Premier League: Eagles double would leave United in the red

Manchester United will be looking for all three points to keep their Champions League hopes alive when they travel to Selhurst Park, but it was Palace who took the spoils at Old Trafford back in August.

Matthew Crist

Two of the teams battling it out for top four places are in action on Thursday night as Manchester United look to get back to winning ways against a Crystal Palace side who beat them at Old Trafford in August.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be aware that any slip against an Eagles side who have lost their last five Premier League games could see them fall further behind Leicester City, who face a tough trip to Bramall Lane to face a resurgent Sheffield United.

At the bottom of the table, Aston Villa face an uphill battle as they look to avoid the drop and will have to end Everton‘s 10-game unbeaten home run if they are to stay in the Premier League next season.

There’s little to play for in the South Coast derby with Brighton all but safe, though all eyes will be on a Southampton outfit who taken eight points from their last 12, including an impressive 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on Monday night.

Crystal Palace v Man Utd: 20:15

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United will continue their pursuit of a top-four finish when they travel to the capital to take on Crystal Palace on Thursday night knowing that anything other than a win could spell the end for their Champions League hopes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side suffered a huge disappointment on Monday night when a late Southampton goal robbed them of the three-points that looked to be taking them back into the top-four places.

Stuart Armstrong rocked the hosts before Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial turned the game on its head, but substitute Michael Obafemi scrambled in a late equaliser to put an end to United’s winning run.

Roy Hodgson

The point means that the Red Devils missed the chance to capitalise on Leicester City and Chelsea dropping points remain in fifth courtesy of Leicester’s superior goal difference.

The Eagles are mathematically safe but are ending the season on a sour note, and Palace have now dropped to 14th in the table following a poor run over the past few weeks.

Roy Hodgson’s men are now one of only two Premier League sides to have lost their last five games – the other being already-relegated Norwich City- with games against Wolves and Tottenham to come after this.

But the home side will be encouraged by their performance at Old Trafford earlier in the campaign when they came away with all three points in a 2-1 victory, with Patrick van Aanholt netting an injury-time winner for the Eagles.

Everton v Aston Villa: 18:00

Goodison Park

Aston Villa head to Everton on Thursday knowing that if they are to realistically avoid relegation from the Premier League then they must pick up all three points.

Dean Smith’s men beat Crystal Palace on Sunday to remain within four points of safety with three games to go and after ending a 10-game wait for a win, they must now make it back-to-back wins for the first time since October to remain on course for a great escape.

Everton are winless in three matches and are now 10 points off sixth-placed Wolves, meaning that Europa League qualification is out of the question.

Carlo Ancelotti will at least take solace from his side’s home form, with Everton unbeaten at Goodison Park in the league since the end of November, a 10-game unbeaten home streak that is their best since December 2016 while Villa have lost each of their last three meetings on this ground.

Leicester v Sheffield United 18:00

Leicester are hanging onto a top-four spot after winning just one of their six matches since the restart, an alarming slump which would have seen them slip out of the top-four places for the first time since September but for Southampton’s last gasp equalizer at Old Trafford on Monday night.

With games against Sheff Utd, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United to conclude the campaign, Leicester ultimately have their fate in their own hands though a trip to Bramall Lane is far from a formality.

Chris Wilder’s side have recovered from a post-lockdown slump that saw them lose two and draw one of their first three matches back by taking 10 points from the last 12 including a 3-0 win over Chelsea on Saturday.

The Blades are one point behind Wolves in the final Europa League spot and have Everton and Southampton still to come, so with Leicester only five points better off, even a place in the Champions League cannot be ruled out.

Southampton v Brighton: 20:15

Graham Potter Brighton

The Saints managed to end Manchester United’s winning run to salvage a point in a four-goal thriller at Old Trafford on Monday night, a result means that Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have now taken eight points from their last 12 on offer.

Since the resumption of the top-flight, Southampton have only suffered one defeat from six and Hasenhuttl’s side can rest easy knowing that they have secured yet another season of Premier League football having looked nailed on for relegation following a 9-0 home defeat to Leicester earlier in the season.

Despite defeats in three of their last four Premier League outings, including a 5-0 drubbing in their last outing, Graham Potter’s men should have done enough to ensure Premier League survival.

Even so, Brighton will be determined to pick up as many points as possible in their remaining fixtures with Newcastle and Burnley still to come and will be wary that their last victory of the Saints was back in the Championship with Southampton victorious in the last couple of meetings between these two.

Thursday’s Premier League Fixtures

Crystal Palace v Manchester United
Everton v Aston Villa
Sheffield United v Leicester 
Southampton v Brighton


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