Friday 5/5/17 (12 PM PT)
West Ham vs. Tottenham (3)
If Spurs want to have any hope of prying the title away from Chelsea, they have to win here, and they should have the firepower to do so. West Ham have little to play for and have been inconsistent all year, although they should have no problem getting up for this one against their London rivals. Spurs should roll, but the game will be cagier than the table positions suggest.
Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace (2)
City are in control of their own destiny to finish in the top four, but one slip would open the door for Manchester United who, of all teams, they certainly don't want to let in. Palace have shown they can hang with the top sides in the last two months but have since cooled, and their current form doesn't suggest they will get much at the Etihad. One win will confirm their top-flight status for another year, but don't bank on that coming this weekend unless they back into it with a Swansea loss.
(7 AM PT)
Hull City vs. Sunderland (2)
Sitting just two points clear of the relegation zone, and playing the worst team in the league, this is a must-win for the Tigers. Sunderland have been poor all year, and now that their relegation has been confirmed, the Black Cats are even more exploitable. Hull’s chance of survival may well rest on these three points, so letting the opportunity pass could be catastrophic.
Burnley vs. West Brom (1)
Both sides are playing for pride and the prospects of next season, but neither wants to slip further. Burnley aren't technically safe, but it would be a shock to see them take the drop, and at home, they are a good bet to get the three points they need to guarantee their ticket for another year in the Premier League. The Baggies, meanwhile, have lost four straight and will want to halt the skid before the year’s end. At one of the toughest venues in the league, however, that is a tough ask.
Bournemouth vs. Stoke City (1)
Another purely-for-pride matchup sees struggling Stoke face a decently in-form Bournemouth side. The 12th-place Potters haven’t finished in the bottom half of the table in three years and three points could boost them all the way to ninth (where they have finished the last three seasons). Bournemouth should be content with another year of survival in the PL, which will extend their first-ever stint in the top flight to three seasons, but they want to enter the summer on a high note. Frankly, however, there isn’t too much to see here.
Leicester vs. Watford (1)
Once again, these teams are playing only for placing in the final table. Both sit on 40 points, although Leicester are in slightly better form. The Foxes are also at home, where they’ve won four in a row, while Watford have lost four away games in a row. Based on that, Leicester are the favorites, but this game will ultimately come down to whichever team forgets the lack of importance and shows up to play.
(9:30 AM PT)
Swansea vs. Everton (4)
Conversely, this game means everything for Swansea. They’ll know the Hull result by the time they kick off at the Liberty Stadium, but with the Tigers hosting already-relegated Sunderland, Swansea will likely be five points back of Hull when they begin. That makes this an absolute must-win for the Swans, but they won’t get the three points without a fight. Everton are almost certainly going to finish seventh, but they could still surpass one or two of the big clubs above them, so the Toffees won’t just roll over. Swansea will need to be sharp and clinical if they’re going to get three utterly massive points.
Sunday 5/7/17 (5:30 AM PT)
Liverpool vs. Southampton (3)
This is a big game for Liverpool as they try to solidify themselves in third place, but it won’t be an easy win for Jurgen Klopp and co. For one, Southampton have given Liverpool problems in recent seasons, especially at Anfield. The Saints enter on a bad run of a draw and two losses in their last three, but that shouldn’t obscure the fact that they’re a very solid side. Liverpool, meanwhile, are sputtering as well, particularly at home, where they’ve drawn and lost their last two games. The Reds are the favorites, but they’re also under a ton of pressure to maintain their top-four spot, so a sting in the tail isn’t out of the question.
(8 AM PT)
Arsenal vs. Manchester United (5)
An old rivalry is renewed at the Emirates, and both sides will be very eager to throw a major wrench in the other’s top-four ambitions. This is less of a vital game for United, simply because at this stage, their best chance of qualifying for the Champions League will come through the Europa League, where they have one leg in the final after opening up a 1-0 lead away from home against Celta Vigo on Thursday. For Arsenal, this is a massive clash; the Gunners have games in hand over everyone above them and would pull to within two points of United with a win. Add in the well-documented history between the teams and animosity between Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho to the already high stakes, and this becomes close to a must-watch matchup.
Monday 5/8/17 (12 PM PT)
Yes, one of these sides is very obviously a clear favorite here, but this game is still intriguing and important. Chelsea will have spent the entire weekend thinking about this game, and if Spurs win on Friday, the gap between the two will be just one point. That heaps pressure on the Blues, and while they’ve dealt with it well so far, there’s always the possibility that it catches up with them. Boro could be relegated with a defeat, so there will be no shortage of fire from the visitors at Stamford Bridge. They caused Manchester City real problems last week in nabbing a draw, and a similar result against Chelsea could throw a late twist in the title race.
Bonus European Game of the Week: Borussia Dortmund vs. Hoffenheim, Saturday 5/6/17, 6:30 AM PT
Come season’s end, Dortmund and Hoffenheim are going to be occupying the third and fourth spots in the Bundesliga. But the difference is key, as the one who finishes below will have to play in a Champions League qualifier, and while neither is likely to lose in that scenario, a third-place finish will provide some peace of mind heading into the offseason. As it stands, Hoffenheim hold a one-point edge with three games to play, so a win would all but secure their status as the ones who will automatically head to the group stage. However, that task is made much more difficult given they will be entering the Signal Iduna Park, the country’s most intimidating venue. Besides Dortmund’s DfB-Pokal final, this will be the biggest game left on each side’s schedule, so expect a heavyweight bout.