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Premier League Matchday 34: Five sides fighting for the fourth Champions League qualifying spot

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Following exciting European action in midweek, the Premier League returns to business with a set of ten fixtures scheduled for Matchday 34.

While Manchester City are a step away from lifting their third league title in four years, there is a glut of sides still battling it out for lucrative Champions League spots. If you are betting on the Premier League, use your 1xbet code for 2021 – the fourth Champions League spot is the one to with the most excitement and opportunities for upsetting the odds.

West Ham, Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham represent a four-horse chasing pack determined to overthrow fourth-placed Chelsea and secure a place in next season’s Champions League group stage.

As for the relegation battle, Fulham and West Brom seem likely to join Sheffield United in an unpleasant voyage back to the Championship.

Southampton – Leicester City

Premier League Matchday 34 gets underway on Friday as out-of-sorts Southampton entertain Leicester City at St Mary’s Stadium.

Since the turn of the year, no team has picked up fewer Premier League points than the Saints (ten), with Ralph Hassenhutl’s men winning just 18.75% of their league games in 2021 (W3, D1, L12).

Meanwhile, the Foxes have gone from back-to-back league losses to two straight triumphs and are inches away from securing a top-four finish for the first time since winning the title in 2015/16.

Crystal Palace – Manchester City

Saturday’s Premier League action kick-starts at Selhurst Park, where Crystal Palace meet Pep Guardiola’s title-elect Manchester City.

The Cityzens are overwhelming favourites to claim all three points, having won 13 of their last 17 top-flight meetings with Palace (D2, L2), registering a shutout ten times in the process.

Since a 2-1 defeat in April 2015, City have gone unbeaten in five league trips to South London (W4, D1), keeping a clean sheet in three of them, including the last one.

Brighton – Leeds United

Winless in four Premier League matches on the trot (D2, L2), Brighton & Hove Albion will be desperate to beat Leeds United at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

The Whites have lost each of their last four league visits to the Amex Stadium without scoring and could set an unwanted club record if they replicate such a feat now.

While Brighton played out more Premier League stalemates (13) than any other side this season, Leeds remain the only team yet to draw a league game away from home (W8, L8).

Chelsea – Fulham

Chelsea and Fulham go head-to-head at Stamford Bridge in an all-London Premier League match-up, with both sides in desperate need of all three points.

Following a hard-fought 1-0 win at West Ham last weekend, Thomas Tuchel’s men hold a three-point lead on closest top-four challenges and cannot afford any slip-up against relegation-threatened Fulham.

Hovering seven points adrift of safety, the Cottagers are keen to put the brakes on a disastrous 23-game winless run in the Premier League London derbies (D5, L18).

Everton – Aston Villa

Everton will be looking to extend an eight-game unbeaten Premier League streak against Aston Villa at Goodison Park (W3, D5) when the two sides lock horns on Saturday.

Carlo Ancelotti’s players have sealed just a single victory in nine home league fixtures since the calendar flipped to 2021 (D3, L5), while Dean Smith’s side failed to win four of their last five Premier League games on the road (D2, L2).

Despite both sides’ recent form woes, the high-scoring theme is well on the cards, given that five of their last seven top-flight meetings have featured 3+ total goals.

Newcastle United – Arsenal

Unbeaten in their last four Premier League outings (W2, L2), Newcastle United have the misfortune to be facing Arsenal at Stames’ Park this weekend.

The Magpies have lost 15 of their last 16 league encounters with the London rivals, with a 2-1 triumph in April 2018 the solitary exception in this disastrous run.

In terms of relegation, Steve Bruce’s men are safe and sound despite blowing hot and cold this season, while Mikel Arteta’s side must pick up all three points to preserve their faint hopes of breaking into the top-seven.

Manchester United – Liverpool

Arguably the most highly anticipated fixture on the Premier League football schedule pits Manchester United against Liverpool on Sunday.

Despite enjoying a stunning 13-game unbeaten league run (W7, D6) and exquisite Old Trafford comforts, United have failed to beat arch-rivals in eight of their last nine top-flight H2Hs (D6, L2).

The Red Devils have only lost once in their last 15 clashes against the Merseyside outfit in all competitions (W10, D4), having gone unbeaten in eight on the bounce since a 3-0 loss in March 2014.

Tottenham Hotspur – Sheffield United

The encounter between Tottenham and already doomed Sheffield United is a definition of a must-win game as the Spurs look to close a five-point gap on fourth-placed Chelsea.

Ryan Mason’s interim charge of the Londoners began with a 2-1 comeback victory over Southampton at this venue, which ended a run of three Premier League games without a win (D2, L1).

The Blades, meanwhile, face a risk of completing the 2020/21 season as the only English side not to smash a ten-goal barrier away from home (seven goals scored on the road).

West Bromwich Albion – Wolverhampton Wanderers

There is barely a glimmer of hope for West Brom that they can avoid relegation, but they can rely on their imperious home form against Wolves to at least win some points here.

Going back to August 1997, WBA have not lost any of their nine league matches versus this opposition at The Hawthorns (W5, D4), keeping a blank sheet on six occasions.

The Baggies have won their last three league meetings with Wolves, last having a longer winning streak against their Midlands adversaries between 1929/1932.

Burnley – West Ham United

West Ham are enjoying a fairytale Premier League campaign and are only three points below the last Champions League qualifying spot, with five games to go.

Victory is a must for David Moyes’ team if they are to reach Europe’s elite club competition for the first time in the club’s history.

However, standing in the Hammers’ way is a Burnley side they have lost to in three of their last four Premier League clashes (W1), failing to find the net in each defeat.

The post Premier League Matchday 34: Five sides fighting for the fourth Champions League qualifying spot appeared first on FootballOrgin.

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