Saturday 4/28/18 (4:30 AM PT)
Liverpool vs. Stoke (3)
Following their 5-2 Champions League first-leg triumph over Roma, a Liverpool team that’s extremely high on confidence welcomes a Stoke side low on it. This presumably won’t be the same Reds unit that lined up against the Italians in the midweek as Jurgen Klopp keeps one eye focused on next week’s second leg, but Liverpool should still have more than enough
(7 AM PT)
Crystal Palace vs. Leicester (2)
Five points in their last three games have given Palace some breathing room on the bottom three, and another win this week would almost officially secure their survival for another season. With a healthy Wilfried Zaha causing nightmares for EPL defenses, the Eagles have turned around their catastrophic start to the season in fantastic fashion under Roy Hodgson. They’ll fancy their chances of staying hot at Selhurst Park against a Leicester side with nothing to play for. The Foxes are dangerous, and they won’t roll over, but given the importance for Palace and the lack of it for Leicester, the Eagles will consider this a big opportunity.
Huddersfield vs. Everton (2)
Similarly, another side that’s nearly out of danger hosts a team that’s comfortably stuck in the mid-table. Huddersfield are coming off a huge win last weekend against Watford, and they now sit six points clear of the bottom three. Still, with Manchester City, Chelsea, and Arsenal still on the schedule to finish the season, the Terriers would be able to breathe a lot easier if they can keep the momentum going with another victory. For Everton, who are playing out the string as they jostle for positioning in the bottom half of the top 10, this game doesn’t matter much, which gives Huddersfield a huge edge.
Burnley vs. Brighton (3)
Like many of the other sides playing in this time slot, Brighton aren’t mathematically safe yet, but they’re just about there. Another win would secure safety for the Seagulls, but unlike the others in the same boat, they go up against a side that seems to be picking up steam rather than fading out. Burnley are hot on Arsenal’s heels as they chase what would be an extraordinary sixth-place finish, and the Clarets will be eager to continue their good run of form. A Europa League place is virtually secured; a victory this weekend at Turf Moor would officially do the job. That should be plenty of motivation for Burnley to put on a show in front of what’s sure to be a loud, excitable crowd.
Newcastle vs. West Brom (1)
Somehow, West Brom keep pulling their heads out of the guillotine before it can fall, but their time is running out. With just three games left, anything
Southampton vs. Bournemouth (3)
The situation is starting to look really bleak for Saints, who have one point in their last five games and are four points deep in the relegation zone. That’s not going to bode well as they host Bournemouth, but they do have a shot against their south coast rivals, who are averaging less than a point per game on the road this season. If Saints can’t get three, however, they will be in full desperation mode down the stretch.
(9:30 AM PT)
Swansea vs. Chelsea (3)
The beneficiaries of Southampton’s struggles are the Swans, who are sitting just above the relegation zone. Chelsea are not who they want to see this weekend, however, knowing that a win or two down the stretch would all but confirm safety. The Blues have plenty of reason to go after the points, too, as they haven’t been fully eliminated from the top-four race yet. Expect both teams to come to play as they try to salvage their seasons.
Sunday 4/29/18 (6:15 AM PT)
West Ham vs. Manchester City (1)
This is just not the game to tune into. City have locked
(8:30 AM PT)
Manchester United vs. Arsenal (4)
From a talent perspective, this is undoubtedly the game of the week. United and Arsenal have both been called out for not competing close enough in their respective races, with the Red Devils criticized for not pushing City and Arsenal for being the first elite side to drop out of the top-four race. Both are locked into their relative European competitions for next year (unless the Gunners can win the Europa League), but they each have something to prove. Still, with Arsenal having a critical second leg at the Wanda Metropolitano coming up, there’s zero reason for Arsene Wenger to roll out anything but his second side in will be his final fight at Arsenal with long-time sparring partner Jose Mourinho.
Monday 4/30/18 (12 noon PT)
Tottenham vs. Watford (3)
All of a sudden, Tottenham’s perspective is a little shaky. After losing to Manchester City and drawing Brighton, Spurs are just five points clear of Chelsea; they’re still favorites to hold onto the last UCL spot, but a serious slip could be a devastating blow to the club. They are well in the driver's seat, but they have to convert. Fortunately for Spurs fans, Watford have been dismal lately, with four losses and two draws in their last six. That doesn’t mean they will be a rollover, and Tottenham should come with everything as they try and seal their fate in advance of the last day. The best part about this fixture, however, is the kickoff time, if you’re able to it in, of course.
Bonus European Game of the Week: Inter Milan vs. Juventus, Saturday 4/28/18, 11:45 AM PT
For the second straight weekend, Europe’s most compelling fixture will take place in Italy. All of a sudden, Juventus have stumbled; a 1-1 draw with Crotone followed by a 1-0 home loss to Napoli has closed the gap between the Old Lady and the Naples club to just one point. The road doesn’t get any easier this weekend as Juve venture to the San Siro for the Derby d’Italia against rivals Inter. This game is as crucial for Inter as it is for Juve; the Nerazzurri are a point back of Lazio and Roma, who occupy Italy’s other two Champions League spots (behind Juve and Napoli). These teams both have tons of quality, incredible histories of success, and plenty of animosity for those on the other side. With the significant stakes on the line for both clubs, this is pretty much a can’t-miss match.