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Liverpool v Leicester, Chelsea v Stoke and more: Premier League – live! | Football

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Afternoon. How are we all doing? Splendid news. And are we ready for some football? You’d better be, because we have six Premier League matches kicking off at 3pm – and a full schedule in the Football League too. We also have some Serie A action, so if anything of interest happens in Italy I’ll be sure to let you know.

With Manchester United kicking off at 5.30pm against Southampton, Chelsea can move up into second place if they beat Stoke at Stamford Bridge. You’d imagine that was a banker but Mark Hughes has managed to arrest an alarming run of defeats by securing a win and a draw in Stoke’s last couple of games. The players have rediscovered their battle-fever and Hughes has got the fans off his back and kept himself in a job … for now.

Liverpool have the chance to move to within two points of Manchester United if they beat Leicester at Anfield. Leicester haven’t won in four, and lost to Watford last time out, but there are usually plenty of goals when these two sides meet so I expect them to keep my fingers busy. Burnley still look a good bet to finish the season as best of the rest –that’s seventh in old money. They have Leicester and Everton not far behind them and, if they can perform as they did when they drew 2-2 at Old Trafford in their last game, then they should fancy taking three points away from Huddersfield.

As for Big Sam’s rock solid Toffees, there’s really no excuse if they don’t show at least a smidgin of attacking intent on the road today. They’re at 18th-placed Bournemouth, who won’t sit back and will give Everton plenty of opportunities to get in behind them. I’d say the chances of this ending 0-0 (as Everton’s last two games have) are slim. Another team who have the chance to get on the front foot this afternoon are Newcastle. They were roundly criticised for being so negative against Manchester City. It was ludicrous carping given that Newcastle came mighty close to earning a point three minutes from time. If they play the same way at home against Brighton today then yes, sure, send your opprobrium c/o Rafael Benítez, St James’ Park, NE1 4ST.

Rounding off the action in the English top flight is Watford v Rock-Bottom Swansea. The Swans’ new manager, Carlos Carvalhal, says he’s a football romantic – “People will say that Swansea need a miracle to stay up, but I don’t agree” – who can save the sinking club but he’s inheriting a sorry mess, and he’s no Big Sam. Mind you, Watford haven’t been great of late despite their defeat of Leicester.

Championship

In the second tier the top two, Bristol City and Wolves, meet at Ashton Gate at 5.30pm so there is an opportunity for the clubs below them to apply a bit of pressure. Cardiff don’t play today but Derby – in fourth – are away at Ipswich while fifth-placed Leeds visit bottom-of-the-table Birmingham and sixth-placed Sheffield United are at home against second-bottom Bolton.

League One

Third-placed Blackburn v fourth-placed Scunthorpe at Ewood Park is worth keeping an eye on!

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