While their rivals have been pulling no punches in their quest to secure a top-four finish and qualification into the Champions League next season, Manchester United and Arsenal have come up short in recent weeks. Both giant clubs have had problems in terms of form coming into the business end of the campaign. As such, this time round, they no longer have room for error.
With the Reds of Manchester and London in dire straits in terms of their hopes of joining Europe’s elite competition next season, here are the two fixtures in matchweek 32 you don’t want to miss.
Sunderland v Manchester United (Sunday, 9th April, KO 13:30 GMT+1)
Both sides definitely have everything to play for in this fixture, there is no doubt about it. While Manchester United are chasing for a top-four spot, Sunderland are fighting for their lives at the moment and could prove prickly opponents for Jose Mourinho’s men, who’ve found it difficult to close down games against relatively weaker opponents as of late.
Sunderland are currently propping up the rest of the Premier League table, as they lie miserably in 20th place with 20 points, ten points adrift of any chance of survival. Their manager, David Moyes, will also certainly have a bone to pick against United. Four years ago, Moyes was unceremoniously sacked by United after just 10 months in charge, and a win here against the Red Devils will give the Scotsman some sense of redemption.
For United, they certainly have what it takes to win this game – it is just a matter of execution. They will need to up the ante if they are to win against Sunderland at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday and close the gap on the top four.
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Crystal Palace v Arsenal (Monday, 10th April, KO 20:00 GMT+1)
The Gunners are set to make their way to Selhurst Park on Monday night to close down the games of Matchweek 32. The Eagles will prove tricky opponents for Arsene Wenger’s side come Monday, as they’ve picked up some form as of late. True enough, Palace have won four of their last five Premier League games and will definitely be eager to clinch all three points against the London giants in front of their home crowd.
With Crystal Palace also fighting for Premier League survival (they are currently in 16th place with 31 points, just three points clear of the drop zone), they will surely fight with their all come Monday.
Arsenal, for their part, have to prove to their fans they are still in the race for a Champions League spot. While St Totteringham’s Day may not be celebrated this year, they must still fight on or risk losing out to their fierce rivals Manchester United for a European place.
Both Arsenal and Manchester United are four points adrift of the top four teams, meaning no result this weekend can make any difference in terms of the table positions. However, for their sakes, both clubs must earn a victory in their coming fixtures, lest they become mere shadows of their once-illustrious past.