Saturday 4/22/17 (7:00 AM PT)
Hull City vs. Watford (2)
Watford haven’t been great this season, but they also have not allowed lower-half teams to take cheap points off them, recently defeating two of the three relegation-zone sides. Hull will be the latest to try to find a way past the middling Hornets, and while they are safe by two points at the moment, a win would be critical to their survival hopes. Having given up six goals in their last two games, the Tigers must shore up their defense if they are to get a win and move further away from a fate they want to avoid.
Swansea City vs. Stoke City (2)
With just a single point from their last six games, Swansea are in miserable form, and there’s no reason to think they’ll snap out of it this weekend against Stoke. The Potters have nothing to play for and broke a four-game losing streak last week, but they are still big favorites given just how bad the Swans have been
West Ham vs. Everton (3)
Everton are all but guaranteed a spot in Europe now that seventh place will qualify for the Europa League (thanks to Leicester’s exit from the Champions League), but there’s still a bit of pride for the Toffees on the line if they can sneak past a giant and into the top six. Their impressive second-half roll should take them by West Ham and Slaven Bilic, who may just be coaching for his life down the stretch. The Hammers have been mired in inconsistency this year, so it's tough to know what to expect them to bring to the London Stadium. Even on the road, advantage Everton.
Bournemouth vs Middlesbrough (2)
It’s desperation time for Middlesbrough. With give games left in the Premier League season, Boro are six points off safety, a gap that looks a lot larger since their last Premier League win came December 17. Bournemouth are one of just four sides to fall to Boro this season, and they have lost their last two games by a 7-1 margin, so there are reasons for hope for the visitors as they visit Dean Court. But Bournemouth need another win to secure safety as well, and they’ll feel very confident of getting it this weekend.
Burnley vs. Manchester United (3)
As four of their top-six rivals turn their attentions to the FA Cup, Manchester United can get to within one point of their neighbors City if they can solve Burnley at Turf Moor. That’s obviously no easy task, but three of Burnley’s four home losses this season have come against Arsenal, Man City, and Tottenham. United will feel confident after their impressive 2-0 win over Chelsea last weekend, though they’ll need to be at their best against the Clarets. Burnley are virtually safe, but they’ll undoubtedly be eager to try to make a statement against Jose Mourinho and throw a wrench into United’s push for the Champions League.
(8:30 AM PT)
Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace (4)
This is one of those fixtures that always seems to have a twist in store. Since Palace’s return to the Premier League in the 2013-14 season, these teams have played seven PL games, which each winning three and the other being a memorable 3-3 draw that stalled Liverpool’s title run in May 2014. Palace have also won at Anfield in each of the past two seasons, so they certainly know how to beat the Reds on their home turf. One more win would secure Palace’s PL status, while a loss could severely damage Liverpool’s Champions League aspirations. The stakes are high, and the history says this will be an outstanding contest.
Saturday 4/22/17 (9:15 AM PT)
Chelsea vs. Tottenham
On top of being a huge London derby at Wembley that will decide half of the FA Cup final, this fixture might even have grander implications in the PL title race as the top two in England meet. Sure, there are no points up for grabs, but whoever wins here will get critical momentum ahead of the last six fixtures, with the other questioning whether or not they have enough to
Sunday 4/23/17 (7:00 AM PT)
Arsenal vs. Manchester City
Just about the only thing that can salvage what’s been a miserable year for Arsenal fans would be an FA Cup triumph. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are eager for silverware as well. With a berth in the final on the line, this game promises to be a fantastic one. There’s so much quality in each squad, and neither side is overly strong defensively. This fixture has produced a whole lot of goals over the past few seasons; with the intensity that comes with any FA Cup semifinal, there’s every reason to expect more of the same Sunday at Wembley.
Bonus European Game of the Week: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, Sunday 4/23/17, 11:45 AM PT
What a time for a Clasico. Real have all of the momentum right now after their controversial extra-time win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday, while Barca are fresh off the disappointment of crashing out to Juventus in the quarterfinals. Domestically, Los Blancos have a three-point lead on their rivals and a game in hand, and they’ve won seven and drawn two of their last nine La Liga games. But form goes out the window when these teams match up. With the two most star-studded teams in world football battling for the upper hand in a tight race in Spain, and with the contest kicking off at a time for optimal viewing in the United States, this is as much of a can’t-miss clash as European football can provide.