The 10 Premier League games you HAVE to watch as the season reaches its finale: Arsenal host Liverpool straight away, West Ham could dream of Champions League football against Chelsea… and could there be a final-day play-off to avoid relegation?
- There’s still plenty to play for as the Premier League reaches its latter stages
- Arsenal host Liverpool the first week back, while Newcastle play Tottenham
- West Ham’s April 24 date with Chelsea could be decisive in the top-four race
- Newcastle face Sheffield United and Fulham in their crucial final two matches
- Sportsmail takes a look at what games not to miss as the season reaches a climax
With less than 10 games to go in the Premier League season, it’s squeaky bum time for nearly all the 20 clubs as there’s still plenty to play for.
Manchester City may have the title all but sewn up with a 14-point lead from neighbours United, but Champions League places are still very much up for grabs, with every team down to Aston Villa in 10th realistically still in contention.
At the bottom, Sheffield United and West Brom look near-certainties to go down, but it looks set to be tight between Fulham, Newcastle and perhaps Brighton for who will join them.
As the season reaches what is sure to be a dramatic finale, Sportsmail goes through 10 matches you simply cannot miss over the next six weeks.
Manchester City look certain to win the Premier League title – their third in space of four years
Tottenham face Newcastle United on the first weekend back in a huge fixture for both teams
ARSENAL VS LIVERPOOL (SATURDAY APRIL 3, 20:00)
The first day back after the international break and the late kick-off gets us right back into the swing of things with wo teams who have had wretched periods of form this season, but Arsenal actually only trail the Premier League champions by four points in the table
The Reds themselves need to hit some consistent form if they’re to reel in Chelsea in fourth, who are currently five points clear.
That starts at the Emirates on Saturday night – a corker of a clash to begin the finale.
Arsenal face Liverpool on the first day the Premier League returns after the international break
OTHER BIG MATCHES
West Ham vs Leicester (April 11)
Leeds vs Man Utd (April 24)
Fulham vs Burnley (May 8)
Man Utd vs Leicester (May 11)
Arsenal vs Chelsea (May 12)
NEWCASTLE VS TOTTENHAM (SUNDAY APRIL 4, 14:05)
Are there two managers, in Steve Bruce and Jose Mourinho, more in danger of losing their job in the next few weeks?
For the Magpies, they’ve been drawn into a relegation dogfight and amid in-fighting within the camp, Bruce has to steer the team away from Fulham – two points below them, but who’ve played a game more.
As for Spurs, following a disastrous Europa League exit, Mourinho now only has the league as a means to return to the Champions League next season.
Yet for all the talk of a crisis, Spurs are just three points behind Chelsea, who occupy fourth, at the start of the weekend – a margin very reachable over the course of nine more matches.
TOTTENHAM VS MANCHESTER UNITED (SUNDAY APRIL 11, 16:30)
This game usually provides plenty of talking points – remember Roy Keane’s half-time rant post-lockdown last season?
It represents another vital match for Mourinho’s top-four aspirations, against a former club of his who haven’t quite got a top-four spot wrapped up themselves.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are too many points behind to claw back a deficit to City in first – but they must consolidate a Champions League spot, amid a Europa League quarter-final clash against Granada either side of this clash.
One can only imagine Keane’s analysis of this one if David De Gea or Harry Maguire make another mistake. Even worse, if it’s anything like the 6-1 at Old Trafford back in October…
Tottenham beat Manchester United 6-1 back in October but things look very different now
WEST HAM VS CHELSEA (APRIL 24)
Who’d have guessed at the beginning of the season that this London derby could have such a decisive say on a top-four spot for both sides?
But, with David Moyes’ side showing no signs of their ascent dwindling, that is very much the case. As we speak now, they’re just two points behind the Blues and are their closest challengers.
Yet Chelsea are yet to lose under Thomas Tuchel since his arrival in late-January, as they fight on three fronts.
West Ham host Chelsea in late April and in a huge game for both sides’ European aspirations
Last season, Andriy Yarmolenko’s late winner at the London Stadium between these two secured West Ham’s Premier League status.
At a near-identical stage this season, the prize for victory could be far greater.
MANCHESTER UNITED VS LIVERPOOL (MAY 1)
The two most successful clubs in English football collide at Old Trafford as we enter the month of May.
At times, this fixture fails to live up to the hype – the reversal this season saw a largely-drab goalless draw played out at Anfield.
Yet just a week later, the sides met in the FA Cup and it was a humdinger, with United winning 3-2.
By this point, Liverpool’s top-four pursuit could be over. Or, they could right in the midst. The added layer of importance to this tempestuous derby could be decisive in their season.
Manchester United host Liverpool at Old Trafford as we hit May and the final couple of weeks
MANCHESTER CITY VS CHELSEA (MAY 8)
If the current gap of 14 points – 11 if United win their game in hand – maintains throughout the month of May, this could be the day Manchester City clinch the Premier League title.
Pep Guardiola’s side have been virtually unstoppable since the turn of the year, with only United claiming victory agains them.
While the focus will inevitably shift to glory on the Champions League front, this game at home to Chelsea could see City clinch their third league title in four years.
For the Blues, too, this match might well be vital for their top-four hopes. Get the fireworks ready.
Man City could lift the Premier League trophy against Chelsea, who they beat 3-1 in January
CHELSEA VS LEICESTER (MAY 15)
Brace yourselves. If, as reported, the Premier League shifts this weekend’s fixtures back a few days, this could be the day fans return to top-flight stadiums.
Up to 10,000 fans could be inside Stamford Bridge for this one, watching two teams who will hope to be securing Champions League football by this point.
Leicester have once again been flying high this season, and are third during the international break.
Five points above Chelsea, how big/small will that margin be six weeks down the line?
Chelsea’s last home game against Leicester could see supporters back on the terraces
NEWCASTLE VS SHEFFIELD UNITED (MAY 15)
After a torrid run-in including matches against Spurs, West Ham, Liverpool, Arsenal, Leicester and Man City before this, where will Steve Bruce’s side be in the table by this point?
Of course, they could be safe. Or, they could be deep in the dogfight to avoid the drop.
This home clash against the Blades could represent a gigantic clash for their top-flight future – and could have fans present to see it.
Imagine how big an occasion it would be if Sheffield United were also still in with a shout. On the penultimate Premier League weekend, that really would be a shock given the present situation.
Newcastle host Sheffield United in their final home game of the season at St James’ Park
LEICESTER VS TOTTENHAM (SUNDAY MAY 23, 16:00)
Only time will tell if this game actually has actually anything riding on it.
It could be a dead-rubber. But it could be a Champions League play-off, much like Leicester’s final game of last season against Manchester United.
The Foxes came up short on that occasion. Given their current gap of eight points to Spurs, they would hope to have it wrapped up by the final day.
It’s likely to be a bigger occasion for Mourinho. Could his job be on the line on this day?
Leicester beat Tottenham back in December – could their final day be a European decider?
FULHAM VS NEWCASTLE (SUNDAY MAY 23, 16:00)
Similarly, this has the makings of a humongous finale to the Premier League season if these two are still battling – with each other – to avoid the drop.
Newcastle slipping up are Fulham’s most likely hope of survival. If they’re within three points of them on the final day – with a superior goal-difference – than it’s in their own hands.
It really would be a case of Survival Sunday, centred purely on west London. With fans in too, how good would that be?
If Fulham are within three points of Newcastle on the final day, survival will be in their hands
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