long-term injuries to Bellerin, Welbeck, and Holding plus Sokratis’ suspension, the Gunners are thin.

Crystal Palace has little to play for at this point, sitting in 14th on 39 points but unlikely to be sucked into the relegation battle. Roy Hodgson has led the squad to five wins since the start of February, good enough form to keep them out of the maelstrom at the bottom of the table. They put up a decent fight against title leaders Manchester City last time out, and kept two straight clean sheets in the matches before that. However, they lost two important players recently in James Tomkins and Jeffrey Schlupp who both will miss the rest of the season after long-term injuries.

INJURIES: Arsenal —  OUT: Aaron Ramsey (thigh), Hector Bellerin (knee), Rob Holding (knee), Danny Welbeck (ankle), Sokratis (suspended). QUESTIONABLE: Granit Xhaka (groin). | Crystal Palace — OUT: James Tomkins (groin), Jeffrey Schlupp (ankle), Mamadou Sakho (knee).

Watch Live: Watford v. Arsenal

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Watford host Arsenal at Vicarage Road on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com), as the teams who are based at training centers in the same street north of London are both aiming for European qualification.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

On the back of reaching the FA Cup final (for just the second time in club history) Javi Gracia‘s Watford will be flying high as they chase a top seven finish.

As for Unai Emery‘s Arsenal, they remain in the hunt for a top four finish but Emery has faced Gracia’s teams in the past and knows this will not be an easy task in a busy week for the Gunners who face Napoli in the Europa League on Thursday.

In teams news for Watford, Ben Foster, Christian Kabasele, Daryl Janmaat and Adam Masina all come into the starting lineup.

Arsenal start Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up top, while Dinos Mavropanos also starts and Granit Xhaka has recovered from injury. Mesut Ozil, Matteo Guendouzi and Alexandre Lacazette are all on the bench.


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Premier League preview: Everton v. Arsenal

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  • Arsenal is the last PL team without a road clean sheet
  • Alexandre Lacazette has 27 goals, but just 7 on the road
  • Everton has lost four straight PL matches against Arsenal

Unbeaten over the last six matches, Arsenal looks to push up the table in a crowded race for the Champions League positions as they visit Everton, live Sunday on NBCSN at 9:05 a.m. ET or live online at NBCSports.com.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE HERE

The Gunners can jump their North London rivals Tottenham in the table with a win, gaining the advantage over the tight Champions League battle in the process. Currently, four teams sit within three points of each other, battling for positions three and four in the Premier League table. At the moment, Arsenal rests in fourth, a point back of Tottenham and level with Chelsea on points.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery will be having selection headaches, with the Gunners’ squad depleted by injuries. Granit Xhaka and Laurent Koscielny are both questionable after missing the win over Newcastle United last time out, while Aaron Ramsey came out of that match with groin trouble but should be ready to go. Lucas Torreira is suspended for the third and final time for his red card against Tottenham, and Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, and Danny Welbeck are all out long-term.

Everton, meanwhile, is pushing for a top-half finish and sits just on the precipice at the moment, looking for its third straight victory. The Toffees suffered through much of the winter, but wins over Chelsea and West Ham have Everton on the club’s first league winning streak since early October. They are without Yerry Mina through injury, but otherwise Marco Silva has a full-strength squad.

What they’re saying

Everton boss Marco Silva on playing Arsenal: “On Sunday, we are playing another top team. I know how the atmosphere will be in our stadium again and how the fans can be a key for us. Together, our fans and players, can help us to get a good result. We will play with the same mentality we had in second half against Chelsea and in the last match against West Ham.”

Arsenal manager Unai Emery on strikers Lacazette and Aubameyang: “We need a lot of good passes, good crosses, to give them the best option to score in the box. We can be proud that both are with us. Sometimes you need to play both, with two strikers, and sometimes you can play with one player wide, and sometimes you can play with another on the bench.”

Prediction

Arsenal has had Everton’s number of late, but that won’t matter as two in-form teams meet at Goodison Park. Everton just took down Chelsea, and they should be equipped well to keep that up. Arsenal hasn’t kept a single away clean sheet this season, and the two teams will draw 2-2 to keep the Gunners in the thick of the Champions League race, unable to fully pull away.

Watch Live: Arsenal v. Newcastle

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Arsenal host Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com), with the Gunners able to move up to third place in the Premier League table.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

Unai Emery‘s men are in a very strong position in terms of their remaining schedule, and they will be aiming for a tenth-straight home win in the Premier League. As for Newcastle, they have been in good form with just one defeat from six and Rafael Benitez’s men are now aiming for a top 10 finish.

In team news Arsenal have Aaron Ramsey as skipper, while Matteo Guendouzi starts with him in midfield with Granit Xhaka out. Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi start in support of Alexandre Lacazette with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Shkodran Mustafi comes in for Laurent Koscielny.

Newcastle make one change from the team which drew at Bournemouth before the international break, as Jamel Lascelles comes in for Federico Fernandez as the Magpies skipper returns from injury.


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Preview: Arsenal v. Newcastle

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  • Arsenal going for 10th-straight PL home win
  • Newcastle with defeat in last six
  • Gunners go third with a win

Arsenal host Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with the Gunners hoping to climb back into the top four.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

Unai Emery‘s men have been superb at home this season and have found a ruthless streak in recent months which has seen them keep their dream of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League alive. As for Newcastle, Rafael Benitez’s side are also in good form and are all but safe from relegation barring an incredible collapse in the final weeks of the season.

In team news Arsenal may be without Granit Xhaka after he picked up an injury on international duty, while Lucas Torreira is banned.

Newcastle will be without Fabian Schar who is also banned (and is recovering from a nasty head injury on international duty with Switzerland), but captain Jamel Lascelles is back fit.


What they’re saying

Unai Emery on a pivotal month for Arsenal: “In April, we are playing in a lot of matches and it is the key for our season. We finished very well both in the Europa League and Premier League before the international break. But in each match, we need to give a big focus and every player must be ready to give their best performance for us.”

Miguel Almiron on his journey to Newcastle: “It’s fantastic to be at a club where you can feel the passion of the fans, as well as hear it. It confirmed everything I had been told about this club. The fans have shown amazing faith in me, and the team. Straight away they given me their love and I want to make them happy, make them proud. To come from Paraguay to a city I had not even heard of growing up and have people show me so much love, it is an incredible feeling. I’m very proud, it’s a special journey.”


Prediction

You get the sense this will be a lot tighter than everyone thinks, and Newcastle will be dangerous on the counter and willing to sit back and soak up pressure. That said, with Tottenham losing again, this is a great chance for Arsenal to take advantage and further boost their top four hopes. They will not let that chance pass them by. 2-1 to the Gunners.