Saturday 4/15/17 (4:30 AM PT)
Tottenham vs. Bournemouth (2)
With six straight Premier League wins at their backs, Tottenham are on fire, and it’s hard to see that run coming to an end at White Hart Lane against a mid-table Bournemouth side. The Cherries are capable of springing a shock — they drew Liverpool at Anfield last week — and although they’ve dropped into 15th place, they still shouldn’t feel much pressure thanks to a
(7 AM PT)
Crystal Palace vs. Leicester (3)
Both of these teams have moved away from danger thanks to solid runs in 2017, and each will look to continue their momentum. Palace are still just six points away from trouble, so this game certainly means more for Sam Allardyce and company, especially with a brutal run-in upcoming. Leicester, meanwhile, is coming off a fairly listless Champions League performance, but the Foxes remain within touching distance of Atletico Madrid. Craig Shakespeare may again rest some starters to make sure they’re ready for Atletico, and that could open the door for red-hot Palace to get another critical win that would all but cement their safety.
Sunderland vs. West Ham (2)
The situation is simple for Sunderland; the Black Cats need to win every game from this point forward to even have a chance to save themselves. Considering their horrendous season, that seems highly unlikely. They have just one point in their last seven games and haven’t scored since February 4. West Ham hasn’t been great either lately, snapping a five-game skid with a key win over Swansea last time out that means they can start looking to the future. Regardless, the Hammers should have more than enough to beat the worst side in the league, even on hostile ground.
Everton vs. Burnley (2)
With a win, Everton could temporarily jump into fifth place (depending on the margin of victory) with Manchester United and Arsenal both playing later in the weekend, and there’s no reason to think they won’t get three points. The Clarets are somehow still both safe from danger and winless away from home, although their form on their travels has been better of late with draws in the last two. However, against one of the better home teams in the league — the Toffees have won seven in a row at Goodison Park — that run isn’t likely to end.
Stoke vs. Hull (3)
As Stoke limp towards the finish line, Hull are sprinting there. The Potters have lost four games in a row, although they remain eight points and four places above the drop zone. On the other hand, Hull are still in a battle at the bottom, sitting just two points above 18th-place Swansea, but the Tigers have won three of their last five and look like a different team than they did a few months ago. Away from home, they won’t be the favorites, even against a struggling Stoke squad, but they’ll
Watford vs. Swansea (2)
With six games to play, the Swans are in big trouble. They are only two points away from climbing out of the relegation zone, but they have just one point in their last five games. If that disappointing form continues, a further slip is in the offing. Watford are certainly beatable at the moment, but they are head and shoulders the better side, and at Vicarage Road, they have a big advantage. Expect the Swans to keep it tight, but the Welsh outfit will most likely continue its downwards spiral this weekend.
(9:30 AM PT)
Southampton vs. Manchester City (4)
Saints are in a nothing-to-play-for scenario for the rest of the season, but fixtures like this give them a good chance to puff out their chests. City need to be wary with Southampton in good form, on a 4-1-1 run in their last six games, with the only loss coming in a tight contest with Tottenham. While the Saints are able to play freely, the Citizens need to avoid a slip with their crosstown rivals right on their heals. The Sky Blues should be able to get all three points if they play their game on the road, but it isn’t going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination.
Sunday 4/16/17 (5:30 AM PT)
West Brom vs. Liverpool (3)
An almost identical scenario to the one above sees a solid, mid-table host with nothing to play for taking on a powerhouse trying to hold onto its spot in the top four. Unlike Southampton, however, West Brom have not been in good form and are much more ripe for the taking. The Reds, meanwhile, haven’t lost since February, and they will like their odds of furthering that run and increasing pressure on the teams below. Their Gegenpress should be tough for the Baggies to handle, and that could very well be the difference in the contest.
(8 AM PT)
Manchester United vs. Chelsea (5)
Chelsea could take another big step forward on their march to the title this weekend if they can maneuver around Manchester United and their former manager, but that is far from a guarantee, with Jose Mourinho’s men expecting a dog fight. The stakes are almost equally high for United, who are still chasing the top four and need to keep pace if they don’t want to rely on winning the Europa League to qualify for the
Monday 4/17/17 (12 PM PT)
Middlesbrough vs. Arsenal (3)
Discounting Sunderland, who are already going down, Middlesbrough and Arsenal are probably the two most desperate teams in the league, but for completely different reasons. Four points in five games —including three losses — have left Arsenal far on the outside looking in at the Champions League race. Meanwhile, Boro have two draws and four losses in their last six, sit six points from safety, and do not look like breaking out of their funk any time soon. Both sides badly need points to get back into their respective fights and should display plenty of fight, but realistically, the Gunners should bring a big three points back to North London.
Bonus European Game of the Week: Inter Milan vs. AC Milan, Saturday 4/15/17, 3:30 AM PT
It's been a rough go in the past couple years for the normally strong Milan sides, and while their matchup this weekend won't determine a champion or even a Champions League place, it is a big one nonetheless. Of course, a year's worth of bragging rights are on the line for a pair of prideful clubs, but the winner will also have the inside track towards sixth place and the final Europa League spot. It might seem minor, but attracting the talent that each needs to return to better times is not going to come easily without any sort of European qualification. Expect a spirited performance given the immense rivalry, but don't count out the players’ motivation of wanting to play continental football next season.