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Manchester City closing in on crowning glory

Manchester City will be keen to lift the Premier League trophy for the seventh time at the earliest opportunity at the weekend (Photograph by Rui Vieira/AP)

The coveted Premier League trophy could officially take up new residence at the weekend.

Runaway leaders Manchester City can clinch their seventh Premier League title and move level with Aston Villa on the all-time list of winners in the English top flight.

Pep Guardiola’s team can seal the deal with victory away to Crystal Palace tomorrow coupled by city rivals Manchester United losing at home to champions Liverpool on Sunday.

City go into the weekend ten points clear at the top over nearest rivals Manchester United and will be keen to clinch what would be their fifth league title in a decade at the earliest opportunity.

Today

Southampton v Leicester City

4pm

Leicester City will be keen to inch closer to securing their spot in next season’s Champions League and extend their unbeaten league run to three games at struggling Southampton. The Foxes are fresh off a battling 2-1 come-from-behind win at home to Crystal Palace in their previous league outing on Monday and should continue their winning ways against a Southampton side who have lost their past three games in all competitions.

Prediction: 0-2

Tomorrow

Crystal Palace v Manchester City

8.30am

Selhurst Park has proven to be pristine hunting ground for leaders Manchester City who will be looking to hold their end of the bargain in their bid to secure the league title this weekend. City have gone unbeaten in their past five visits to Palace stretching back to the 2014-15 campaign, and on form should again come out on top. The visitors must win and then await the outcome of the fixture between Manchester United and champions Liverpool 24 hours later to determine whether they secure the title with four games to spare. City cruised to a 4-0 win over Palace when the sides met at the Etihad in January. Pep Guardiola’s team are fresh off a battling 2-1 triumph over Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final in midweek. City's hopes of becoming the first team to win the quadruple of Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup were ended when they lost to Chelsea in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. However, they already have one trophy under their belt, having beaten Tottenham 1-0 in the Carabao Cup final.

Prediction: 0-3

Brighton & Hove Albion v Leeds United

11am

Leeds United will be keen to extend their solid run of form away to Brighton & Hove Albion. The visitors have taken five points from their past three league games against Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United, and have gone unbeaten in England's top flight since the start of March. The impressive run of results has seen Marcelo Bielsa’s side move into ninth position in the table, one point clear of Arsenal on the same number of matches. On the flip side of the coin, hosts Brighton will be keen to ease any lingering relegation fears at the Amex. The Seagulls are seventeenth in the standings, seven points above Fulham.

Prediction: 1-1

Chelsea v Fulham

1.30pm

Chelsea will host relegation-threatened Fulham at Stamford Bridge in what will be home side’s second straight London derby, having prevailed 1-0 away to West Ham in their previous league outing a week ago. The hosts are aiming to cement their position in the top four and head into the fixture on the back of a 1-1 draw away to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final. Fulham are also playing in their second straight London derby having conceded late in a 1-1 draw away to Arsenal in their previous league outing at the Emirates. Scott Parker’s team snapped a four-game losing run with the draw with the Gunners, but their hopes of a great escape are looking more improbable by the week as the yare seven points adrift of safety with five games left to play.

Prediction: 2-0

Everton v Aston Villa

4pm

Everton will go in search of a second successive league win when they host an inconsistent Aston Villa. The Toffees, who beat Arsenal last time out, are eighth in the standings while Villa occupy eleventh position. Everton have had their problems this season, but there is no question that they are firmly in the race for the top four, with just six points separating them from fourth-placed Chelsea, with a game in hand. Villa were held to a 2-2 draw at home to relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion in their previous league outing, which all but ended the visitors’ hopes of staying in the division.

Prediction: 1-0

Sunday

Newcastle United v Arsenal

10am

Newcastle United will be looking to continue their excellent recent run of results when they welcome Arsenal to St James’ Park. The home side have eased their relegation worries over recent weeks, as they have moved nine points clear of the drop zone. Newcastle come into this fixture after drawing at Anfield last weekend against Liverpool, while they have been beaten on just one occasion in their past six Premier League fixtures. However, their recent record against Arsenal is poor, having lost their last six against the Gunners, including a 3-0 defeat at the Emirates in January.

Prediction: 0-2

Manchester United v Liverpool

12.30pm

Manchester United will be keen to complete the league double over champions Liverpool and put city neighbours Manchester City’s league title clinching celebrations on hold at Old Trafford. United prevailed 3-2 in the previous encounter between the old foes in January. The home side have all but secured their spot in next season’s Champions League while Jürgen Klopp’s team are aiming to keep their fleeting hopes of joining them with a top-four Premier League finish alive. Liverpool have now fallen four points behind Chelsea in the race for Europe, and with only five games of the season remaining.

Prediction: 1-1

Tottenham Hotspur v Sheffield United

3.15pm

Tottenham host relegated Sheffield United as they battle to keep alive their own lingering hopes of Champions League qualification. Spurs simply cannot afford any further slip-ups, and even then a top-four finish is out of their hands. However, their run-in looks kind, starting with the already relegated Blades. With Liverpool at Manchester United and West Ham travelling to a re-energised Burnley, Spurs could gain points on their rivals come the end of Monday.

Prediction: 3-0

Monday

West Bromwich Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers

2pm

West Bromwich host Wolves on the brink of the drop. Second-bottom Albion are nine points from safety with five games left. Defeat by Wolves would not confirm relegation for the Baggies, but they are running out of time of time to save themselves.

Prediction: 1-2

Burnley v West Ham United

4.15pm

Visiting West Ham will hope to revitalise their stalling push for Champions League qualification when they travel to Burnley. The Hammers sit fifth and three points behind Chelsea in fourth. Burnley are coming in high on confidence after their thumping 4-0 win against Wolves that ended a run of three successive losses while moving up to fourteenth, nine points clear of the relegation zone.

Prediction: 1-1

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Published April 30, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated April 29, 2021 at 11:05 pm)

Manchester City closing in on crowning glory

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