Premier League – 4 July Preview

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With the Premier League title race decided, and Manchester City almost guaranteed to finish as runners-up, our focus turns to the battle to secure the two remaining places in the top four, which is getting tighter by each game.

Going into Saturday’s important fixtures, just three points separate Leicester City in third place and Wolves in sixth place, with Chelsea and Manchester United sitting between the two Midlands clubs. All have hopes of Champions League football next season, but who will miss out?

Leicester City v Crystal Palace  

Leicester City’s 2-1 defeat at Everton in midweek means they have failed to win any of their three league games since returning from lockdown, and they were also knocked out of the FA Cup last weekend. Having sat reasonably comfortably in third place in the PL, the Foxes are now in real danger of dropping out of the top four.

They welcome mid-table Crystal Palace to the King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon and will be desperate to enjoy that winning feeling again.

When the sides met earlier in the season, Leicester won 2-0 at Selhurst Park thanks to goals from Caglar Soyuncu and Jamie Vardy, but in the last two meetings between the clubs at the King Power, Palace have run out comfortable winners, 4-1 and 3-0.

Manchester United v Bournemouth

Manchester United recorded their second straight 3-0 win when beating Brighton at the Amex Stadium in midweek and will be in confident mood of inflicting a similar scoreline upon struggling Bournemouth when the Cherries visit Old Trafford on Saturday.

United sit fifth but just two points behind fourth placed Chelsea after an impressive return to action, which has also seen them beat Sheffield United 3-0 and draw 1-1 at Spurs, as well as progressing to the FA Cup semi-finals.

A fourth straight defeat for Bournemouth, including a 4-1 hammering at home against Newcastle in midweek, has seen them drop into the bottom three and they are now in serious danger of being relegated.

When the sides met at Old Trafford last season, United ran out 4-1 winners and have never been beaten at home by the Cherries in the Premier League. However, Bournemouth beat United earlier this season at the Vitality Stadium, Joshua King grabbing the only goal of the game.

Wolves v Arsenal

Wolves have won all three PL games since their return from lockdown, but all against three struggling sides in West Ham, Bournemouth and Aston Villa. However, they are still yet to concede a goal and have moved to within three points of third placed Leicester.

The visit of Arsenal to Molyneux on Saturday will be a sterner test of their potential Champions League credentials, especially as two wins in a row has seen the Gunners move to within one place of Wolves.

When the sides met at the Emirates Stadium in November, they played out a 1-1 draw with goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the hosts and Raul Jiminez for the visitors. In their last meeting at Molyneux, Wolves were comfortable 3-1 winners, but the Gunners had won on their previous five visits.

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