Premier League, Week 29 preview: Less EPL, more FA Cup

Clive Rose

There are only five Premier League matches this week as the FA Cup cuts into the league action, but there's still Chelsea vs. Tottenham. SB Nation 2014 MLS preview

West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United

The Hawthorns; Saturday, 12:45 GMT/7:45 AM ET

West Brom's pretty clearly in a fight for their Premier League lives, winless since New Year's Day and only one point ahead of 18th place Sunderland-who currently have a game in hand. At this point the Baggies would probably prefer the season end right now, but the Manchester United team that they'll face at the Hawthorns this weekend is likely nowhere near as intimidating as those of years past; that's not to say this is a game about which the home side is likely to feel confident, but at the very least it's not going to be chalked up as three points for the visitors before the first whistle even blows.

Cardiff City vs. Fulham

Cardiff City Stadium; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

We've finally reached the time of the year where the games involving some of the league's worst teams are some of the biggest, and this week it's arguably the biggest; Fulham desperately need points if they hope to have any chance of escaping relegation, and Cardiff aren't in a much better position. It's hard to envision a scenario that doesn't involve at least one of these teams going down, and if it doesn't end up that both of them fall to the Championship there's a very good chance this game will have a major impact.

Crystal Palace vs. Southampton

Selhurst Park; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Crystal Palace is yet another club in real danger of the drop, and tough things are certainly less dire than for Cardiff and Fulham they need to pick up points in order to keep them that way, especially with Sunderland in striking distance and holding a game in hand. Southampton have looked a bit more vulnerable in recent weeks than their points total might indicate, but they're still the better of these two sides by some margin; Palace will be hoping that the Saints' comfortable mid-table position will breed enough complacency to give the home side a fighting chance for three points.

Norwich City vs. Stoke City

Carrow Road; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

No club in the bottom half of the table is truly safe at this point, but Stoke has all but done enough and even Norwich has a bit of breathing room. The points on offer from this game are likely more important for the Canaries, whose upset win over Spurs a few weeks back has been bookended by thumpings from West Ham and Aston Villa. Norwich are a good enough side to beat Stoke, but the consistency they would need to be favored just hasn't been there this season and that's a huge factor as to why they're in the shaky predicament they find themselves in this late in the going.

Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Stamford Bridge; Saturday, 17:30 GMT/12:30 PM ET

The only game of the week to feature two sides higher than 15th and any side in the top 6, this is a massive contest for both Chelsea and Spurs. The Blues' lead is as comfortable as it's been all season, but Manchester City's two games in hand and significant edge where goal difference is concerned makes their place on top slightly less solid than it might seem. Spurs need to win games in which they're not favored in order to crack the top 4, and though wins over Arsenal and Liverpool would likely give a more significant boost to their Champions League ambitions, when you're chasing the teams Spurs are with as little time left as there is every game that doesn't result in points is going to be a disappointment.

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