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The last week has provided such drama from the Manchester derby to the quarter finals of the Champions League and Europa League. The Premier League action continues this weekend and our focus will very much be on the relegation battle.
Southampton v Chelsea
This is a dress rehearsal for next week's FA Cup semi final so that could work in Southampton's favour. The Saints were unlucky not to get anything away to Arsenal last week but there's a reason the Saints find themselves in the bottom three. They have won just one of their last 19 league games, with that victory coming at bottom side West Brom in early February. Shane Long was on target last Sunday but he's a slight doubt due to an ankle injury he suffered in the game against Arsenal.
Chelsea are not in great form themselves and have only picked up 12 points in the league in 2018 which is the fifth worse record in the top flight in the calendar year. The feeling after Chelsea's 3-1 loss to Tottenham was that their top four hopes had gone up in smoke so last week's 1-1 draw with West Ham left them 10 points off the top four. Antonio Conte is expected to leave the club in the summer so there's a danger a lot of their players could be winding down but they could end the season with an FA Cup winners medal.
Ian Beach and Gary Breen will be in the commentary box at St. Mary's and we're on todayfm.com from 12.15.
Crystal Palace v Brighton
There will be no love lost at Selhurst Park when these two rivals meet this weekend in the game known as the M23 derby. It's a rivalry that caught fire in the 1970's when Crystal Palace were managed by Terry Venables and Brighton were led by Alan Mullery. On top of that Palace knocked Brighton out of the Championship play-offs on their way to promotion to the Premier League in 2013 when Wilfried Zaha was the difference between the two. The Ivory Coast international could be key in this fixture once again. Palace are 17th in the league, three points above the relegation zone but the league table would look a lot better for Roy Hodgson's side only for the concession of late goals in recent weeks.
Brighton are four points ahead of Palace, although they have played a game less. When Chris Hughton's side beat Arsenal at the start of March, they were in a great position to secure their Premier League status but what a difference a few weeks makes. Defeat for Brighton on Saturday would leave them probably needing one more win and they finish with games against Tottenham, Burnley, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool.
Dave McIntyre and Brian Kerr will be on commentary duty for us at Selhurst Park.
Former Republic of Ireland international Alan McLoughlin will be this week’s guest in the Boot Room which airs at 5.30 every Saturday on the show. McLoughlin will be looking back his goal against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park in November 1993. Jack Chartlon’s side knew a win would guarantee a place at the 1994 World Cup and a draw would also be enough if Spain beat Denmark, who were the current European champions.
Alan will talk about the build up to game in Belfast around the time when there was plenty of tension in the north. He’ll describe what it was like going to the ground to train at Windsor Park, on the eve of the game. McLoughlin was on the bench and it was still 0-0 when he was brought on 20 minutes from time. However three minutes later Jimmy Quinn put the home side ahead and the Boys in Green were in real danger of missing out on a place at USA 94. Then in the 76th minute the ball fell to McLoughlin on the edge of the box:
Premier League Live with Sky Sports on Today FM from 2-6pm and on todayfm.com from 12.15.