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Premier League - Football: Thursday Preview

18 May 2022 08:01:45 EST
James Tarkowski remains a fitness doubt for Burnley

There are three more Premier League fixtures to look forward to on Thursday evening as the fight to stay in the division takes centre stage.

Everton face Crystal Palace in Thursday's opening contest at 19:45, a match the Toffees need to win if they want to secure safety before the final round of fixtures on Sunday.

Everton are 1.85 to win, the draw is 3.50, and Palace are priced at 4.33 to grab all three points.

Aston Villa then host another relegation candidate in Burnley, with Steven Gerrard's men 1.95 to win on home soil. The draw is available at 3.50, while Burnley can boost their survival hopes with a win at 3.80.

Chelsea and Leicester will go head-to-head at Stamford Bridge, and Thomas Tuchel's troops are well fancied at 1.40, while the draw is 4.75. Leicester will hope to finish the campaign on a high after a tough few months, and they are 8.00 to win in West London.

Premier League relegation battle

PositionTeamPlayedPoints
16Everton3636
17Leeds3735
18Burnley3634
19Watford3723
20Norwich3722

Is time running out for Everton?

Everton remain in the driving seat to survive out of the three remaining teams in the relegation scrap.

Frank Lampard's side are two points above 18th-placed Burnley, while Thursday's contest will be their game in hand over 17th-placed Leeds United.

Everton know a win will guarantee their safety for next seaso, but they have already started to show signs of nerves in the past few weeks.

After a three-match unbeaten run improved their chances of survival, the Toffees were then brought back down to earth at the weekend when they lost 3-2 to Brentford.

Everton have now fluffed their lines in their last two games, with their draw versus already-relegated Watford also coming as a surprise.

Lampard's men fell apart against the Bees, with both Jarrad Branthwaite and Salomon Rondon seeing red as they twice surrendered the lead.

With Nathan Patterson, Andros Townsend, Fabian Delph and Yerry Mina all injured, Lampard will hope Michael Keane can return following illness as Everton try to avoid losing three games on the spin to Palace.

The Eagles, who are unbeaten in four under Patrick Vieira, have already seen off Everton in both the league and FA Cup this season, and they appear to be finishing the campaign on a high.

Palace have kept five clean sheets in their previous ten matches, and they are 6.50 to win to nil on Thursday.

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Villa hoping for repeat success

Aston Villa will face Burnley for the second time in 12 days on Thursday, and a win would improve the host’s slim chances of finishing in the top ten.

Villa have only lost one of their previous five league matches, and that defeat came at the hands of title-challengers Liverpool.

Gerrard's troops beat Burnley 3-1 at the start of the month, and they are hoping to complete their first league double over the Clarets since the 1925-26 campaign.

Villa are 1.61 to score first, and that looks a shrewd bet, with Gerrard's side netting the opening goal in each of their last four Premier League matches.

Ezri Konsa is a doubt, while Kortney Hause and Leon Bailey are due to watch on from the sidelines due to injury.

Burnley pair Ben Mee and James Tarkowski are still doubts ahead of kick-off as Burnley look to turn up the pressure on Leeds.

The Clarets have lost two games on the spin, but a draw would be enough for them to climb above Leeds on goal difference and out of the relegation zone.

Time for Chelsea to cement their place

Chelsea can seal a third-place finish in the Premier League on Thursday when they welcome Leicester to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues were unlucky once again at Wembley on Saturday, this time losing the FA Cup final to Liverpool, who also beat them in the EFL Cup final back in February.

Tuchel's squad have now won just one of their previous five matches in all competitions, but they should still feel they have what it takes to overcome Leicester.

The Foxes seem to have rediscovered some confidence of late, having beaten both Norwich City and Watford, who will both be dropping down to the Championship next season.

However, Brendan Rodgers's side have struggled when they have stepped up in class, and they went seven games without a win before their victories over the Canaries and Hornets.

Leicester have won just one of their previous nine Premier League away matches against Chelsea, scoring just five goals in the process.

Chelsea are 2.62 to win to nil, and they recorded a 3-0 victory against the Foxes at the King Power Stadium back in November.

Andreas Christensen is due to miss out after a fall-out ahead of the FA Cup final, while Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi remain on the treatment table. Both Timo Werner and Kai Havertz are due to take fitness tests, but N'Golo Kante is ready to start.

Leicester will once again be without Wilfred Ndidi, Ryan Bertrand and Ricardo Periera, while Kasper Schmeichel is due to return to the starting XI after being rested against Watford.

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