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PL Sunday preview: Chelsea v. Man United, Burnley v. Man City, Leicester v. Arsenal

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A critical day of Premier League fixtures hits center stage on Sunday as four of the top six are in action, including Manchester City who controls its own destiny in the title race with three matches to go.

With Liverpool having moved in front with a big win over Huddersfield Town on Friday, it is Man City’s turn to respond. In addition, Manchester United meets Chelsea in a critical battle in the race for the top four, with both teams right in the mix for a spot. Also in that conversation is Arsenal who visits Leicester City needing a win to keep pace with whoever comes out of Old Trafford with points.

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Finish to the Premier League season is riveting at the top of the table, with both the title race and Champions League battle coming down to the wire. Liverpool sits two points ahead of Manchester City at the moment, with the Citizens still to play on Sunday. Meanwhile, Tottenham sits on 70 points in third, with Chelsea three back in fourth on 67, Arsenal in fifth with 66, and Manchester United in sixth on 64.


Leicester City v. Arsenal — 7:00 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Arsenal travels to Leicester City to take on the in-form Foxes with an early morning kick. Leicester has won four of its last six Premier League matches and scored a late equalizer to draw West Ham last time out. The match is critical for Arsenal with either Chelsea or Manchester United figuring to get points at Old Trafford later in the day.

The Gunners, however, are not coming into this match in good form, having lost two straight and three of their last four. The Arsenal defense has coughed up six goals over the last two, and boss Unai Emery is struggling to figure out his squad with a number of injury problems to consider. The most important issue to sort out before kick on Sunday is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who missed the last match after minor sinus surgery.

INJURIES: Leicester City —  OUT: Daniel Amartey (ankle). | ArsenalQUESTIONABLE: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (sinus). OUT: Aaron Ramsey (groin), Denis Suarez (hamstring), Hector Bellerin (knee), Rob Holding (knee) and Danny Welbeck (ankle).


Burnley v. Manchester City — 9:05 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Manchester City hasn’t dropped points since late January when they suffered a 2-1 loss to Newcastle, and Pep Guardiola‘s squad seems stronger than ever. Last time out was a perfect encapsulation of the squad strength Man City possesses, as Leroy Sane was forced onto the pitch after an injury to vital midfielder Fernandinho, only to see Sane score a goal 15 minutes later.

Burnley was clobbered by Man City last time these two teams matched up back in October, a 5-0 drubbing that sent Man City on a tear through November before bogging down around the holidays. That match also saw Burnley come in with a three-match unbeaten run, but the pasting kickstarted a miserable stretch of seven without a win for Burnley. This time around, the hosts are again coming in having performed well of late, on a run of three wins in four without a loss in that span.

INJURIES: Burnley —  QUESTIONABLE: Phil Bardsley (leg). OUT: Peter Crouch (appendix), Steven Defour (calf), Aaron Lennon (knee). | Man City — QUESTIONABLE: Fernandinho (knee), Ilkay Gundoguan (knock). OUT: Kevin De Bruyne (hamstring), Claudio Bravo (knee).


Manchester United v. Chelsea — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces another brutal test as he looks to bring Manchester United out of the ignominious slump the Red Devils are currently mired in. Manchester United has lost three of its four Premier League matches in April, and that coupled with the Champions League humbling at the hands of Barcelona has left the honeymoon phase of Solskjaer’s managerial tenure in the distant past. Goalkeeper David De Gea will reportedly keep his place in goal for the foreseeable future despite the Spaniard’s struggles over the past few months, which were evident in the derby loss to Man City last time out.

Chelsea, meanwhile, is in a slide of its own with just two wins in the last six matches and Maurizio Sarri desperately hoping to confirm a Champions League place to give Roman Abramovich something to cling to when assessing the Italian’s first season in charge. They also have lost two straight visiting Manchester United, and have not lost three in a row since 1957 – conversely, of the six times Chelsea has won at Old Trafford, five of them came in a manager’s first attempt with the club.

INJURIES: Man United —  QUESTIONABLE: Ander Herrera (hamstring). OUT: Phil Jones, Scott McTominay. | Chelsea — QUESTIONABLE: N'Golo Kante (rib). OUT: Callum Hudson-Odoi (Achilles).

Wolves win at Watford to boost Europa hopes (video)

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  • Mexico’s Jimenez scores from Jota assist
  • Gray levels score
  • Jota wins it
  • Wolves four points clear of 8th

Wolverhampton Wanderers have a solid chance of qualifying for Europe, one season after promotion from the Championship.

Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota scored Saturday in a huge 2-1 win over seventh-place rivals Watford at Vicarage Road and now enjoy a four-point cushion on the Hornets as well as Everton, who drew Crystal Palace.

Watford could still take the Europa League place by beating Manchester City in the FA Cup Final. Their goal came from Andre Gray.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Wolves had four of the match’s five shots on target, though Watford had more of the ball.

Jimenez nodded a Jota cross home to start the scoring in the 41st minute, though Watford equalized shortly after the break.

A Ryan Bennett mistake let Gray free on goal for 1-1, but Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster returned the gift when he misread a long ball from Ruben Neves and Jota headed into the yawning goal.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

10-man Leicester snatch late win at Burnley (video)

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  • Morgan scores stoppage time winner
  • Maguire sent off in 4th minute
  • Burnley lost fourth-straight game

Leicester City secured a battling victory at Burnley on Saturday, as Brendan Rodgers‘ side scored a stoppage-time winner after being reduced to 10-men in the fourth minute of the game.

Harry Maguire was sent off with less than four minutes on the clock, but James Maddison put Leicester ahead with a free kick.

Dwight McNeil scored a superb goal to equalize for Burnley but Wes Morgan popped up with a goal in second half stoppage time as Sean Dyche‘s were stunned.

The win for Rodgers’ side moves them into 10th place on 41 points, while Burnley remain just one place and two points above the relegation zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It was the worst possible start for Leicester as Maguire, who was last man, clipped the heels of Gudmundsson, who was clean through on goal and was shown a straight-red card. Morgan was brought on as a sub as Demarai Gray was sacrificed to keep Leicester to four at the back.

Leicester’s backs were against the wall, as Gudmundsson’s effort from the resulting free kick deflected off the wall and hit the bar.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Despite having an extra man, Burnley sat back and tried to hit Leicester on the counter. Wilfred Ndidi made a superb last-ditch tackle to keep Burnley out on one such attack.

The Foxes dug deep and caused problems as Harvey Barnes drilled wide and they were a real threat from set-piece situations. And that is how they went ahead. Maddison won a free kick on the edge of the box and he then stepped up and curled home a superb effort into the top corner. 1-0.

Vardy stung the palms of Tom Heaton before half time as Leicester were in the ascendancy, but then Burnley hit them on the break as teenager McNeil swept home from the edge of the box to make it 1-1.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

In the second half Vardy was lively, as always, on the counter, but Burnley went so close to going ahead for the first time. Jack Cork was found in the box but his curler went just wide as the Clarets cranked through the gears.

Chris Wood then somehow sidefooted over from close range after a superb cross from McNeil and Burnley felt they should have had a couple of penalty kicks late on.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Charlie Taylor went down in the box under a challenge from Ndidi but Michael Oliver waved played on and then handball calls against Wes Morgan were waved away as Peter Crouch made a nuisance of himself in the box.

McNeil hooked over the bar late on as Burnley poured forward in search of a crucial winner, but Leicester were the team to snatch victory.

Youri Tieleman’s deflected cross found Morgan, who nodded home in stoppage time to snatch a massive three points for the Foxes.

Crystal Palace ease to victory at Burnley (video)

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  • Zaha, Batshuayi, Bardsley (OG) for Palace
  • Burnley lose second-straight game
  • Eagles on 33 points

Crystal Palace beat Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor on Saturday, as the Eagles continue to soar towards midtable.

A Phil Bardsley own goal put Palace ahead and second half goals from Michy Batshuayi and Wilfried Zaha sealed the victory. Ashley Barnes scored a consolation in stoppage time.

With the win Palace move on to 33 points, while Burnley are on 30 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Eagles took the lead early on as Wilfried Zaha found Jeffrey Schlupp at the back post and his ball back towards goal was knocked into his own net by Bardsley.

Wayne Hennessey then made a fine save to deny Chris Wood as Burnley cranked through the gears and put Palace under serious pressure.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Jeff Hendrick then had a volley blocked as Burnley pushed hard to get back into the game.

Plenty of tackles were flying in as players from both teams piled in during a major flash point right on half time.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

At the start of the second half Palace doubled their lead in fine fashion. Aaron Wan Bissaka raced down the right and delivered a perfect cross for Batshuayi to hammer home his second goal in his last three Palace games.

Burnley piled the pressure on Palace, as Barnes missed from close range but the Eagles were happy to deal with plenty of long balls and crosses into their box.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

On the break Schlupp and Basthuayi both went close for Palace, and Zaha finished the job with a fine low finish to make it 3-0.

Barnes scored a consolation and Peter Crouch went close moments later, but Palace were more than worthy of the three points.

Roy Hodgson‘s men are now looking to break into the top 10 after three wins in their last five games.

Dyche hammers officials after penalty kick drama

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Burnley received their first penalty kick in 68 games on Saturday, but their manager Sean Dyche was far from happy. 

He wanted two spot kicks.

Ashley Barnes dispatched a 94th-minute spot kick to snatch a 1-1 draw with Burnley’s relegation rivals Southampton, however Barnes looked to have been fouled in the first half by Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy but nothing was given.

Barnes was booked by referee Anthony Taylor for his anger at not getting a penalty kick, and the officials were booed and branded cheats by Burnley’s fans throughout the game.

Dyche didn’t go as far as calling them cheats, but he admitted it was “impossible” that his team weren’t awarded two spot kicks and didn’t win the game.

“Had we come away with nothing today you’d struggle to believe what was going on. The first decision baffles me,” Dyche told the BBC’s Match of the Day. “I am outspoken when people go down too easy. Ashley Barnes had no other choice as the keeper takes the legs away and yet Ashley comes away with a booking.

“But we just kept knocking at the door. We were relentless in our attitude again and that is coming back into our play at speed. The least we deserved was a point. I can’t be any more clear in my idea. That first one was just a plain, simple penalty. I will be amazed if strikers in the studio say it wasn’t a penalty.”

Barnes backed up Dyche’s comments by adding that they “should have won” the game, but there was a hint of luck about their last-gasp penalty kick. Jack Stephens handled the ball as the cross came in, but Peter Crouch was all over him and Crouch did head the ball on to Stephens’ arm from close range.

A draw was probably a fair result in this game, but Saints will no doubt feel that Taylor and his officiating crew were keen to even things up after missing a clear penalty kick in the first half.