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Manchester City can take a step closer to winning the Premier League title on Saturday, provided they win at Everton. Meanwhile, Chelsea host Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on Sunday in a match set to have huge implications for the race to finish fourth and qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League.
The week’s fixtures will begin with relegation-threatened Crystal Palace trying to stop Mohamed Salah continuing his epic scoring run for Liverpool.
Here are the full fixtures for Week 32, along with picks:
Saturday, March 31
- Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool, 12:30 p.m. BST/7:30 a.m. ET: Draw
- Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Leicester City, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET: Leicester
- Manchester United vs. Swansea City, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET: United
- Newcastle United vs. Huddersfield Town, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET: Newcastle
- Watford vs. Bournemouth, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET: Draw
- West Bromwich Albion vs. Burnley, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET: Draw
- West Ham United vs. Southampton, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET: Draw
- Everton vs. Manchester City, 5:30 p.m. BST/12:30 ET: City
Sunday, April 1
- Arsenal vs. Stoke City, 1:30 p.m. BST/8:30 a.m. ET: Arsenal
- Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET: Chelsea
Kevin De Bruyne
City’s seemingly inevitable saunter to the title has been made easier by the news Everton midfield enforcer Idrissa Gueye has been ruled out with a muscle problem, per Goal’s Taiye Taiwo.
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse confirmed Gueye’s injury, meaning Everton will be without the man who could make life uncomfortable for City’s key playmakers. Among them, Kevin De Bruyne should thrive with extra freedom at Goodison Park.
Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images
The Belgium international has been terrific this season, helping himself to seven goals and 14 assists in the league, and playing arguably the best football of his career. He’s the natural choice for the Player of the Year award, according to Robbie Savage, writing for the Daily Mirror.
With De Bruyne free to exploit space and create chances, expect City to come away from a tough venue with all three points.
Chelsea have been increasingly reliant on star turns from individuals recently, with the team ethic so prevalent when they won the title last season deserting the struggling Blues.
Even so, Willian‘s form gives hope manager Antonio Conte’s side can still qualify for the Champions League. The Brazil international has been exceptional lately, both creatively and in front of goal.
He proved to be the catalyst for Chelsea’s 2-1 home win over Crystal Palace last time out, per Squawka Football:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Willian’s game by numbers vs. Crystal Palace: 78 touches 44 (83%) passes completed 8 take-ons completed 6 shots 4 shots on target 2 chances created 1 goal Another fine performance. https://t.co/09hT989rgm
Aside from his goals, Willian’s ability to combine with fellow winger Eden Hazard, along with centre-forwards Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud, is vital for the way Chelsea attack.
The Blues will need a healthy dose of flair and vision to break down a well-drilled Tottenham defence. Spurs will be missing injured star striker Harry Kane and will try to keep things tight, but Willian’s magic can prove decisive.
Just how do you stop Salah? It’s a question likely weighing heavy on the mind of Palace boss Roy Hodgson, who must find an answer for Liverpool’s attacking talisman.
Coping with Salah’s incredible pace is always a challenge, but Eagles left-back Patrick van Aanholt is one of the few quick enough to make a credible attempt. What the Netherlands international will need is support, preferably from midfield.
It would help if winger Andros Townsend doubled up on Salah. Even then, though, Palace will struggle to subdue a player with 28 league goals to his credit.
Rui Vieira/Associated Press
The Egypt international is scoring for fun, but he is also benefiting from the many chances Liverpool create. The 25-year-old “has missed more big chances than any other player in the Premier League this season according to official Premier League data,” per Michael Potts of the Daily Express.
Given the ample support he receives from fellow forwards Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, expect Salah to score again against a Palace side desperate for points.
Other fixtures include a proverbial relegation six-pointer between Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town on Saturday. Meanwhile, Manchester United will hope to keep the title race going for another week by beating Swansea City at Old Trafford.