West Ham vs. Fulham (11:45 AM PT, NBCSN)
Cardiff vs. Watford (11:45 AM PT, NBC Sports Gold)
Burnley vs. Tottenham (4:30 AM PT, NBCSN)
Newcastle vs. Huddersfield (7:00 AM PT, NBCSN)
Bournemouth vs. Wolves (7:00 AM PT, NBC Sports Gold)
Leicester vs. Crystal Palace (9:30 AM PT, NBC)
Manchester United vs. Liverpool (6:05 AM PT, NBCSN)
Arsenal vs. Southampton (6:05 AM PT, NBC Sports Gold)
Manchester City vs. Chelsea (Carabao Cup final, 8:30 AM PT, ESPN+)
Top Three Games
3. Arsenal vs. Southampton
It seems pretty simple; 13 places ahead, and with more than double the points on the season, Arsenal are big favorites at home against Southampton. Two months ago in mid-December, the Gunners entered the reverse fixture (albeit on the road) in a similar position only to suffer a disappointing 3-2 loss. Both teams are in need of points, too, with Saints languishing in the relegation zone and the Gunners in a close-as-ever battle for fourth place with Chelsea and Manchester United. Keep this in mind too ––
2. Manchester United vs. Liverpool
This is easily the biggest game in the league this weekend, and it’s easy to see why. Simply put, this is massive for both sides in their respective duels in the top six. Liverpool need to take advantage of City having a week away from Premier League action, and as this will even up the games played count, it’ll be even more crucial to get the three points and pull ahead of the Citizens entering the stretch run. Doing so will be mightily difficult, however, as United rebounded from their first loss under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with perhaps their best performance under the Norwegian in a 2-0 FA Cup win at Chelsea last Monday. United remain just a point ahead of both the Blues and Arsenal in the top-four fight, and with their hated rivals visiting Old Trafford (yes, more hated than Man City), don’t expect the Red Devils to roll over against the leaders. This should really be a phenomenal match in Manchester.
1. Manchester City vs. Chelsea (Carabao Cup final)
How can this be anything but another Manchester City rout? Chelsea, to be polite, are in freefall, and the Citizens are riding high after, despite having 10-men, overturning a 2-1 deficit for a 3-2 Champions League win over Schalke. That’s an impressive enough feat, but so too was their destruction of this very same imploding Chelsea outfit earlier this month, with the Citizens torching Maurizio Sarri’s team 6-0 at the Etihad. All signs point to City’s first big trophy of the season, and Pep Guardiola should be able to get the job done. That being said, Chelsea aren’t going to roll
Under-the-Radar Game to watch
Newcastle vs. Huddersfield
There might not be a ton of quality in this one, but emotions will certainly be running high in a relegation six-pointer at St. James’ Park. In truth, most are already calling that Huddersfield will head down to the Championship in 20th place, and it’s hard to formulate an argument against that being an inevitability. If they want to mount any sort of a fight, this is a critical one for the Terriers to win, but against a Magpies team that’s playing better of late and also needs to win, it will be a tough task. Rafa Benitez’s men are picking up a bit of momentum, and they should have enough quality to keep it going this weekend, but a loss could throw their own survival bid into a little bit of question.
European Games of the Week
Sevilla vs. Barcelona (Saturday 2/23/19, 7:15 AM PT)
Despite a recent stumble of back-to-back draws followed by an ugly 1-0 win over Valladolid, Barcelona continue to inch towards another La Liga title, as their lead on second-place Atletico Madrid has now grown to seven points. Still, they’ve been less than impressive of late, which means that Sevilla should have the opportunity to pull off a surprise at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan this weekend. If they do so, Barca will still be in control of the title race, but it’ll at least introduce a little bit of doubt for the Blaugrana. What’s more, this game is actually far more important
Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Sunday 2/24/19, 9:00 AM PT)
It’s gut-check time, Dortmund. Three straight league draws –– most recently against bottom-of-the-table Nurnberg –– with a DfB-Pokal elimination and a 3-0 first leg UCL hammering from Tottenham sprinkled in have the Black and Yellows on the brink of disaster in what once looked like a potential multi-trophy season. They still hold a three-point lead over Bayern Munich in the league, but that advantage could evaporate in a hurry given the hosts’ form. Leverkusen still have everything to play for as well, sitting in fifth and needing to make up a five-point gap to get themselves into a UCL spot. They, however, are in flying form, coming in on the back of four straight Bundesliga wins with 13 goals scored and just two conceded. Dortmund are currently on full tilt in the wrong direction, and Leverkusen couldn’t be catching them at a better time. A win for either would go a long way for the confidence that each might reach lofty goals.