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By ESPN Staff
May 2, 2008

Premier League: Van Persie rested by Gunners

Arsenal will rest Robin van Persie for Sunday's Premier League clash with Everton.

The injury-prone Dutch striker was substituted at half-time of Monday night's 6-2 drubbing of Derby County after sustaining a slight thigh problem.

Van Persie, 24, has been afflicted by the same injury already this season and boss Arsenal Wenger decided he would benefit from sitting out the penultimate match of the campaign.

'Van Persie is out as a precaution. We don't want to gamble at this stage on a muscular problem,' Wenger told Arsenal TV. 'We had a little alert with Robin but it's not big at all.'

Everton skipper Phil Neville reckons the Toffees have been revitalised at just the right time to clinch a UEFA Cup spot.

Everton still need points to make sure of European football after just one win in seven league games has seen Villa close the gap to just three points with two games left.

Neville, who scored his second goal of the season in the 2-2 draw with Villa said: 'There was energy back in our play, which will be good for the final two games.'

Top scorer Fernando Torres and defender Martin Skrtel are already doubts for Liverpool's final home game of the season on Sunday as the Anfield club lick their wounds after their midweek Champions League exit.

Torres limped out of the semi-final defeat at Chelsea with a hamstring problem - an injury that can take three weeks to heal.

Skrtel, missed against Didier Drogba after he was substituted with a knee injury, may also struggle to play again this term.

Nevertheless, manager Rafael Benitez would like to put on a show for fans against Manchester City as a thank you for a season of tremendous support at home and abroad.

He said: 'Clearly now we have to start thinking about the future. We must improve and we will add quality to the squad.

'We have two more games in the Premier League to go and obviously we will try to win them both to give our season a good ending.'

Sven-Goran Eriksson's future as Manchester City boss remained uncertain after the club cancelled the manager's routine pre-match press conference due to 'exceptional circumstances'.

The former England boss has kept a low profile in the build-up to Sunday's trip to Liverpool, while club owner Thaksin Shinawatra reportedly puts the finishing touches to his summer pay-off.

Eriksson has already been linked with a move away, most notably to one of his previous clubs, Benfica, whom Portuguese media claim want him to replace Jose Antonio Camacho.

'The door is not closed on Benfica,' Eriksson's agent Athole Still said.

'The question of money is important. He may have been contacted indirectly. If any club wish to talk with Eriksson, they must call me.'

Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan will be ready to put his feet up when an eventful season finally draws to a close.

The 57-year-old was thrust back into the limelight in January when Magpies owner Mike Ashley sprang a major surprise by re-appointing him to the job he had relinquished some 11 years earlier.

For two nerve-shredding months, Keegan looked on as his side battled in vain for the victory they needed to lay the foundations for a recovery.

But having stopped the rot of four successive defeats with a 1-1 draw at Birmingham on March 16, they have not looked back since and head into Monday's Chelsea clash on the back of a seven-game unbeaten run.

Keegan said: 'I was thrown in a little bit at the deep end when I took the job, so I am ready for a break, to be honest with you.

'But had the last six or seven games been at the start of the season, we would have been up at the top of the Premier League and looking forward to trying to stay there.'