Liverpool back on top

Liverpool regained top spot in the Premier League though they found it far from straightforward at Craven Cottage.

Liverpool won 2-1 at relegation threatened Fulham, being pegged back at 1-1 only for James Milner to convert a late penalty.

Liverpool took the lead on 25 minutes Sadio Mane finding Roberto Firmino who found Mane and he tucked the ball home for his ninth goal in as many games.

Andy Robertson had a chance to extend the visitors lead but half-time came with Liverpool having suffered few alarms.

The Cottagers almost got back into the game midway through the second half, Aleksandar Mitrovic's header being disallowed for offside.

However they were level on 74 minutes courtesy of a defensive mix-up between Liverpool keeper Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, James Milner's attempted clearance putting the two in difficulties, the defender nodding towards his keeper but in the confusion between the pair Ryan Babel was able to take advantage and slot the ball home.

Just as the match entered its last 10 minutes Liverpool were awarded a penalty after Mohamed Salah's shot rebounded to Mane but he was fouled as he tried to get in a shot and the referee pointed to the spot.

Milner was tasked with the responsibility and made no mistake, sending his penalty hard down the middle and giving Liverpool a priceless lead.

They rarely looked like letting Fulham back into the game a second time but there was relief at the final whistle nonetheless.

Milner admitted his part in Fulham's equaliser when speaking to Sky Sports afterwards.

He said: "The gaffer told me to come on and calm it down and the first thing I do is slice it and put Virgil under pressure which wasn't ideal.

"The goal was important to put away. You have to go back to what you practise, be calm and do what you do."

Liverpool, having played a game more, are now two points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.

They can enjoy the view from the top for a couple of weeks during the international break and are back in action on 31st March when they play host to Tottenham.

The Reds are 4/7 for the win with Spurs 19/4 and the draw 3/1. Liverpool are 8/1 to win the game 1-0.

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Dyche says red card a hindrance

Burnley manager Sean Dyche says that his side's reaction to Leicester going down to ten men contributed to their defeat.

The Clarets lost 2-1 to Leicester at Turf Moor despite the visitors playing most of the match a man down after Harry Maguire's early dismissal for a foul on Johann Berg Gudmundsson.

James Maddison gave the Foxes the lead from a free-kick but Burnley equalised through Dwight McNeil and looked the more likely to take all three points having the extra man advantage.

However Brendan Rodgers was left celebrating his first away win as new Leicester boss after substitute Wes Morgan scored the winner in the last minute.

The win kept Leicester in the top half of the Premier League but the table looks far less attractive for Burnley who are just a place and two points clear of the relegation zone after their fourth defeat in a row.

Afterwards Dyche admitted that his side had failed to make their extra man count.

He said: "First half we didn't get to grips with it really. They went to 10 men and I think it was so early it kind of shocked us and we didn't get to grips with it.

"Second half we adjusted it and we kept the ball better without really breaking them open. But it is difficult. Teams bank in with a 4-4-1 as they often do and they look for a counter.

"They didn't really counter many times and in the end they win it on a soft set-piece from our point of view."

The Clarets have two weeks off due to the international break and Dyche says that it has come at a good time for the squad.

"The clarity has to come," Dyche added. "[The international break] gives the chance for the players to clear their minds."

Burnley return to action on 30th March when they play Wolves at home.

They are 23/10 for a welcome three points with Wolves 5/4 and the draw 11/5.

Burnley are 8/1 to win the game 1-0.

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Hammers aim for top seven

Javier Hernandez says that West Ham have the top seven firmly in their sights after coming from behind to beat Huddersfield 4-3.

The Terriers, bottom of the Premier League table and well adrift of safety had only scored 15 goals in 30 league games before their trip to the London Stadium.

However, after 65 minutes they were leading 3-1, goals from Juninho Bacuna and a double from Karlam Grant.

They were well on course for their first away win since November but the Hammers fought back in a thrilling game.

Mark Noble gave them an early lead with a penalty but they were trailing 3-1 when Angelo Ogbonna headed a second and then two late goals from Hernandez turned the game around.

The win means that West Ham are ninth in the table but are just two points off Wolves who are seventh.

It means the Hammers have plenty to aim for towards the end of the season according to Hernandez.

He said: "Against Cardiff we didn't play so well but we did it in the second half today. The Premier League is the most competitive league in the world so every game home or away is always tough.

"I always try to do my best, to give my best performances for this club, hopefully we can finish in the top seven."

In other games on Saturday Leicester won 2-1 at Burnley despite playing for most of the game with 10 men, Harry Maguire getting sent off in just the fourth minute.

It finished all square at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth and Newcastle drawing 2-2 though the visitors had to wait until almost the last kick of the game to equalise, Matt Ritchie scoring against his old club to earn a point for Rafa Benitez's side.

West Ham are at home to Everton after the international break and are 11/8 for the win with the Toffees 2/1 and the draw 9/4. The Hammers are 17/2 to win the game 1-0.

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Chelsea stay on target

Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta says that his side remain on track to achieve their aims at the end of the season.

He was speaking after Chelsea won 2-1 away at strugglers Fulham who were under the caretaker charge of Scott Parker after Claudio Ranieri left the club in the week.

Gonzalo Higuain set the visitors on their way with a good finish from Azpilicueta's cross.

Calum Chambers equalised for the home side but Chelsea soon regained the lead, Jorginho firing home from 20 yards.

Fulham had the ball in the net towards the end but Ryan Sessegnon's effort was ruled out for offside.

It was an encouraging display from Fulham and the Craven Cottage crowd appreciated the home side's play, though they stay deep in relegation trouble 10 points from safety with just nine games remaining.

Chelsea meanwhile are still in the hunt for a top four place in the Premier League and remain in the Europa League.

Maurizio Sarri's side are sixth in the league, two points adrift of Manchester United in fourth but with a game in hand.

They face Dynamo Kiev on Thursday in the Europa League round of 16 first-leg at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are 3/10 to win the tie with Kiev 9/1 and the draw is 17/4.

Chelsea are 7/2 to win the Europa League this season with Arsenal 9/2 and Sevilla 11/2.

Azpilicueta said after the win at Fulham that he was glad of the points after a tough game.

He told Sky Sports: "In the first half we played very well and created a lot of chances to go in more comfortably at half-time.

"We didn't score and we know Fulham are fighting relegation. Every point matters they pushed hard and sometimes you have to dig in.

"We know that we are entering into the last stage of the season where we have to take everything we can. We have a lot of targets to get. Hopefully we can get what we want"

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Warnock calls for more fight

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock is worried that his team are going to slide out of the Premier League with a whimper.

The Bluebirds are 1/3 to be relegated this season after suffering a 3-0 home loss to Everton on Tuesday, just four days after being thrashed 5-1 by Watford at their own ground.

Iceland international Gylfi Sigurdsson scored twice and Dominic Calvert-Lewin was also on target in stoppage time as Everton easily won at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Cardiff are 11/2 to win at Wolves in their next Premier League match on Saturday.

"I know my team for the Wolves game and I want people who will be in the trenches because I was let down by one or two on Tuesday," said Warnock. "I am not going to throw the towel in and I will make sure we are ready."

Cardiff had beaten Bournemouth and Southampton before their two recent setbacks and Warnock is keen to return to winning ways, adding: "We have got to make our own luck.

"We have got 10 games left, difficult games, and people will probably be rubbing their hands now at playing us but, as I've said to the lads, we're not going down without a fight."

Hasenhuttl rues Obafemi setback

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed that Michael Obafemi suffered another hamstring injury during Sunday's 2-0 loss at Arsenal.

The 18-year-old was introduced as a substitute at half time against the Gunners after being sidelined for the last two months with a hamstring problem.

However, just 20 minutes into his comeback, the teenager suffered a recurrence of the injury and is set for another lay-off.

It is exactly what Hasenhuttl does not need at the moment as Sunday's defeat leaves Saints in the relegation zone while Danny Ings is still ruled out.

Hasenhuttl said: "I wanted to give Michael Obafemi a chance to play because he was fit again. It is very disappointing that he is again injured.

"It was his first 20 minutes after a long, long break. It seems again that it is a hamstring problem that he has.

"It is a problem he knows he has with his body because of his body shape and the posture is a very stiff one. It's absolutely disappointing and it's horrible for me because with Danny Ings we have another striker who is out."

Southampton, 7/2 to be relegated this season, face Fulham at St Mary's on Wednesday. Saints are 10/11 to win the match and 13/8 to keep a clean sheet against Claudio Ranieri's side.

Spurs lose ground in title race

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino conceded that winning the title would be "difficult" after his side lost 2-1 at Burnley.

Harry Kane marked his comeback from injury with a goal but that was sandwiched between two for the home side at Turf Moor, Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes on target for Sean Dyche's side who move further clear of the relegation zone with this victory.

Wood headed the Clarets in front early in the second half, Kane, in his first appearance since 13th January, got Spurs back on level terms, but Burnley regained the lead late on through a Barnes tap-in to secure the three points.

The win moves Burnley up into mid-table, six points clear of the relegation zone. They haven't lost in the league this year going eight games unbeaten after a poor start to the campaign.

Meanwhile Spurs, at the other end of the table, would have moved to within two points of Manchester City and Liverpool with victory at Turf Moor.

As it is they remain five off the pace having played a game more than Liverpool who will regain top spot in the Premier League if they avoid defeat at Manchester United on Sunday.

Pochettino said after the Burnley defeat that mistakes had cost his side. He told Sky Sports: "We made a few mistakes and conceded two goals. There is nothing to say. Congratulations to Burnley. We don't deserve the defeat but that's football.

"I think it's important to understand that it was a game that is important for us. I believe before the game that if you want to be a contender you need three points."

Spurs are back in action in the Premier League on Wednesday night when they travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in a London derby.

They are 11/5 for the win with Maurizio Sarri's side 5/4 and the draw 9/4.

As well as the league Spurs are also still involved in the Champions League, having a 3-0 advantage over Borussia Dortmund after the first-leg of their round of 16 clash.

Spurs are 16/1 to win the Champions League this season with Real Madrid 9/1.

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Dyche insists more to come

Sean Dyche insists that Burnley's survival bid is far from over and says there is more to come from his side this season.

The Clarets are unbeaten in the league this year, taking 15 points from their last seven games.

However, despite that run they are still only three points clear of the relegation zone so Dyche is far from complacent.

He says though that while he and the squad have been put under scrutiny this campaign, he is pleased with how they have reacted.

At a press conference ahead of a weekend match with Tottenham at Turf Moor, Dyche said: "We've been heavily questioned this season, myself and the team. To come out of that with a good run of performances and results is very pleasing.

"The players are certainly grounded enough to know there is more to come and we have got to continue in that vein."

Burnley are 4/1 to win on Saturday with Spurs 4/6 and the draw 11/4.

Dyche said that Robbie Brady and Johann Berg Gudmundsson are fit to face Mauricio Pochettino's side though the squad will still be missing Steven Defour.

Having been knocked out of the FA Cup at the fourth round stage, the Clarets had no game last weekend and Dyche was appreciative of the break, using the opportunity to take the squad away.

"With an international break you lose a few [players] and you can't take the whole group but we took everyone with us, just for four days. We just wanted to lock in all the good work that is going on at the moment," he added.

"After the run we have confirmed we are in a better place, although there is still work to be done."

Burnley are 50/1 to finish in the top half of the Premier League while Spurs, five points off the top, are 20/1 to win the title.

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Puel denies Schmeichel unrest

Leicester boss Claude Puel says that Kasper Schmeichel is settled at the club and is not seeking a move away.

The keeper's dad Manchester United legend Peter had suggested that there was dressing room unrest at Puel's tactics but the Foxes manager dismissed speculation about Schmeichel's future.

Leicester host Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday and, at a press conference ahead of the game, Puel said: "I had a discussion with Kasper, not just about this but different things. He is happy to play with Leicester, he extended his contract a few months ago.

"He understands the project and what we are trying to put in place. He is happy with Leicester and this is the most important thing."

Leicester are without a win in the league since New Year's Day, losing four of the five games since but the Foxes boss insists they are not far away from getting victories, noting that they have played Liverpool, Manchester United and Spurs in their last three games.

"I was pleased with our performances, but we need to find a clinical edge," he added.

"We need points. We have two home games and it will be important to find results for our confidence and to go up the table."

The Foxes are 23/20 to win Saturday's game with Palace 12/5 and the draw 23/10.

Puel said that Daniel Amartey and Marc Albrighton will not be fit to face Palace but they will be checking on Ben Chilwell and James Maddison to assess their availability.

Leicester and Palace are 12th and 13th in the table respectively but the Foxes have a five-point lead over the Eagles who are only three points clear of the relegation zone.

Leicester are 8/15 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table while Palace are 16/1 to be relegated .

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Kane close to return

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino says that Harry Kane is back in full training and could be involved against Burnley at the weekend.

The England striker has missed his team's last seven matches with ankle ligament damage. However, he has recovered quicker than expected and could even feature at Turf Moor on Saturday.

At a press conference Pochettino said that Kane would be assessed closely over the next couple of days before a decision is made.

He told reporters: "He [Kane] is very good. I think we need to assess him in tomorrow's training session and then decide.

"But I think he's doing well, I'm happy with him and maybe he's going to be available to be part of the squad for Saturday."

Pochettino was also hopeful that Dele Alli would soon be involved with the first team though he couldn't say when Kane's England team-mate would be back.

The Argentine added: "His progression is good, we're happy. This muscle injury is different in how we assess it.

"He's in the last part of his recovery and we'll see as soon as possible if he can be available to be involved with the team."

Spurs are 4/6 to win on Saturday with Burnley 4/1 and the draw 11/4.

With Liverpool not in action until Sunday and Manchester City involved in the EFL Cup final, Spurs have the chance to close the gap on the top two on Saturday.

Burnley meanwhile are on a seven-match unbeaten run but are still too close to the bottom three for comfort, having just a three-point advantage over Southampton who sit in the last relegation place.

Spurs are 20/1 to win the title this year while Burnley are 10/3 to be relegated.

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