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April 18, 2017
Liverpool and Manchester United have a big opportunity to build up pressure in the race for the top four in Week 34 of the Premier League as Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Arsenal are all in FA Cup action.
The Reds face Crystal Palace at Anfield, while Jose Mourinho’s United visit Burnley and a win would move them within a point of fourth-placed City ahead of Week 35’s Manchester derby.
Meanwhile, at the bottom of the table relegation-threatened trio Hull City, Swansea City and
Middlesbrough all have potentially winnable games against Watford, Stoke City and Bournemouth, respectively.
Read on for a look at which players could make a key impact, along with the full schedule of fixtures and predictions.
|EPL Week 34: Schedule and Predictions|
|April 22||3 p.m/10 a.m.||Bournemouth vs. Middlesbrough||2-0|
|April 22||3 p.m/10 a.m.||Hull City vs. Watford||1-0|
|April 22||3 p.m/10 a.m.||Swansea City vs. Stoke City||2-2|
|April 22||3 p.m/10 a.m.||West Ham United vs. Everton||0-2|
|April 23||2:15 p.m./9:15 a.m.||Burnley vs. Manchester United||1-3|
|April 23||4:30 p.m./11:30 a.m.||Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace||1-1|
Marcus Rashford, Manchester United
After bursting on the scene in spectacular fashion in 2015-16, Rashford has endured tougher times this season.
However, last time out against Chelsea he started at the head of United’s attack in place of the rested Zlatan Ibrahimovic and was hugely impressive.
Bleacher Report UK @br_uk
With the Master rested, the Apprentice steps up #Rashford https://t.co/J9GJuPXv68
4/16/2017, 3:09:25 PM
The 19-year-old netted the opener against the Blues and ran their defence ragged for the 83 minutes he was on the pitch, per football writer Nooruddean Choudry:
Chelsea defenders running after Rashford today https://t.co/V6B9W7nHxa
4/16/2017, 4:32:43 PM
United come up against a Burnley side on Sunday whose home form this season has been remarkable. The Clarets have lost only four of the 16 games they have played at Turf Moor in 2016-17, conceding 14 goals.
The Red Devils will need their attack to be clinical against the hosts on Sunday, and Rashford’s pace and finishing could be vital in breaking down Burnley’s back line.
The young Englishman will be high on confidence after his Chelsea performance and could prove too much to handle for Sean Dyche’s defence.
Belgian goalkeeper Mignolet has taken his fair share of criticism while at Anfield, and with good reason. He is error prone and arguably not the calibre of goalkeeper Liverpool need if they are to be title challengers, per WhoScored.com:
Simon Mignolet: Has made more errors that have led directly to a goal (10) than any other player in the last 4 Premier League seasons #LFC https://t.co/k3mfGwDiT0
12/14/2016, 5:10:31 PM
However, in recent wins for Liverpool against West Bromwich Albion and Stoke, Mignolet has made vital contributions to prevent the Reds from dropping points.
Given how tight the race is to finish the season in the top four, the 29-year-old stopper will need to be at his best against Palace.
The Eagles have lost just one of their last seven league games and have beaten Arsenal and Chelsea in the process.
Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images
Their attacking line boasts both pace, in the shape of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend, and physicality in Christian Benteke.
Mignolet then can ill afford to lose concentration throughout the game or else he could find himself pulled out of position in open play or at a set piece.
Liverpool have a great chance in Week 34 to edge ever closer to next season’s UEFA Champions League and defensive stability will be vital against Palace if Jurgen Klopp’s side are to claim all three points.