It’s the penultimate weekend of the Premier League campaign and the race for both the title and the coveted top-four places are going down to the wire. With Arsenal pulling off an impressive revival, Liverpool’s form growing more uncertain every week, and Manchester United having waved the white flag, it appears things couldn’t get any more incendiary in England’s top-tier competition.
With the Premier League at its near-breaking point, here are three matches this weekend you simply have to watch.
West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea (12th May, Friday; 08:00PM England time)
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte can only be excited coming into this match against West Bromwich Albion and his opposite number Tony Pulis. The Blues boss will undoubtedly be calling on his players to muster their all in this fixture, for winning this match may well be the match that finally decides if they become this year’s Premier League Champions.
Indeed, as it stands, Chelsea are currently at the summit of the table with 84 points, a dominating seven points clear from nearest contenders Tottenham, with just three games left to play. With the Blues playing first, it is highly important for Conte to secure the win on this fixture to put pressure on Spurs.
That, of course, is easier said that done. West Brom boss Tony Pulis is known to be a tough customer and has already proved his worth as a tactical expert when it comes to playing on the defence. Indeed, the last time the two sides met, Chelsea only managed to win 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. Now, with the game set to be played at the Hawthorns, Pulis may well secure a fantastic draw or victory.
West Ham United v Liverpool (14th May, Sunday; 02:15PM England time)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, the stakes couldn’t be any higher and clearer. As things stand, the Merseyside heavyweights are currently in third place with 70 points, four points clear off of fifth-place Arsenal. Indeed, Liverpool’s victory in this match all but cements their top four finish this season, and with it, their qualification for the Champions League next year.
Of course, opponents West Ham United may have other plans. Hammers boss Slaven Bilic has started this season in promising fashion but has since fallen down the table, at one point almost bound to get caught in a relegation scrap. Having said that, Bilic will be out to prove his worth and this game would be the perfect game to do just that.
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United (12th May, Sunday; 04:30PM England time)
A team hoping to keep their fleeting title hopes alive against a side desperately gunning to secure a top four finish; without a doubt, this is the biggest, most must-see fixture of the weekend as Tottenham are set to welcome Manchester United at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
The Lilywhites suffered a serious blow to their title chances in their last Premier League fixture when they lost 1-0 against a brave West Ham side last weekend. This time, there is no more room for error. It’s win or bust for Spurs, and their manager Mauricio Pochettino will surely be well aware of. If they can recover from their stumble last week, they could grab a victory against United.
United, for their part, seems to have already given up on their quest for the top four after they fielded a weakened side to face Arsenal in the two clubs’ Premier League bout last week. But surely, Mourinho won’t be doing it for two straight weeks in a row, despite his squad greatly thinned by injuries. The Portuguese tactician will be out to prove himself in this match, without a doubt.