ANDREW VORCE - Friday, May 20, 2011
Marcus Hahnemann's Wolves and Jermaine Jones' Blackburn Rovers will duke it out in "Survival Sunday" as one team looks destined to go down on the last weekend of Premier League action.
Aston Villa - Liverpool
Brad Friedel and company head into their last game of the season playing in front of their home faithful against Liverpool.
The difference between eighth placed Fulham and 13th placed Aston Villa is merely three points. Villa beat the odds with an away win at Arsenal and will look to repeat their fortune at home to the high flying Liverpool. Jean Makoun is set to miss out as he still struggles with a calf strain.
Liverpool will have a point to prove after being blanked by Tottenham in their last outing, going into that game having scored 17 goals in the previous five games. Fabio Aurelio should be fit to make the dress list after overcoming a thigh muscle strain while Martin Kelly will be looked at over his hamstring injury.
Steven Gerrard will play no further point in the Liverpool squad this season, while Daniel Agger and Milan Jovanovic are both out through injury as well. Liverpool need to win if they have any hope at finishing in fifth place to qualify for the Europa League.
Everton - Chelsea
Tim Howard and Everton will look keep their seventh place spot as they welcome Chelsea to Goodison Park.
Only five spots separate the teams but Chelsea has garnered 20 more points in their 37 games. Chelsea are sure to continue their marquee signing's starting position as Fernando Torres looks to end his season on a high. Wether Didier Droba starts alongside him is a different story all together.
Everton will look to hold on to their big names over the summer as Steven Pienaar already jumped ship to play European soccer with Tottenham. The Toffees have nearly a full squad at their disposal, with the exception of Louis Saha and Marouanne Fellaini who are both out through injury.
Fulham - Arsenal
Clint Dempsey and Fulham look to stay strong against Arsenal as the Gunners make the short trip to Craven Cottage.
Fulham beat up on Bolton, Sunderland, and Birmingham but were disposed of by Liverpool and Manchester United. Fulham will be looking to break that trend at home to Arsenal. Both Damien Duff and Diomansy Kamara are both out injured.
Arsenal will look to overtake Manchester City but need a win to do so. Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy are both carrying injuries while Johan Djourou may make a return. Lukasz Fabianski is out until the end of June while Cesc Fabregas is also out injured alongside Laurent Koscielny.
Wolverhampton - Blackburn
Marucs Hahnemann will be on the bench when Jermain Jones and Blackburn come to Wolverhampton Wanderers to duke it out in Survival Sunday.
Both teams are tied with 40 points with three clubs, ranging from 17-19th are just a point behind. Victory would mean safety for one team, while a loss could relegate them to Championship soccer next season. Chris Samba and David Hoilett could both return for Blackburn while Ryan Nelson and Vince Grella are both out.
Wolves are monitoring the fitness of Steven Mouyokolo while Michael Kightly is suffering from a groin strain. Back injuries have sidelined David Edwards and Ronald Zubar who both look to be very doubtful for the encounter. Wolves have spent a majority of the season in the relegation zone but now know their fate is in their own hands.
Stuart Holden's Bolton play Manchester City on the final day.
Jonathan Spector will be relegated to the bench if Scott Parker is fit to play for West Ham at home to Sunderland.