Premier League Sunday preview: Huge day at the bottom

Scott McTominay bagged a quickfire brace the last time Manchester United and Leeds met

Scott McTominay bagged a quickfire brace the last time Manchester United and Leeds met

Away-day specialists Manchester United make the short hop across the Pennines to face bitter rivals Leeds in Sunday’s standout fixture. 

As well as that enticing prospect, two relegation-haunted sides travel to mid-table opponents in the hunt for precious points. 

Burnley could take a giant stride towards safety with a result at improving Wolves, while West Brom need three points from their local derby with Aston Villa. 

Wolves vs Burnley (12pm, BBC One)

Wolves will be out to make it three straight wins for the first time this season when they welcome struggling Burnley to Molineux. 

Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have long been destined for mid-table after an eight-game winless run at the turn of the year ended hopes of a European charge. 

Back-to-back 1-0 victories over strugglers Fulham and Sheffield United mean an outside chance of a top-half finish remains.

But the hosts have won only one of their last nine league meetings with the Clarets, who head to the West Midlands still entrenched in the relegation battle.

It has been a frustrating period for Sean Dyche and Burnley in recent weeks
It has been a frustrating period for Sean Dyche and Burnley in recent weeks

Sean Dyche has seen his side squander leads against both Southampton and Newcastle before coming unstuck late on against Manchester United last Sunday to make it three straight defeats.

Yet Fulham’s poor form means a win would virtually guarantee Premier League football at Turf Moor again next season.

Wolves are still without Ruben Neves (coronavirus) and the visitors are missing Ashley Barnes (thigh) and Robbie Brady (Achilles) — though Nick Pope (shoulder) is close to a return in goal. 

Leeds vs Manchester United (2pm, Sky Sports)

Old rivalries will be renewed as Leeds host Manchester United in a top-flight home game for the first time since October 2003. 

It was a disappointing reverse meeting for Marcelo Bielsa’s Whites as they were humbled 6-2 at Old Trafford in December — but United have only managed to do the double over them twice in 12 previous Premier League attempts. 

Having taken four points from clashes against Manchester City and Liverpool in their previous two outings, the hosts will hold no fear as they look to secure a top-half finish. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men appear assured of Champions League qualification but find themselves too far behind  City in the title race, meaning their focus will now be on securing second.

United’s remarkable run on the road — 23 Premier League away games without defeat stretching back to January 2020 — is now only four matches behind the league record set by Arsenal (27). 

Red Devils striker Mason Greenwood has four goals in his last three Premier League appearances and can become the first teenager to score in four straight top-flight games since Francis Jeffers in September 2000. 

Liam Cooper is suspended for the hosts but Raphinha (knock) and Rodrigo (muscle strain) could return. The visitors have no fresh issues. 

Aston Villa vs West Brom (7pm, BT Sport)

Sunday’s action draws to a close off with a West Midlands derby at Villa Park, where Aston Villa could inflict a near fatal blow to West Brom’s survival prospects. 

What started as an extremely promising campaign for Villa has rather petered out, with only two wins in their last 10 league outings killing hopes of a top-six charge. 

Having won the reverse fixture 3-0 at The Hawthorns in December, Dean Smith’s men could complete a first league double over their neighbours since 2008-09 — when the Baggies were relegated to the Championship. 

Jake Livermore was sent off for the Baggies in December's reverse fixture
Jake Livermore was sent off for the Baggies in December's reverse fixture

Sam Allardyce’s men were threatening the greatest of escapes after back-to-back wins over Chelsea and Southampton but were then comfortably dispatched 3-0 at Leicester on Thursday. 

A win here is vital and the Baggies can take heart from winning their last two trips to Villa Park,

But discipline has been an issue for the visitors in recent seasons, with a player sent off in each of their last three clashes with the Villans.

Matty Cash is suspended for hosts and skipper Jack Grealish (shin) is still working his way back to fitness. The visitors may welcome back Robert Snodgrass (knee)

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