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Premier League previews: Matchweek 38

A look at all the build-up to the final day of the season.

FOOTBALL 21/05/17 13:20
Premier League previews: Matchweek 38

Arsene Wenger’s hopes of securing Champions League football for a 21st successive season go down to the wire with three teams fighting for the final two places.

Manchester City sit third on 75 points and face Watford at Vicarage Road, needing just a point to finish in the top four while Liverpool are a point ahead of Arsenal as they prepare to welcome relegated Middlesbrough to Anfield.

The Gunners host Everton knowing anything other than a win is likely to see them finish fifth and even a victory may not be enough to guarantee preserving Wenger’s remarkable record.

Arsenal (5) v Everton (7)

Arsenal are once again sweating on the fitness of Laurent Koscielny. The France defender is struggling with a calf issue and could be left out as a precaution ahead of the FA Cup final having missed two of the last three games. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring) is definitely out but Aaron Ramsey (leg) should be available despite limping out of Tuesday’s win over Sunderland. Everton are set to have an unchanged squad with goalkeeper Joel Robles back into the starting line-up in place of the injured Maarten Stekelenburg (groin). The Toffees remain without Aaron Lennon (stress-related illness), James McCarthy (hamstring), Seamus Coleman (broken leg), Ramiro Funes Mori (knee) and Yannick Bolasie (knee).

Last season: Everton 0 Arsenal 2, Arsenal 2 Everton 1
Last five league matches: Arsenal L W W W W; Everton W D L L W
Top scorers: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) 28; Romelu Lukaku (Everton) 25
Match odds: H 4-9 A 6-1 D 7-2
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Burnley (15) v West Ham (12)

Michael Keane could return for Burnley after returning to training after missing the last two games with a knock. But Clarets boss Sean Dyche is set to be without Ben Mee, who is still struggling to shake off a shin problem. West Ham’s New Zealand international Winston Reid has undergone season-ending surgery on a chronic knee injury which he has played with for the past few weeks. Manager Slaven Bilic confirmed that Reid will be sidelined for up to 10 weeks as he begins his rehabilitation, with youngster Declan Rice likely to deputise. Hammers skipper Mark Noble has also had surgery on an abdominal complaint and will miss Sunday’s clash at Turf Moor. Cheikhou Kouyate (wrist), Andy Carroll (groin), Michail Antonio (hamstring), Pedro Obiang (ankle), Diafra Sakho (back), Angelo Ogbonna (knee) and Arthur Masuaku (foot) are all set to miss out.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Burnley L L W D L; West Ham D D D W L
Top scorers: Sam Vokes (Burnley) 11; Robert Snodgrass & Michail Antonio (West Ham) 9
Match odds: H 13-10 A 2-1 D 2-1
Referee: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire)

Chelsea (1) v Sunderland (20)

Chelsea captain John Terry must wait to learn if he will start or be a substitute in his final Stamford Bridge appearance. Head coach Antonio Conte, who has no injury concerns, may revert to his first-choice line-up to prepare for the FA Cup final with Arsenal. Sunderland boss David Moyes is facing yet another injury crisis. Defender Lamine Kone and midfielder Didier Ndong (both dead leg) are doubtful following Tuesday night’s 2-0 defeat at Arsenal and join defender Papy Djilobodji (thigh), midfielders Jason Denayer (also thigh) and Wahbi Khazri (knee) and striker Victor Anichebe (hamstring) on the sidelines. George Honeyman is still struggling with a back problem, as are fellow midfielders Jan Kirchhoff (knee) and Steven Pienaar (ankle), while Paddy McNair and Duncan Watmore (knee ligaments) are long-term absentees.

Last season: Sunderland 3 Chelsea 2, Chelsea 3 Sunderland 1
Last five league matches: Chelsea W W W W W; Sunderland L L W L L
Top scorers: Diego Costa (Chelsea) 21; Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) 15
Match odds: H 1-7 A 16-1 D 13-2
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

Hull (18) v Tottenham (2)

Hull manager Marco Silva will be without Harry Maguire, Evandro and Abel Hernandez. Defender Maguire (knee) and midfielder Evandro (groin) sustained injuries during last weekend’s defeat at Crystal Palace which confirmed the club’s relegation to the Championship, while Uruguay striker Hernandez was a late withdrawal from the squad at Selhurst Park due to an ankle issue. Liverpool loanee Lazar Markovic has returned to his parent club but was not expected to feature anyway because of an ankle problem. Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker could be available after the Spurs defenders missed Thursday’s 6-1 win at Leicester, with Trippier out with concussion and Walker nursing an ankle knock, meaning Toby Alderweireld played at right-back at the King Power Stadium. Danny Rose is out after undergoing surgery on his knee, Erik Lamela remains unavailable with a hip injury but Christian Eriksen may return after being an unused substitute at Leicester.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Hull L W D L L; Tottenham W W W L W
Top scorers: Oumar Niasse & Abel Hernandez (Hull) 5; Harry Kane (Tottenham) 28
Match odds: H 9-2 A 8-13 D 11-4
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)

Leicester (11) v AFC Bournemouth (10)

Andy King could return to the Leicester squad for the final game of the season at home to Bournemouth, but Wes Morgan and Robert Huth will remain on the sidelines. King was one of several absentees against Tottenham on Thursday night, but the midfielder trained on Friday and it is hoped he will boost numbers for manager Craig Shakespeare, with central defender Morgan (hamstring) and Huth (foot) still out. Midfielders Danny Drinkwater (thigh) and Nampalys Mendy (ankle) are also likely to be sidelined again. Bournemouth could have midfielder Andrew Surman available again. Lewis Cook has left for international duty with England ahead of the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea, but midfielder Dan Gosling should feature after his recent calf problem while striker Benik Afobe is still nursing a hamstring strain. On-loan Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has already been ruled out for the season after suffering a fractured leg, while forward Callum Wilson, goalkeeper Adam Federici and defender Rhoys Wiggins all continue their recovery from knee injuries.

Last season: Leicester 0 AFC Bournemouth 0, AFC Bournemouth 1 Leicester 1

Last five league matches: Leicester D L W W L; AFC Bournemouth L W W D W
Top scorers: Jamie Vardy (Leicester) 15; Joshua King (AFC Bournemouth) 16
Match odds: H 4-5 A 10-3 D 13-5
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

Liverpool (4) v Middlesbrough (19)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is hopeful forward Roberto Firmino will be fit after he missed last week’s win at West Ham with a muscle injury. He has not trained with the squad this week but Klopp is optimistic about him being available. With doubts over Firmino’s fitness, the manager could continue with the successful midfield diamond and Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi up front.
Middlesbrough head coach Steve Agnew has no fresh injury problems. Relegated Boro will make late checks on a trio of players, although the likelihood of goalkeeper Victor Valdes and midfielder Gaston Ramirez returning looks remote. Valdes (ribs), Ramirez (groin) and central defender Daniel Ayala (ankle) will all have fitness tests ahead of the game at Anfield with Ayala the most likely to figure.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Liverpool W L W D W; Middlesbrough L W D L L
Top scorers: Sadio Mane & Phillippe Coutinho (Liverpool) 13; Alvaro Negredo (Middlesbrough) 10
Match odds: H 1-7 A 16-1 D 13-2
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

Man Utd (6) v Crystal Palace (13)

Paul Pogba will feature alongside a number of youngsters in Manchester United’s dead rubber. Jose Mourinho confirmed Joel Pereira, Kieran O’Hara, Scott McTominay, Josh Harrop, Matthew Willock and Zachary Dearnley will be involved on Sunday, so too 16-year-old Angel Gomes. Tim Fosu-Mensah will play after a shoulder injury and Pogba will feature after missing the previous two matches following his father’s death. Marouane Fellaini is having a hamstring injury assessed, while Chris Smalling is set to be fit for Wednesday’s Europa League final despite a “small problem” keeping him out against Palace. Numerous first-team players will be rested ahead of the Ajax match, with captain Wayne Rooney set to be among them after playing 90 minutes at Southampton on Wednesday. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo (both knee), Luke Shaw (foot) and Ashley Young (hamstring) are out. Crystal Palace are without Andros Townsend after the midfielder was ruled out with an Achilles injury. Yohan Cabaye faces a late fitness test, owing to a knock, while Scott Dann is again expected to miss out because of a knee problem. Beyond his long-term absentees, Connor Wickham, Pape Souare and Mamadou Sakho, Palace manager Sam Allardyce otherwise has a near fully-fit squad from which to choose.

Last season: Man Utd 2 Crystal Palace 0, Crystal Palace 0 Man Utd 0
Last five league matches: Man Utd D D L L D; Crystal Palace W L L L W
Top scorers: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man Utd) 28; Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) 17
Match odds: 23-20 A 9-4 D 5-2
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Southampton (8) v Stoke (14)

Forward Shane Long will miss Southampton’s final match of the season with a broken metatarsal. Cedric Soares, who was substituted in the goalless draw against Manchester United on Wednesday, and Ryan Bertrand are both doubts.  Charlie Austin is pushing for his first start since December. Marko Arnautovic looks set to miss the match for Stoke after being substituted against Arsenal last weekend following a shoulder charge from Rob Holding, which earned the Gunners defender a yellow card, and he has subsequently had a plaster cast fitted around his elbow. Ibrahim Afellay (knee) and Stephen Ireland (broken leg) are long-term absentees for the Potters.

Last season: Stoke 1 Southampton 2, Southampton 0 Stoke 1

Last five league matches: Southampton D D L W D; Stoke W L D D L
Top scorers: Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton) 10; Peter Crouch (Stoke) 9
Match odds: H 3-4 A 10-3 D 11-4
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

Swansea (17) v West Brom (9)

Wayne Routledge and Angel Rangel both return. Routledge has been sidelined for six weeks with a hernia problem, while Rangel has not played since breaking a bone in his foot in early March. Record signing Borja Baston (knee) is set to miss out with head coach Paul Clement promising to select the strongest side possible after Swansea secured their top-flight status last weekend. Gareth McAuley is a doubt after missed Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester City with a knee problem. Winger Matt Phillips continues to be sidelined for Albion having missed the last four games with a hamstring injury, while Hal Robson-Kanu is pushing to start after coming off the bench to score at the Etihad Stadium.

Last season: West Brom 1 Swansea 1, Swansea 1 West Brom 0
Last five league matches: Swansea L W D W W; West Brom L L D L L
Top scorers: Fernando Llorente (Swansea) 14; Jose Salomon Rondon (West Brom) 8
Match odds: H 1-1 A 14-5 D 23-10
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

Watford (16) v Man City (3)

Watford captain Troy Deeney is likely to miss Walter Mazzarri’s final game in charge . Deeney is a doubt for the match at Vicarage Road with a hip injury and Adrian Mariappa could also sit out after picking up a knock in training. Mariappa’s absence could leave Mazzarri short in defence. Sebastian Prodl is suspended while Younes Kaboul (hamstring), Craig Cathcart (knee), Christian Kabasele (hamstring) and Miguel Britos (calf) are all struggling for fitness. Defender John Stones could return to the Manchester City starting line-up. The England centre-back returned as a late substitute in the midweek Premier League win over West Brom after six games out with a groin injury. Midfielders Fabian Delph (leg) and Ilkay Gundogan (knee), and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo (calf) are out while right-back Pablo Zabaleta makes his final appearance for the club. There is also uncertainty over the futures of Yaya Toure, Jesus Navas, Willy Caballero, Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy, who are all out of contract this summer.

Last season: Watford 1 Man City 2, Man City 2 Watford 0
Last five league matches: Watford L L L L L; Man City D D W W W
Top scorers: Troy Deeney (Watford) 10; Sergio Aguero (Man City) 31
Match odds: H 8-1 A 4-11 D 7-2
Referee: Jonathan Moss (County Durham)

Mourinho and Guardiola on Manchester derby

Mourinho and Guardiola on Manchester derby

Mourinho and Guardiola on Manchester derby

Mourinho and Guardiola on Manchester derby

Mourinho and Guardiola on Manchester derby

Mourinho and Guardiola on Manchester derby

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho insists he "won't cry" if his team concede a goal in th...

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho insists he "won't cry" if his team concede a goal in the derby, while Pep Guardiola...

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho insists he "won't cry" if his team concede a goal in the ...

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho insists he "won't cry" if his team concede a goal in the derby, while Pep Guardiola says Manchester City will use the game to "try new things and regain form".

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho insists he "won't cry" if his team concede a goal in the derby, while Pep Guardiola says Manchester City will use the game to "try new things and regain form".

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho insists he "won't cry" if his team concede a goal in the derby, while Pep Guardiola says Manchester City will use the game to "try new things and regain form".

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