Premier League preview

Manchester United travel to the capital for a gargantuan clash with Chelsea aware that victory would all-but guarantee the retention of their Premier League title.

Indeed, the superiority of United's goal difference allows Sir Alex Ferguson the comfort of knowing that even defeat at Stamford Bridge would see the championship pendulum swing psychologically but not mathematically in Chelsea's direction.

Blues defender Ricardo Carvalho has started the mind games by declaring his view that the pressure at the top will see United crack but Rio Ferdinand's captain's riposte in demanding silverware has nullified the Portuguese's prediction.

Unbeaten at Stamford Bridge in the league for more than four years, Chelsea ooze confidence on home soil but whether they have enough to derail United's title tilt, remains a question that only Saturday's game can answer.

While all eyes will be fixed on how events unfold in West London, those in the know have always intimated that the real pressure is manifest at the bottom rather than top.

And if ever there was a need to slip a beta blocker into your half-time Bovril it will come at St Andrews, with the mood in the Midlands taut as a tight rope given last weekend's 5-1 humiliation to bitter rivals Aston Villa.

Alex McLeish has vowed to rally his troops for the visit of Liverpool, having seen his side drop into the bottom three at just the wrong juncture in an otherwise relatively successful campaign.

It is, though, The JJB that houses the quintessential relegation dog-fight, as Wigan host a Reading side in such miserable form that even manager Steve Coppell admits he has no idea of his best XI.

Wigan boss Steve Bruce is confident another three points would secure his side's top flight status; a situation that Fulham chief Roy Hodgson can only dream of.

The Cottagers travel to Eastlands to face a Manchester City outfit that have picked up of late aware that failure to pick up a maximum haul, combined with wins for Reading and Bolton, would confirm their relegation.

Bolton boss Gary Megson has looked the spectre of relegation square in the face in the past few weeks and emerged from the confrontation with a wry smile having picked up back-to-back victories.

To make it a hat-trick they will have to see off Tottenham at White Hart Lane, a task that will likely be dependent on whether Juande Ramos' side are in the mood to put on a party or meander to an abject defeat.

Sunderland are still not certain of hosting top flight football next season and a Wear-Tees derby is probably not what the doctor ordered at this delicate stage of campaign.

Roy Keane would love to don his boots for the visit of Middlesbrough but given past encounters, Gareth Southgate is probably relieved he won't.

Perhaps the only dead-rubber of the day is at Upton Park as West Ham - who have not deviated from 10th for what seems like the whole of the season - welcome Newcastle to the East End.

With Liverpool's strong finish to the season having all but guaranteed fourth spot, it is the battle for fifth that is emerging as one of the campaign's more intriguing sub-plots, with as many as five clubs still gunning for a Uefa Cup place.

Sunday's game at Goodison Park, live on Sky Sports 1, will likely go a long way to decide who secures an automatic European berth, as Everton host an Aston Villa side which has been irrepressible of late.

While Everton's end of season run-in has seen David Moyes' men look heavy legged and short of ideas going forward, Villa have hit their stride like a champion mount in plundering 15 goals in their last three matches.

Should either Everton or Villa fall at the last then Portsmouth and Blackburn are ready to steal in and it these two clubs that are in action earlier in the day, another game that can be seen live on Sky Sports 1.

Rovers were impressive in their last outing in holding Manchester United to a 1-1 draw and while Pompey are notoriously difficult to beat at Fratton Park, Harry Redknapp could be forgiven for having one eye on next month's FA Cup final.

Click below for full match previews

Birmingham v Liverpool

Birmingham have failed to score against Liverpool in their last three attempts in all competitions. Their last three Premier League meetings have ended in a draw. Liverpool have not beaten Birmingham in the Premier League since May 2004 - a run of five matches without a victory.

Chelsea v Man Utd

Avram Grant has seen his side lose just one league game out of 28 since defeat against Manchester United in his first match in charge back in September. Since that game, Man Utd and Chelsea have picked up exactly 67 points each.

Man City v Fulham

Man City have hit exactly three goals in each of their last three matches against Fulham. Fulham have only lost once at Manchester City on their last four visits in the top-flight. City have scored in all but one of their 11 Premier League meetings with the Cottagers.

Sunderland v Middlesbrough

Sunderland have only won one of their last eight matches against Middlesbrough. The Black Cats have not managed to score in five of these eight matches. Middlesbrough have won their last three visits to the Stadium of Light in the Premier League.

Tottenham v Bolton

Robbie Keane has hit three goals in his last two matches against Bolton Wanderers. Spurs have only won two of their last 10 Premier League games against Bolton. Bolton have lost five of their last seven visits to White Hart Lane in the top flight.

West Ham v Newcastle

West Ham have not managed a win against Newcastle in their last eight attempts - their last coming in September 2001. Newcastle have hit 11 goals in their last four meetings with the Hammers.

Wigan v Reading

Emile Heskey has managed to score two goals in his last two appearances against Reading. Heskey has scored in his last two league outings and now just needs a brace to reach 100 Premier League goals. Wigan have only won two of their last 13 matches against Reading.

Sunday's matches

Everton v Aston Villa

Everton have only won one of their last five meetings with Aston Villa. Gabriel Agbonlahor has scored in both of his last two appearances against Everton

Portsmouth v Blackburn

Kanu has scored four goals in his last four matches against Blackburn in all competitions - including one in each game this season. Portsmouth have only managed to win one game at home to Blackburn in the Premier League - a 3-0 success last season.