The number of games left in the Premier League this season has come down to a single digit and it looks like the Foxes are running away with the honors. However, the game of football has seen stranger things happen and the nature of the games this weekend will surely effect the shape of the points table come the end of the season.
From the Manchester derby to the Tyne-Wear derby, there is a lot of fuzz surrounding the fixtures this weekend. Here are 10 talking points from the 31st round of the Premier League:
- Last chance for the Gunners:
After a disappointing end to the FA Cup and the Champions League campaign in the space of 10 days, Arsenal will face a daunting trip to the Goodison Park badly in need of a result to stay in the race for the title this season. The Toffees have been hard to beat and a loss in this game will surely end the title hopes for the Emirates franchise.
- Leicester City to continue their title push:
The Foxes, at the top of the table will face a relatively easy game against the Eagles this weekend, given the recent form of Pardew’s side. Palace have just one once in this year and have lost 5 on the trot at the Selhurst Park in the last 5 games. Surely Ranieri’s side will fancy their chances on Saturday.
- Norwich City need a result:
The Canaries will travel to the Hawthorns this weekend in search of a result to keep their season in top flight safe. They will have to fight it out against a stubborn Baggies side that have proven hard to beat this season. The visitors in this game need every point they can take to stay out of the relegation zone come the end of the season.
- Can Stoke dream of Europe?
Stoke City are in the 9th place, 4 points away from a European spot. They have played some nice football this season but will find it hard against Sanchez Flores side who are fresh of the victory at the Emirates in the FA Cup. It will be an intriguing battle between two well balanced sides.
- An important London derby:
Chelsea will welcome local rivals West Ham United this weekend in a crunch tie for the Hammers. Slaven Bilic’s side have found some consistency in recent times and will hope to break Chelsea’s 12 game unbeaten run to give themselves a better chance of Champions League football next season.
- Can Villa provide a late scare?
Aston Villa have just 16 points with 8 games to go in their season and are practically relegated. However, the Premier League this season has provided many twists and turns and if Villa want a story of their own, they need to get something from this trip to the Liberty stadium this weekend. Swansea City are all but safe and have nothing to play for.
- Can Liverpool give a late top 4 chase?
Liverpool have hit a sweet patch of form since their loss in the League Cup final. They will travel to St Marys in a sizzling fixture and with just 7 points between them and a top 4 spot, Klopp will surely want his team to battle hard till the end of the season for Champions League football. However, this game will not be easy and they will have to be at their best to get anything from it.
- One of the most important Tyne-Wear derbys in recent times:
Sunderland who are currently just above the relegation zone, level on points with Norwich City travel to St James Park with Newcastle firmly in the middle of a relegation battle. Three points in this fixture can go a long way in saving their top light status and with stakes this high, this game will surely be a fierce affair.
- Cherry test for the Spurs:
After a disappointing end to the Europa League campaign, Tottenham welcome AFC Bournemouth this weekend in the Premier League. Pochettino’s men cannot afford to lose any more ground in the title race but the Cherries can prove to be a tougher task than they appear. It will be another intriguing game this weekend.
- Crunch Manchester Derby:
This weekend, the biggest game is between two sides who have heavily under achieved this season. Both Manchester clubs are presently fighting a battle for the 4th spot in the points table and this game can be the difference between the two sides come the end of the season. Just 4 points separate both clubs as an entertaining games awaits us at the Etihad on Sunday.