Manchester United fans made their hatred of the Glazers well known with their protests at Old Trafford. Unfortunately, it has left them facing three matches in the space of five days! Not ideal, although fantasy football managers were frothing at the mouth of a triple gameweek!
The events at Old Trafford dominated last weekend but here's hoping that the action on the pitch is the main headline in this set of matches.
Game of the week
Manchester City vs Chelsea: Etihad Stadium, Saturday, 17.30 (Sky Sports)
The dress rehearsal for the Champions League final!
In league terms, this is a much more important match for Chelsea than Man City. Their top-four status is far from secure and they must keep pushing until they are mathematically a Champions League outfit again. They don't want to be relying on a victory in this year's final for qualification into next season's prestigious tournament.
In the other camp, Pep Guardiola will want to wrap up the league title as quickly as possible. It's just in his nature! Still, the Spaniard will want to use remaining league matches as an opportunity to field less utilised personnel - Sergio Aguero being a key one. City's talismanic striker will want to add to his goal tally before departing the Etihad in the summer.
Thomas Tuchel may recall a refreshed Christian Pulisic to the eleven but Thiago Silva may be rested after playing 90 minutes in midweek. Ultimately, both teams are likely to rotate to some extent and, therefore, it won't quite have the same feel as their big European final clash. Nonetheless, it should be an exciting watch.
Leicester City vs Newcastle United: King Power Stadium, 20.00 (Sky Sports)
Newcastle’s excellent run of form was ended by struggling Arsenal, who put their opponents to the sword with a confident attacking performance. Nonetheless, their recent form has propelled the Magpies away from relegation trouble and Steve Bruce will be delighted. They will struggle against a Leicester team who, after last week’s disappointing draw with 10-man Southampton, will be looking for maximum points.
Leeds United vs Tottenham Hotspur: Elland Road, 12.30 (BT Sport)
Leeds’ record in big matches has improved dramatically over the course of the season, but their defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion was a drop back down to earth. Ryan Mason has also made a steady start in his interim role at Spurs, but this match will be his toughest test in the league. Leeds have some wonderful attacking players that can panic a questionable Spurs defence.
Sheffield United vs Crystal Palace: Bramall Lane, 15.00 (Sky Sports)
Two teams with little to play for. The hosts have had their eyes on the Championship for a long time and Palace have practically secured their top-flight status for another year. Roy Hodgson’s contract finishes in the summer but there doesn’t seem like much of a resurgence from his playing squad, at present, suggesting a parting of the ways could be happening. This season, in particular, has had a few too many moments of lethargy, for the liking of Palace supporters.
Liverpool vs Southampton: Anfield, 20.00 (Sky Sports)
Mo Salah is still in the race for the Golden Boot and Liverpool are still in with a shout of the top-four, but the players need to step up. It hasn’t been good enough at either end of the pitch. Newcastle was a presentable opportunity to close the gap on Chelsea but they bottled it at the death. Jurgen Klopp will know that they cannot pass up any more opportunities. A Danny Ings-less Southampton team is certainly a more enticing prospect.
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Brighton & Hove Albion: Molineux, 12.00 (BBC Sport)
Nuno Espirito Santo just wants the season to end. After two excellent years in the Premier League, this campaign has been a real struggle for the Midlanders. A combination of exhaustion from last season’s efforts in Europe, injuries picked up over the season, and a lack of summer investment have all contributed to their positional slump. They desperately need an opportunity to refresh because games are rarely easy at this level.
Aston Villa vs Manchester United: Old Trafford, 14.05 (Sky Sports)
It’s United’s first match since the controversial postponement of their match with Liverpool last weekend. Quite how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will approach this is anyone’s guess. One would assume he fields a strong team while resting a few of his stars, with two more matches to play in the following five days. Mason Greenwood could get a lot of action across the pile-up because he is a young, exuberant talent who performs well as a starter and as an impact substitute.
West Ham United vs Everton: London Park, 16.30 (Sky Sports)
Michail Antonio made an unexpected return from injury, scoring a double as West Ham brushed aside Burnley at Turf Moor. His comeback, alongside the excellent Aaron Cresswell, will help to push the Hammers forward. Their quest for the Champions League has new life! A match against a somewhat lifeless looking Everton should help to fuel that momentous fire!
Arsenal vs West Bromwich Albion: Emirates Stadium, 19.00 (BT Sport)
It has been a season of turbulence for Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard had won the FA Cup and the Community Shield before this coming campaign, and those successes have given him a little bit of leeway in these moments of adversity. Arsenal should cruise past teams like West Brom but their form has oscillated so much that no game is a formality. In fact, their opponents have been rather difficult to play against in recent weeks, despite their impending drop to the Championship.
Fulham vs Burnley: Craven Cottage, 20.00 (Sky Sports)
It’s the last chance saloon for Scott Parker and this game is a must win. Fulham have done so much right over the course of the campaign but it looks like their efforts will be in vein. They lacked the knowhow and experience to hang on to points and, in attacking areas, a lack of cutting edge has taken its toll on more than one occasion. A Burnley win would mathematically keep them in the Premier League but Sean Dyche’s men have had a habit of not quite getting the job done throughout this challenging season.
Manchester United vs Leicester City: Old Trafford, 18.00 (BT Sport)
The second match out of that monstrous triple bill for Solskjaer. It’s a big game for United, second against third, but their rescheduled match against Liverpool is just over 48 hours later! Theoretically, the players should be more energised for this encounter and it should be a really entertaining clash.
Southampton vs Crystal Palace: St Mary’s Stadium, 20.15 (Sky Sports)
Neither team has much to play for but Ralph Hasenhuttl would like to end the campaign with some positivity. 2021 has pretty much been a big downward spiral, aside from the club’s run in the FA Cup. In their way stand a Palace team, who notoriously find themselves on the beach towards the back end of league campaigns. This year seems no different and it’s a really presentable opportunity for the Saints to find themselves a victory.
Chelsea vs Arsenal: Stamford Bridge, 20.15 (Sky Sports)
It's another big-six clash for Tuchel but the Chelsea manager will have one eye on his team's FA Cup final against Leicester. The German could rotate a number of his players but he will also be aware that every match is important because Chelsea's top-four status is far from secure. Arsenal have given Chelsea some tough challenges in the past but you really don't know what you're going to get these days.
Aston Villa vs Everton: Villa Park, 18.00 (Sky Sports)
The timing of this fixture rearrangement means that these teams will face each other less than two weeks after their last league meeting. Neither team is pushing particularly hard at this stage of the season and, having played each other recently, both will be familiar with how the other operates. Villa will probably be the favourites, having won at Goodison Park, but Carlo Ancelotti will expect his defence to tighten up this time around.
Manchester United vs Liverpool: Old Trafford, 20.15 (Sky Sports)
This rescheduled match could give Liverpool a big advantage in their push for the Champions League. United will be playing their third match in five days. That means many players could be exhausted and Solskjaer may have to rotate his troops, in order to avoid any fatigue or injury. Klopp's team should be the one with more energy and more determination to win.