Tuesday 4/25/17 (11:45 AM PT)
Chelsea vs. Southampton (4)
With an easy schedule coming home that includes no games against top-seven teams, the Blues are in the driver’s seat for the title, and this week will be very telling. A win here not only moves them one step closer, but also eliminates one of the two tough games they have left (with West Brom also lined up). However, after having not played this past weekend, Southampton will be fresh while Chelsea endured a demanding FA Cup fixture against Tottenham. Chelsea are riding a big wave of momentum and should take the points, but coming off a tiring and emotionally draining game, it wouldn’t be a shock if they were just a touch off the pace on Tuesday.
Middlesbrough vs. Sunderland (2)
Boro’s only chance of survival relies on winning this game, and even if they do, they are still going to find it mighty hard to stay up. Both teams are in dreadful form and wouldn’t have much of a chance to nip three points against any other team at the moment. It’s truly now or never for both outfits, and throw in the fact it's a derby, and this clash of bottom feeders actually becomes half-decent, although that doesn’t mean good football will be on display.
Arsenal vs. Leicester City (4)
A slight door has opened for Arsenal following Liverpool’s loss to Crystal Palace over the weekend, and if the Gunners want any chance of another top-four finish, they have to take advantage in the midweek. Leicester have cooled a bit of late, but they have proved a tough matchup since Craig Shakespeare's takeover and are certainly not going to make things easy for the floundering Gunners. The big win against Manchester City in the Cup should help Arsenal regain some confidence, but they are really in a must-win scenario here to begin an unlikely comeback on the top four.
(12 PM PT)
After their FA Cup heartbreak over the weekend (LINK), Spurs must respond quickly if they want to keep pressure on Chelsea in the PL title race. Tottenham will know Chelsea’s result when they kick off, but that will only increase the pressure in what’s a very tricky London derby matchup. Palace have defeated three top-six sides in April, most recently Liverpool, and they’ll welcome Spurs to Selhurst Park with a ton of confidence. Tottenham are undoubtedly the favorites considering their quality and their impressive league form, but they must be wary of the danger Palace presents.
Thursday 4/27/17 (12 PM PT)
Manchester City vs. Manchester United (5)
This is a pretty massive Manchester derby at the Etihad. City currently lead United by just one point in the top-four race, and the Red Devils can jump into a Champions League place with an away win over their rivals. United will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the rest of the season after his knee injury in the Europa League, but they didn’t miss a beat without him in a 2-0 win at Burnley on the weekend. United’s unbeaten league run is up to 23 games, and they’ve won three in a row; City will still fancy their chances while playing at home, but Pep Guardiola’s side will have to be at its best. The quality on display is one of many reasons why this is very much a can’t-miss clash.
Tuesday 4/25/17 (12:30 PM PT)
Atletico Madrid vs. Villarreal
With five games left in the La Liga season, Atletico are currently in third place, 11 points ahead of fifth-place Villarreal. The visitors are unlikely to catch either Atletico or fourth-place Sevilla, whom they trail by eight points, but Atletico must win this game or run the risk of losing their automatic Champions League qualification spot. The stakes may not be all that high, but these teams are loaded with quality. This is also a good chance for Atletico to get hot before they battle Real Madrid next week in the UCL semifinals.
Wednesday 4/25/17 (11:45 AM PT)
Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund
With Bayern cruising towards the title, Dortmund essentially locked in a UCL place, and neither still competing in Europe, this is the last major front for either to really make an impact on. With the other semifinal (on Tuesday) between Monchengladbach and Eintracht Frankfurt, the winner here will undoubtedly be big favorites to win the crown. With
(12:05 PM PT)
PSG vs. Monaco
In the Coupe de France, the winner of this single-legged tie will feel very confident of lifting the trophy rather than either of the other semifinal combatants, Angers and Guingamp. PSG have the home-field advantage in this one, which could certainly play a role in deciding the tie. Form is irrelevant, but only because both of these sides are on stunning runs right now; PSG haven’t lost in 16 Ligue 1 games, while Monaco’s run stands at 15. The sides are also level atop the league on points, so the winner of Wednesday’s tie will get a slight psychological edge ahead of the final stretch of the campaign.