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Premier League talking points

A look ahead to the six midweek fixtures in the Premier League.

There are six midweek matches as the Premier League season heads towards a conclusion.

With issues still to be settled at both ends, Press Association Sport examines the key talking points.

Relegation battle intensifies

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Everton v Southampton – Premier League – Goodison Park

It is two from four to drop into the Championship and two of them meet on Tuesday night in what is sure to be a tense affair. Mark Hughes has to lift a Southampton side denied three points against Everton at the death in the most demoralising way possible. They head to a Swansea team who lost an eminently winnable game at Bournemouth on Saturday to leave themselves in the relegation zone on goal difference.

Terriers out to bite Blues

Both Saints and the Swans have Huddersfield, three points better off but with the worst goal difference, in their sights. However the Terriers thumbed their noses at everyone who said they would not pick up another point during their nightmare run-in by doing just that at Manchester City. Next up is a trip to a Chelsea side back in with a chance of a top-four finish. So no chance of picking up a point there, either, surely?

Chelsea ready to pounce

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Chelsea v Liverpool – Premier League – Stamford Bridge

Which brings us neatly to the ever-exciting race for fourth, or third, even. Chelsea’s weekend win over Liverpool left them a mere two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham and one further back from the Reds. With Jurgen Klopp’s side – who have played a game more than their two rivals – kicking their heels until Saturday’s visit from Brighton, an increasingly nervous-looking Spurs host Newcastle on Wednesday. Chelsea were eight points adrift not so long ago but are suddenly within striking distance.

Hammer time for Jose

There is some mild jeopardy to be found above, too, with Manchester United still not guaranteed second place.  They should have all but wrapped up the coveted runners-up spot at Brighton on Friday night but instead crashed 1-0 to leave Jose Mourinho again questioning the performances of some of his players. A trip to West Ham is up next, a club never averse to making life as uncomfortable as possible for United. Or they might just roll over as they have so many times previously this season.

Puel in peril?

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Crystal Palace v Leicester City – Premier League – Selhurst Park

The ‘au revoir Arsene’ roadshow stops off in Leicester on Wednesday night, where departing Arsenal manager Wenger will come up against a Frenchman unpopular among some fans and facing up to an uncertain future. Which might sound familiar. Claude Puel’s Foxes have not scored in three games and not won in five as they finish the season with a whimper.

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