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EPL title contenders clash on Sunday
March 20, 2008 16:41 IST
The title hopes of the top three clubs in the Premier League could become clearer after Manchester United play Liverpool at Old Trafford and Chelsea face Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Manchester United, who beat Bolton Wanderers on Wednesday, lead the table with 70 points from 30 matches as England's [Images] four Champions League quarter-finalists head towards a critical stage in their seasons.
Arsenal, who have drawn their last four league games, are second with 67 points from 30 matches, followed by Chelsea on 65 after they blew a 3-1 lead to draw 4-4 at Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.
Liverpool, who have won their last five league matches and are fourth, are, to all intents and purposes, out of the running with 59 points from 30 games.
A win at Old Trafford would keep their faint title hopes alive and hold neighbours Everton at bay in the race for next season's final Champions League berth.
United have won their last four league matches since losing at home to Manchester City and can complete the double over Liverpool after beating them 1-0 at Anfield in December.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have come up strongly on the rails.
They have not lost in the league for 13 matches since Arsenal beat them 1-0 at the Emirates in December and still have to play Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on April 26.
But for Robbie Keane's late stunner for Spurs they would be level on points with Arsenal and breathing down the neck of United.
"We are still in the title race and we will continue fighting," Chelsea manager Avram Grant said after a pulsating London [Images] derby.
While the title remains wide open, so does the battle to stay up. With Derby (10 points) virtually dead and buried, eight clubs are still in danger of joining them through the trap door.
Fulham, whose win over Everton on Sunday was only their fourth of the season, are one place off the bottom with 23 points, behind Bolton on 25 points.
Fulham travel to Newcastle United and their old boss Kevin Keegan on Saturday with Newcastle desperate for a first win since Keegan returned as manager two months ago.
Newcastle's last victory was a 2-1 win at Fulham in December and they have played 13 league matches since without success -- eight under Keegan.
Bolton fill the third relegation spot and face Manchester City. Reading and Birmingham City, who are just above the drop zone, meet at Reading.
In Saturday's other matches, Aston Villa face relegation-threatened Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers meet Wigan Athletic, Middlesbrough play Derby and Tottenham Hotspur welcome Portsmouth.