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BPL Previews

Published:Friday | April 17, 2015 | 12:00 AM
AP Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic (left) celebrates after his teammate Cesc Fabregas (second right) scored during the English Premier League match between Queen's Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road stadium in London, last Sunday.


Former Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis returns to Selhurst Park for the first time since taking over at West Bromwich Albion. Pulis left Palace in August and current incumbent Alan Pardew is on a roll with five wins, including the last four, in the last five. It is the first time Palace have won four in a row since March and April last year when they won five in a row under Pulis.



Everton have turned their season around with a run of three wins and a draw - last Saturday at Swansea - but they have won just five home games, one short of the club's previous fewer number of home Barclays Premier League victories. Burnley remain in the bottom three with one goal in their last six outings and a total of 299 minutes since George Boyd's winner against Burnley four games ago.


Leicester have given themselves a chance, albeit slim, of staying in the Barclays Premier League, with successive wins over West Ham and West Bromwich Albion. A third win would represent their best sequence of the season and the first time they have won three in a row in the top flight since September 2000. Swansea arrive unbeaten in three games.



Reading are in the FA Cup semi-final for only the second time and first since 1927. Arsenal, though, are the holders and in the last four for a record 28th time. Championship side Reading have gone five games without a win since beating Bradford in the sixth-round replay, and are facing Barclays Premier League opposition for the first time in this season's competition. These teams have met 12 times and Arsenal have won them all, including three in the Cup. The last three meetings produced 24 goals.


Aston Villa are in the semi-final of the FA Cup for the first time since 2010 when they lost 3-0 to Chelsea. Villa last reached the final in 2000 while Liverpool are in their 24th semi-final (and fourth against Villa) and are bidding to reach the final for the 15th time and first since 2012. In the Cup, these teams have met seven times, with Liverpool winning six. Villa's only win was in March 1897. Liverpool have won the six subsequent Cup clashes, scoring 12 goals and conceding none.