PL Sunday preview: Man City’s title trot; Wenger’s farewell tour

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Manchester City will play as the confirmed champions of the Premier League, though they won’t celebrate as such for a couple more weeks, on Sunday. Meanwhile, the only manager Arsenal have known for more than two decades begins saying goodbye

[ MORE: Man United come back to beat Spurs, reach FA Cup final ]

Arsenal vs. West Ham United — 8:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

So begins the Arsene Wenger farewell tour, and with a London derby at that. Wenger announced on Friday that he’ll leave Arsenal at the end of the current season, which has little to no chance of seeing the Gunners finish in the PL’s top-five, let alone the top-four. Sunday’s clash with West Ham will be the first of Wenger’s three remaining games at the Emirates Stadium, including the Europa League semifinal against Atletico Madrid on Thursday. Unfortunately for Wenger, three of his final five PL games (four of seven in all competitions) will be played away from home, where his side has lost five straight in league play.

Speaking of lost and wayward seasons, 14th-place West Ham are almost mathematically clear of relegation (there’s currently three places and six points between themselves and 18th-place Southampton). It’s hardly the future they imagined upon moving to the London Stadium at the start of last season. Andy Carroll scored the late equalizer in the Hammers’ 1-1 draw with Stoke City on Monday, which rescued perhaps a perfectly timed point with all five remaining games to be played against sides currently in the top-nine (Arsenal, Man City, Leicester, Man United and Everton).

INJURIES: Arsenal — OUT: Henrikh Mkhitaryan (knee), Santi Cazorla (achilles); QUESTIONABLE: Jack Wilshere (ankle) | West Ham — OUT: James Collins (hamstring), Sam Byram (ankle), Winston Reid (knee), Michail Antonio (hamstring), Pedro Obiang (knee)


Stoke City vs. Burnley — 8:30 a.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold

Here’s what’s at stake at the bet365 Stadium on Sunday:

Stoke sit two places and five points adrift of safety from relegation, with four games left to play (17th-place Swansea City have a game in hand, to boot). After 10 seasons in the PL, it’s looking more and more likely that Paul Lambert (with a tip of the cap to Mark Hughes earlier in the season) will take the Potters back to the Championship for the first time since they won promotion in 2008.

Burnley trail Arsenal by just two points (though the Clarets have played one more game than the Gunners) in the race for sixth place. A sixth-place finish would be the club’s highest top-flight finish since 1966 (3rd).

INJURIES: Stoke — QUESTIONABLE: Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting (groin) | Burnley — OUT: Steven Defour (knee), Scott Arfield (calf), Robbie Brady (knee), Jonathan Walters (fitness); QUESTIONABLE: Ben Mee (knock), Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (hamstring)


Manchester City vs. Swansea City — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

While Man City won’t lift the PL trophy until their May 6 clash with Huddersfield Town, Sunday’s visit from Swansea will be Pep Guardiola‘s side’s first outing since clinching the title courtesy of Man United’s defeat to West Bromwich Albion last weekend. Guardiola’s focus has turned to breaking the all-time PL points record (95 — they currently have 87 with five games still to play).

“In the past, I won the league at Bayern and at Barca with five, six or seven games (left) but the next games were not good,” he said this week. “We have to think about how many points we can get, it can be a good argument. What we need to do is already done, the points record is not the most important thing, but maybe it can help us to be focused. It would be uncomfortable to finish in a bad way, there always has to be a target and maybe scoring the most goals and winning the most points will be a good focus.”

INJURIES: Man City — OUT: Sergio Aguero (knee), Benjamin Mendy (knee); QUESTIONABLE: John Stones (thigh) | Swansea — OUT: Wilfried Bony (knee), Leroy Fer (achilles), Renato Sanches (hamstring)

Burnley 1-2 Liverpool: Last-gasp win

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  • Mane scores stunner; Klavan wins it late on
  • Burnley without a win in five
  • Liverpool unbeaten in 16 games

Liverpool extended their long unbeaten run and battled to a 2-1 win at Burnley on New Year’s Day.

In testing conditions Jurgen Klopp‘s side — who are now on their longest unbeaten run under the German coach — did most of the pressing and broke through in the second half with a superb goal from Sadio Mane who stepped up in the absence of the injured Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson nodded home late on as he looked to have snatched a point for the Clarets but then Klavan popped up with a diving header of his own to send the traveling Liverpool fans wild.

With the win Liverpool remain in fourth but move on to 44 points alongside Manchester United, while Burnley have failed to win any of their last five games but remain in seventh.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]  

Liverpool dominated possession early on and looked dangerous on the break with Ashley Barnes having a half chance for Burnley at the other end.

As the first half wore on Liverpool woke up and Nick Pope saved well from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Adam Lallana, making his first start of the season, raced back and made a crucial tackle as last man with Scott Arfield breaking free. A wonderful tackle from the England international to deny Burnley a clear look at goal.

Arfield nodded an effort towards goal which Simon Mignolet saved easily, then Dominic Solanke was tackled by Ben Mee inside the box as a good chance came and went for Liverpool. Half time arrived without a goal in an slow-burner.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

The rain continued to pour down in the second half as both teams battled the elements.

Lallana had shots deflected wide and Liverpool finally went ahead just after the hour mark. A cross from the right from Trent Alexander-Arnold found Mane on the edge of the box and the Senegalese forward controlled, turned and thumped home in one action to put Liverpool 1-0 up.

A moment of magic from Mane.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Alexander-Arnold forced Pope into a fine save late on as the youngster drilled a shot from distance towards the top corner, while at the other end Barnes volleyed just wide from the edge of the box.

Late in the game Burnley grabbed the equalizer as a cross was flicked on by Sam Vokes and Gudmundsson arrived unmarked at the back post to nod home. 1-1.

But Liverpool went straight down the other end and Dejan Lovren nodded across goal for Klavan to head home the winner right in front of the delirious traveling fans. What a finish and what a big win for Liverpool.

Huddersfield 0-0 Burnley: Dominant Clarets held

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  • Burnley have lost just 4 of 20 league meetings with Huddersfield since March 1971
  • Huddersfield unbeaten in four games
  • Defour, Gudmundsson, Arfield go close

Huddersfield held Burnley to a 0-0 draw at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday as the Clarets created plenty of chances but couldn’t break through.

With the point Burnley stay in seventh place in the table, while Huddersfield sit in 11th on 24 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Early on Collin Quaner forced Nick Pope into a fine save and Jeff Hendricks had the ball in the back of the net for Burnley, but he did so from an offside position.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Johann Berg Gudmundsson went close to a first half goal but the Icelandic midfielder pulled a shot just wide after running clear.

Burnley dominated the first half with Steven Defour and Scott Arfield going close but couldn’t break through.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Arfield had a great chance early in the second half but the former Huddersfield midfielder saw his effort saved by Jonas Lossl. Hendrick went down in the box but no penalty kick was given after contact by Lossl with Dyche left fuming on the sidelines.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Late on Nahki Wells, another former Huddersfield player, almost won it but Lossl saved well as a fine 2017 ended for both of these clubs.

Brighton 0-0 Burnley: Seagulls continue barren spell

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  • Seagulls without a win in seven
  • Murray misses first half PK
  • Wood denied twice in second half

Brighton and Hove Albion drew 0-0 with Burnley at the Amex Stadium on Saturday with Chris Hughton‘s side now without a win in seven games and they’ve scored just once in their last six Premier League encounters.

Glenn Murray blazed over a first half penalty kick to add to Brighton’s woes, while Burnley were denied by Mat Ryan in the second half as the spoils were shared.

With the point Burnley move on to 32 points, while Brighton have 18 and are just three points above the drop zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Brighton did most of the pressing early on with Murray causing plenty of problems and Burnley could hardly get out of their own half.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson had a shot which flew just wide but that was as close as the Clarets came.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Before the break Anthony Knockaert‘s shot hit the post and then Lewis Dunk‘s header was cleared off the line by Phil Bardsley, before a massive moment arrived.

James Tarkowski bundled over Murray in the box but the Brighton forward blasted the penalty kick over the bar as the Seagulls wasted a glorious opportunity.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Chris Wood forced Mat Ryan into a save early in the second half but the chances kept coming for Brighton.

Knockaert squirmed an effort just wide of the far post for Brighton and then Wood had the ball in the net after Scott Arfield was twice denied but he was in an offside position.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Ryan denied Wood again late on as he closed down the onrushing Burnley forward brilliantly, and both teams had to settle for a point on the South Coast.

Premier League roundup: Foxes flying again

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Leicester City’s entertaining win over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park wasn’t just a fun way to end the Premier League day, it was a clarion call that the 2015-16 Premier League champions have their act very much together.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

That win, along with a Tottenham blowout and West Ham’s upset of Chelsea, conspired to make Saturday’s appetizers for a double derby Sunday quite tasty.

Newcastle United 2-3 Leicester CityRECAP

A thriller at St. James’ Park ended with Leicester City now a very real part of the race for the Top Seven. Joselu put Newcastle ahead 1-0 and Dwight Gayle answered a pair of Leicester goals — including another wonderful marker from Riyad Mahrez. But a point was not to be had for Rafa Benitez, as Ayoze Perez scored an own goal to give the Foxes all three points and eighth place in the Premier League.

Claude Puel is now 4W-2D-1L as Leicester City manager, and have won three straight. Next up? A reunion with Southampton at St. Mary’s.

West Ham United 1-0 ChelseaRECAP

David Moyes‘ Hammers have built on their near upset of Manchester City, using a Marko Arnautovic goal to harm Chelsea’s Top Four hopes. The Austrian’s goal was his first for West Ham, and moves the club nearer to safety. Chelsea could finish the weekend as low as fourth if Liverpool wins the Merseyside Derby.

Swansea City 1-0 West Bromwich AlbionRECAP

Wilfried Bony‘s second half goal gave Paul Clement‘s Swans a much-needed win and kept West Bromwich Albion winless since August.

Burnley 1-0 WatfordRECAP

The 10-man Hornets didn’t play like they were down a man, but failed to find the answer for Scott Arfield‘s opener. Burnley’s now six points clear of Watford and still in the Top Four mix.

Crystal Palace 2-2 BournemouthRECAP

Christian Benteke seized a stoppage time penalty against managerial direction, and promptly saw it saved by Asmir Begovic. That left Palace in 20th instead of 18th. Bournemouth dodges a bullet thanks to a pair of solid goals from Jermain Defoe, while Palace’s goals came from a Luka Milivojevic penalty and a Scott Dann in-tight finish.

Huddersfield Town 2-0 Brighton and Hove AlbionRECAP

Steve Mounie refound his early season form to lead the Terriers to all three points in a battle of newly-promoted sides at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Stoke CityRECAP

If Spurs’ slump wasn’t officially ended by a 3-0 win over APOEL Nicosia, it’s dead and buried by a four-goal blowout of Stoke City. Harry Kane scored twice while Heung-Min Son and Christian Eriksen added to a Stoke own goal in the win.