Premier League Sunday preview: Tough road trips for two relegation strugglers

Scott Parker knows time is running out for his plucky Fulham side to beat the Premier League drop

Scott Parker knows time is running out for his plucky Fulham side to beat the Premier League drop

Both of Sunday’s Premier League clashes see teams with contrasting targets lock horns — and all those involved are in desperate need of the points. 

First, Scott Parker takes Fulham across the capital to face Europa League-chasing Arsenal, knowing only a victory will pump life back into his side’s fading survival bid. 

A positive result for the Cottagers would pile the pressure on Burnley, who face a tough trip to Manchester United later in the afternoon. 

Arsenal vs Fulham (1.30pm, Sky Sports)

After steadily fighting their way back into the relegation battle since the turn of the year, four straight defeats leave Fulham with their top-flight future on the ropes. 

Their latest heartbreak arrived courtesy of a stoppage-time Adama Traore goal for Wolves last Friday, which was enough to consign them to a 1-0 defeat as they drew a 15th blank of the campaign. 

While the xG charts suggest Fulham should have a full 12 goals more to their name than their actual tally of 24, time for such figures to correct themselves is rapidly running out.

The visitors will have to confound both the form and history books if they are to get three points at the Emirates, with Arsenal having only lost one of their last 10 outings in all competitions. 

The Gunners also hold the remarkable record of having never lost to Fulham in a home fixture — they are unbeaten in 29 meetings across all competitions when hosting their fellow Londoners. 

Alexandre Lacazette should get the chance to add to his four goals in three games against the Cottagers as Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang has been in hospital with malaria. 

Home midfielder Martin Odegaard (ankle) did not travel to Slavia Prague but may feature, as could visiting winger Ademola Lookman (hamstring).

Manchester United vs Burnley (4pm, Sky Sports)

Nick Pope will need to be on top form when he returns from injury for Burnley at Manchester United
Nick Pope will need to be on top form when he returns from injury for Burnley at Manchester United

Burnley will likely need to produce a vintage rearguard performance to get anything from in-form Manchester United at Old Trafford. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s hosts came from behind to defeat Tottenham 3-1 last weekend, narrowing the gap to runaway leaders Manchester City to 11 points — though that chase looks certain to be in vain. 

Regardless, a fine run of form sees them head into this contest looking for a fifth straight win. Impressively, United are unbeaten in 11 league outings and have only lost one of their last 25 top-flight contests. 

But visiting boss Sean Dyche will take heart from his side’s excellent record at the Theatre of Dreams.

His men emerged with a 2-0 win last term to make it four consecutive trips to Old Trafford without defeat. Should they successfully extend that streak to five, Burnley will equal a record set by Chelsea between 1994 and 1998. 

Furthermore, United have failed to win any of the last nine Premier League meetings between this pair, while four of Burnley’s last five league wins have come away from Turf Moor. 

Dean Henderson, Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford should all return for the Red Devils after missing Thursday’s comofortable Europa League win over Granada, while Nick Pope (shoulder) could feature for the visitors.

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Manchester UnitedBurnleyFulhamArsenalPremier League