West Ham could take a giant leap towards Premier League survival on Wednesday when they welcome Burnley to the London Stadium who might still have one eye on European qualification.
Two of the surprise packages of the season meet at Bramall Lane as Sheffield United look to make it two defeats in a row for Wolves who went down against Arsenal having enjoyed three-successive league wins.
The final match of the night sees Champions Liverpool head to the South Coast to face Brighton knowing that victory over an all but safe Seagulls will see them move closer to an all-time record points haul in the Premier League.
Manchester City v Newcastle: 18:00
The Magpies head to the Etihad Stadium on the back of a six-match unbeaten run which has ensured that Steve Bruce and his side will not face a relegation battle during the closing weeks of the season.
However, this fixture comes just 10 days after City outclassed Newcastle in the FA Cup, and though the final result was 2-0, it could have been much worse; something that Bruce will no doubt be well aware of.
Even so, 12 points from six matches in the Premier League will no doubt give his squad plenty of confidence heading into one of their toughest fixtures of the campaign.
Especially considering that, despite an eight-point cushion over Leicester City, Pep Guardiola’s side have lost three of their last six matches in the Premier League.
And despite each of those setbacks coming away from home, the Spaniard will naturally be concerned that his team are not living up to his high expectations on a regular basis – especially as they still have their sights set on an FA Cup and Champions League double.
Sheffield United v Wolves: 18:00
Following their 1-1 draw at Burnley on Sunday, Sheffield United sit four points adrift of Wolves with five matches remaining as both sides look to secure European football next season.
The Blades have taken some time to find their rhythm since the resumption, though four points from games against Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley have somewhat steadied the ship.
Although Champions League football is now arguably out of the equation, they know that victory at Bramall Lane on Wednesday evening will move them to within one point of their next opponents.
As for Wolves, they were being tipped as genuine contenders to qualify for next season’s Champions League having recorded three successive wins in the top flight, but that was before a disappointing home defeat to Arsenal at the weekend.
That loss ended their eight-match unbeaten streak in the Premier League, but the fact that Wolves have scored just five goals in their last six matches in all competitions will be of more concern to Nuno Espirito Santo.
West Ham v Burnley: 18:00
West Ham United welcome Burnley to the London Stadium on Wednesday knowing that victory would see them take a huge step towards Premier League survival after a decent couple of recent results.
The Hammers have put together a two-match unbeaten streak in the Premier League, with a win over Chelsea and a draw away at Newcastle moving David Moyes’ move clear of the relegation zone.
West Ham now sit four points clear of the relegation zone with five matches remaining, a scenario which previously seemed unlikely after a run of three straight defeats.
Meanwhile, Burnley make the trip to the capital also in reasonable form having registered seven points from their last three outings and since their 5-0 defeat away at Manchester City, have recorded back-to-back victories against Crystal Palace and Watford, followed by a hard-fought draw with Sheffield United.
As a result, the run has left the Clarets just six points adrift of sixth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers at a time when the teams above them in the standings have fixtures against each other.
Brighton v Liverpool: 20:15
Liverpool may have already been crowned champions, but now have their sights set on accumulating the most points, wins and biggest winning margin in English top-flight history as they head to the Amex Stadium to face Brighton.
Klopp’s men have already secured the title with an unprecedented seven games to spare, and now they need four more wins to secure both the most points and most victories in a single season.
However, their recent away form makes somewhat alarming reading with the Reds losing four and winning none of their last five away games across all competitions, and even more remarkably have failed to even score in any of those five games with their last road victory coming at Norwich on February 15.
This will no doubt give hope to Brighton, who are not mathematically safe from relegation themselves, though it’s worth remembering that, despite their poor run, Liverpool have still amassed 10 more points away from home than any other team this season.
But the pressure has been significantly eased on Graham Potter’s men thanks to the fact they have amassed seven-points from a possible 12 since lockdown, most recently nudging Norwich City closer to relegation with a 1-0 triumph at Carrow Road on Saturday.
Wednesday’s Premier League Fixtures
Leave a comment
Follow Matthewjcrist on Twitter