EPL Week 34 Fixtures: Breaking Down the Best Matchups of the Weekend

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2014

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool talks to Vincent Kompany of Manchester City as they walk off for half time during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on December 26, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

We're just five weeks removed from the conclusion to the 2013-14 Premier League season, and with both the title race and the battle to avoid the drop as close as we've seen in years, Week 34 promises to be jam-packed with action and drama.

The title could very well be decided on Sunday, when Liverpool host Manchester City, while Fulham and Norwich will square off in a battle of the bottom-feeders the day before.

And with the FA Cup somewhat distorting the schedule, plenty of the matchups will be spread out over several days, giving fans the opportunity to catch most of the action in prime time.

Read on for a full overview of every fixture played this weekend, as well as a breakdown of some of the best matchups we'll be seeing.

Player matchups are bold.

Premier League Wee 34 Schedule
Saturday, 12 April3.07 p.m. BST /10:07 a.m. ETCrystal PalaceAston Villa1-1
Saturday, 12 April3.07 p.m. BST /10:07 a.m. ETFulhamNorwich City2-1
Saturday, 12 April3.07 p.m. BST /10:07 a.m. ETSouthamptonCardiff3-0
Saturday, 12 April3.07 p.m. BST /10:07 a.m. ETStoke CityNewcastle1-1
Saturday, 12 April3.07 p.m. BST /10:07 a.m. ETSunderlandEverton0-2
Saturday, 12 April3.07 p.m. BST /10:07 a.m. ETWest BromTottenham1-2
Sunday, 13 April1.37 p.m. BST/8:37 a.m. ETLiverpoolMan City3-2
Sunday, 13 April4.07 p.m. BST/11:07 a.m. ETSwanseaChelsea1-3
Tuesday, 15 April7.45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. ETArsenalWest Ham2-0

All eyes will be fixed on Anfield on Sunday, as Liverpool will take on Manchester City with the EPL title on the line. The Reds lead the table, with the Citizens trailing by four points with two games in hand.

Any result other than a Liverpool victory will give City the inside track to the EPL title, and as shared by Fans AllStar Football, the schedule shapes up nicely for the visitors to run the table the rest of the way:

The biggest matchup in this fixture is simple: Liverpool lead the EPL in scoring, while City have the league's second-best defensive unit, per WhoScored.com. Vincent Kompany is healthy and will lead Manchester's defense, and keeping Luis Suarez at bay will be his biggest challenge.

The Uruguayan has been scoring at an incredible rate this season, as shared by this fan:

Suarez's numbers are mind-boggling, and paired with Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool's attack has been close to unstoppable this season.

But Kompany is no slouch, and the Citizens know how to defend. There are only a handful of defenders who have the kind of athletic ability and football insights to match up with Suarez, and when healthy, the Belgian skipper is one of them.

As shared by LFC Fans Corner, though, even Kompany himself knows Sunday will be a difficult match:

Fulham and Norwich will battle it out on Saturday, and a win by the hosts would see the gap between both teams reduced to just two points, with four matches left to play.

The Cottagers suddenly have life following two wins in their last four matches, and much of it has to do with the play of Lewis Holtby, who has been lights out in recent weeks.

The German midfielder has been excellent as a contributor and conductor, holding much of the ball in the centre of the park and providing teammates with the kind of service they've lacked all season.

Sang Tan

Alexander Tettey cannot allow the in-form midfielder to run proceedings the same way he did against Aston Villa, and the Norwegian midfielder will most likely try to follow Holtby wherever he goes for the duration of the game.

Whether he's successful or not will go a long way in determining the winner of a fixture that could have major implications on how the rest of the relegation battle plays out.

Newcastle United and Stoke both have little left to play for, with both teams safely lodged in the middle of the EPL table but too far back for the remaining Europa League tickets, but the battle between Loic Remy and Asmir Begovic could still be a worthwhile one for fans to watch.

With the season winding to a close, tweets like this one can be found everywhere:

Begovic has enjoyed a solid season for Stoke, often saving the team valuable points with excellent performances against teams that should be stronger on paper.

Newcastle are one of those teams, and they field one of the most talked about forwards of the 2013-14 EPL season in Remy. But the French forward has only scored 13 goals this season, per WhoScored, as Remy's production doesn't back up some of the fame fans seem to give him.

A big performance (and some extra goals) against Stoke could boast his stock ahead of the summer transfer window, but for that, he'll have to find a way past the mercurial Begovic.



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