Premier League preview
Super Sunday provides a triple bill of Premier League action featuring massive games for Liverpool, Arsenal and Everton.
Last Updated: 19/04/14 10:05pm
Super Sunday provides a triple bill of Premier League action featuring massive games for Liverpool, Arsenal and Everton, after six matches on Saturday which will help to shape the title race and battle to avoid relegation.
Liverpool are currently two points clear at the top ahead of the latest round of fixtures and will be looking to make it 11 wins in a row when they travel to Norwich City, but Chelsea remain hot on their heels as they prepare to face bottom club Sunderland.
Arsenal visit Hull City in a preview of next month's FA Cup final and Everton host Manchester United on what could be a pivotal weekend in the fight for fourth, while the scrap for survival is also entering its decisive final phase.
Fulham can climb out of the bottom three, at least temporarily, by beating Tottenham Hotspur, while Cardiff City can boost their chances with a win at home to Stoke City.
Elsewhere, Aston Villa will be hoping to put a difficult week behind them against Southampton, Newcastle United take on Swansea City and West Ham United meet Crystal Palace.
Seven-and-a-half hours of live Super Sunday coverage on Sky Sports 1HD kicks off with Liverpool's clash away to Norwich, as Neil Adams' baptism of fire continues. Appointed in place of Chris Hughton for the final five games of the season, Adams' reign began with a 1-0 loss to fellow strugglers Fulham which left Norwich just two points clear of the drop zone, and their remaining matches after this weekend are against Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. Liverpool are not the side they would choose to face at this point, especially Luis Suarez, who has scored 11 goals in his last four appearances against the Canaries. Brendan Rodgers' Reds are four wins away from becoming champions for the first time since 1990 and have already claimed ten victories in a row after holding off Manchester City in a 3-2 thriller at Anfield. In a week in which football marked the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, captain Steven Gerrard was tearful as he gathered his team-mates in a huddle after the City success and told them to 'go again' against Norwich.
Hull City and Arsenal will meet again in the FA Cup final in May but on Sunday it will be Premier League points up for grabs rather than a trophy. It has been a good week so far for the Gunners in the competition for fourth, after they beat West Ham United 3-1 and Everton slipped up against Crystal Palace. Arsene Wenger's side are now back in front of their rivals by one point and know they will clinch UEFA Champions League qualification for a 17th straight year if they win their remaining games. Hull will be seeking a psychological edge ahead of their return to Wembley, having overcome Sheffield United 5-3 in the semi-finals.
Everton are now in the position of needing other results to go their way and their final four games also appear tougher than those awaiting Arsenal. Roberto Martinez's men surrendered their advantage when they lost 3-2 at home to Crystal Palace on Wednesday, which ended a magnificent run of seven straight wins. They will try to get back on track on Sunday and complete a double against Manchester United, who have not played since being knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich and must now focus on overhauling Tottenham to secure sixth spot.
Saturday Night Football on Sky Sports 1HD features Chelsea's game against Sunderland, giving the Blues a chance to dislodge Liverpool from the top of the table for one night at least. Jose Mourinho's side start the weekend a couple of points behind the leaders but will be full of confidence after making it through to the Champions League semi-finals and defeating Swansea City 1-0 last time out. They will now be trying to build further momentum ahead of a crunch period when they will play Atletico Madrid over two legs in Europe, either side of a league trip to Anfield. Sunderland, meanwhile, look doomed to relegation despite avoiding a sixth straight defeat against Manchester City in midweek. Vito Mannone's failure to keep out a late Samir Nasri strike denied the Black Cats a precious victory and kept them six points from safety with just five matches now to go.
Fulham were another side being written off in some quarters just a couple of weeks ago, but back-to-back wins over Aston Villa and Norwich have restored belief that a great escape is possible. They are now just two points adrift of the Canaries and their run-in appears kinder, but Saturday's early match against London rivals Tottenham will be a tough challenge. A top-four spot may realistically be out of reach for Spurs, who are currently sixth, but a strong finish to the season is important amid ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future of boss Tim Sherwood.
Cardiff are the third side in the relegation zone but their survival hopes have been lifted after a 1-0 triumph away to Southampton last weekend put them within striking distance of 17th-placed Norwich. Bluebirds boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had previously declared that his men needed a 'miracle' to stay up but they will move level on points with Norwich, at least temporarily, if they can beat a Stoke team in decent form. The Potters are looking good for a top-half finish and could climb even higher after seeing off Newcastle 1-0 to move within three points of the Magpies in ninth.
The loss to Stoke was a fourth consecutive defeat for Newcastle and Alan Pardew has admitted that their recent poor form has taken the gloss of what had been an encouraging campaign. Pardew will now be desperate to give the St James' Park faithful something to cheer against Swansea, who still have a lot of work to do to retain their top-flight status. The Welsh side have struggled for consistency all season and are just three points above the drop zone in 15th after being beaten by Chelsea.
Aston Villa are another side still glancing over their shoulder, having suffered four defeats in a row to slide to within four points of the bottom three. Assistant manager Ian Culverhouse and head of football operations Gary Karsa have been suspended pending an internal investigation and boss Paul Lambert is under pressure to arrest the slump against Southampton. Mauricio Pochettino's Saints were left to rue a host of missed chances after losing to Cardiff last weekend and will not want an impressive season to fizzle out and end on a disappointing note.
Upton Park provides the setting for a game which looked like being a relegation 'six-pointer' at one stage, but both West Ham and Crystal Palace now occupy positions of relative comfort in mid-table. The Hammers have lost their last two games but are still seven points clear of trouble, while Palace have hit the 40-point mark after continuing their remarkable run under Tony Pulis with a stunning victory over Everton to notch their fourth win in a row.
The weekend's action concludes with a huge game on Monday Night Football, live on Sky Sports 1HD, as Manchester City bid to bounce back from a defeat by Liverpool and draw with Sunderland which appear to have derailed their title charge. City now have just one game in hand on their fellow challengers and are six points adrift of leaders Liverpool. West Bromwich Albion are the latest visitors to the Etihad Stadium and are just three points clear of the relegation trapdoor after being pegged back to 3-3 by Spurs last time out.