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Soccer Weekend: Premier League back in action following FA Cup

Back to work for Premier League sides following last weekend’s FA Cup Third Round ties, and this week sees a few tasty matchups across the breadth of England’s top flight.

Sheffield United hosts West Ham, Friday, 3 p.m. ET

Sheffield currently sits 8th in the league and can climb as high as fifth with a win over the Hammers, and it couldn’t come at a better time as the Blades look to end a three-match winless skid. And with this match comes a tasty side story: teams from London have not won at Bramall Lane in their last seven trips to Yorkshire.

West Ham, 4-0 winners over Bournemouth in David Moyes’ second debut with the East London side, have not had much luck in going to Yorkshire, either: it is 0-6-3 in its last nine trips.

A win for West Ham, though, would put further distance between itself and the bottom three.

Sheffield manager Chris Wilder has said that all of his first-choice selections are fit and ready for the match against the Hammers, with Jack Rodwell possibly making the match day squad following his performance at the weekend.

Crystal Palace host Arsenal, Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET

Arsenal will look to secure Mikel Arteta’s first road win in the league, and it will have to do it in a mid-table six-pointer against Palace, which sits a spot above. The Gunners can pull level with Spurs and Wolves ahead of their matches later in the day with a victory, and get them back into the conversation of European football next year.

Palace are unbeaten in its last three against Arsenal, and avoiding defeat would mean unbeaten in four — that has never happened for the South London side! Arsenal have lost only once in its last 14 trips to Palace.

And expect some goals in this fixture, as both teams have scored at least twice in each of the last three meetings. And for Arsenal, that may be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cue, as he has averaged a goal and an assist every 88 minutes in a London derby.

Chelsea hosts Burnley, Saturday, 10 a.m. ET

The Blues put a four-spot up on Burnley the last time these two sides met in October, but Burnley has put up four on Chelsea spread out over the last two meetings. Burnley will look to get out of 15th with a win, while Chelsea will remain in fourth regardless of the result.

Everton hosts Brighton Hove & Albion, 10 a.m. ET

There’s a touch of logjam in the middle of the table, and Everton can break away with a thumping win over the 14th-place side in the league.

Leicester City hosts Southampton, 10 a.m. ET

Second-place Leicester can increase its hold on the Champions League places with a win over 12th-place Southampton.

Manchester United hosts Norwich City, 10 a.m. ET

A win for United over the last-place Canaries can help the Red Devils inch closer to European football for next season.

Wolves host Newcastle United, 10 a.m. ET

A win for Wolves can move them to sixth in the league should Tottenham fail to beat Liverpool.

Spurs host Liverpool, 12:30 p.m. ET

For the first time, league leaders Liverpool travel to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium where the Reds will look to keep Spurs off the winning side of the ledger for the fourth straight time in the league.

Liverpool are looking for its 12th consecutive win in the league.

Spurs will have Son Heung-min available following his red card against Chelsea, but are without Harry Kane, who faces surgery for his torn hamstring and will be unavailable until April, as well as Moussa Sissoko, who had surgery on his knee. Liverpool will be without James Milner and Naba Keita with muscle injuries.

Liverpool have only lost one of its last 14 with Spurs, and are unbeaten in its last eight trips to the capital.

Bournemouth host Watford, Sunday, 9 a.m.

Can someone get out of the relegation zone in this Sunday morning affair? Bournemouth are 18th, Watford 19th. Watford, though, has been on fire lately, with results in five of its last six, and wins in three of its last four with eight goals in those last four matches.

Aston Villa hosts Manchester City, Sunday, 11:30 a.m.

Villa is currently hovering just above the relegation zone, but could fall back into it with a loss to third-place Manchester City.

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Around the neighborhood, good to see Attleborough’s Geoff Cameron posing Thursday with a Providence City shirt…

The Revolution have signed goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell, who the club picked up in the Waiver draft at the end of November. Several reporters noted that Bruce Arena mentioned Caldwell’s signing in the conference call Thursday…

That being said, should the club sign second-round selections Simon Lekressner and Keegan Meyer, the Revolution roster would be set at 29 out of 30 spots. Compare that to last season, where the Revs had 25 at the start of the season, and 26 at the start of 2018…

Hearing that Boston Siege FC scarves are still $15 through January. Check out their Twitter for details.

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