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Premier League 433 2340 Barclays Premier League: May 4-6 31734350 It's crunch time It%27s+crunch+time Premier League

Manchester United has clinched the title weeks ago, and two teams have been relegated already – goodbye for now, QPR and Reading – so what remains to be determined in the final weeks? One more team will go down to the Championship, and a handful of clubs are fighting for spots in European play next season. Will Wigan pull off a miraculous survival? Can Tottenham catch Arsenal and Chelsea? It’s crunch time for these Premier League clubs:


Rob Stone

Alex Livesey, Michael Regan and Peter Cziborra -
Premier League 433 2340 Barclays Premier League: May 4-6 31734349 Worthy cause Worthy+cause Premier League

The Portland Timbers continue to get it right. More than three thousand fans showed up on Wednesday for a match between the Timbers and The Green Machine, led by eight-year-old Atticus Lane-Dupre. Wait, who? Watch here and have a tissue box nearby. I could not be more proud of Major League Soccer and the people of Portland right now. Kudos to all involved in making this wish come true.


Rob Stone

courtesy of Major League Soccer -
Premier League 433 2340 Barclays Premier League: May 4-6 31734345 Manchester United vs. Chelsea (live, FOX Soccer, Saturday, 10:30 a.m. ET) Manchester+United+vs.+Chelsea+%28live%2C+FOX+Soccer%2C+Saturday%2C+10%3A30+a.m.+ET%29 Premier League

Now that United can no longer break the Barclays Premier League record for points in a season, I fully expect Sir Alex Ferguson to loosen up the bench and do some promoting from within. But, with Chelsea in town, you just never know what Fergie might do – pride has a silly history of getting in the way of rational thoughts and actions.


The Blues, fresh off of Thursday's advancement to the Europa League final, are aware that a Wednesday match against Spurs awaits them as well. Both Rafa Benitez's man management and the club’s physios will truly be tested here.


Rob Stone

Philip Brown - Action Images/Reuters
Premier League 433 2340 Barclays Premier League: May 4-6 31734347 West Bromwich vs. Wigan Athletic (live, FOX Soccer Plus, Saturday 10 a.m. ET) West+Bromwich+vs.+Wigan+Athletic+%28live%2C+FOX+Soccer+Plus%2C+Saturday+10+a.m.+ET%29 Premier League

Was Wigan happy or upset about the point they earned last week against Tottenham? Most people would agree it was an unexpected point, but when you’re fighting to get out of the relegation zone coughing up a late lead has to sting. Wigan are now five points away from safety, so they know that even with a win here they will still be in the same spot next week. Are these three points vital, possibly even season-defining? You bet they are.


Rob Stone

Alex Livesey - Getty Images
Premier League 433 2340 Barclays Premier League: May 4-6 31734344 Tottenham vs. Southampton (live, ESPN 2, Saturday, 10 a.m. ET) Tottenham+vs.+Southampton+%28live%2C+ESPN+2%2C+Saturday%2C+10+a.m.+ET%29 Premier League

As we near the end of the season, Southampton, who sit in 13th, should start thinking about next season and maybe even a top 10 finish. Spurs, on the other hand, are definitely thinking about next season, but in terms of a Champions League spot. They were cruelly denied a berth in this season's edition and their focus has since been on punching their ticket for 2013-14.


But right now, they seem to be the odd team out in the race with Chelsea and Arsenal for the two remaining spots. This one falls into the “mandatory win” column for Tottenham if they want to maintain their hopes of Champions League play next season.

Paul Childs - Action Images/Reuters
Premier League 433 2340 Barclays Premier League: May 4-6 31734346 Queens Park Rangers vs. Arsenal (live, FOX Soccer, Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET) Queens+Park+Rangers+vs.+Arsenal+%28live%2C+FOX+Soccer%2C+Saturday%2C+12%3A30+p.m.+ET%29 Premier League

Queens Park Rangers are done and dusted, and are making plans for next season in the Championship. Arsenal, on the opposite end of the table, has been flip-flopping between 3rd and 4th in the standings for weeks now. That’s certainly better than shuffling between 4th and 5th, but they could use some breathing room. At this point, every QPR player should be playing for next season and potential new suitors, which in a way makes them even less of a team. There is no reason that this London derby shouldn’t easily fall in the Gunners lap.


Rob Stone

Glyn KIRK - Getty Images
Premier League 433 2340 Barclays Premier League: May 4-6 31734348 Norwich City vs. Aston Villa (live, FOX Soccer, Saturday, 10 a.m. ET) Norwich+City+vs.+Aston+Villa+%28live%2C+FOX+Soccer%2C+Saturday%2C+10+a.m.+ET%29 Premier League

Norwich announced this week that they are going to head to the States this summer to take on some MLS competition. Personally, I would love to see them play NASL side Tampa Bay Rowdies, in an all green and gold match. Here's hoping they avoid relegation and come to the United States as a Premier League team. I believe they are safe, and lately I’ve felt more and more that Aston Villa falls into that category as well. A draw on Saturday would probably suit both clubs just fine.


Rob Stone

Stephen Pond - Getty Images
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