What to Watch: Matchday 31
All the talk is about the second leg of the Champions League game; however, there are some key fixtures this weekend for both the top and the bottom of the league table. While City is cruising to the title, the top 4 race is still on and the battle for relegation just got more interesting with Fulham losing in a last-minute goal today.
While last week featured several key matchups across Europe, this week I am going to focus on the Premier League as there are a few must-watch games. I will be making the most out of the Xfinity and Peacock apps on my phone since I will be out on the fields for my daughter’s soccer tournament. If I’m not watching her play, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on these games.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea – Saturday 12:30 EST
Hopefully you will be watching this game with a smile on your face after the Reds defeat Villa and looking to see if we have surpassed Chelsea in the race. Chelsea is coming off of a shocking 5-2 defeat in the hands of WBA…wait yes.. had to double check but it was good old Sam and his WBA beating them at home while scoring 5 goals. You do not say that very often my friends! While Chelsea did play a man down the majority of the game, their fragile mindset was exposed. Crystal Palace loves to play spoiler and will be playing much more relaxed with no fear of relegation. This relaxed mode can make a team play calmly and execute but can also get them physically outmatched and look weak. It will be interesting to see what Roy gets out of this team for the remainder of the season but we will be hoping for a good performance that will steal more points away from Chelsea.
West Ham vs Leicester City – Sunday 9:05 EST
This is a key matchup for the top 4. West Ham continues to get the points and while Leicester’s current point total might make it look like they will ease their way to the Champions League, they have perhaps the most gruesome fixtures ahead. Remember that this is the same team that choked away the top 4 at the end of last season and after losing to Manchester City last week, they are only 5 points ahead of 5th place Chelsea. I will be honest. I am finding it hard to decide who to root for which usually means this could be a win-win for Liverpool. While West Ham losing points would help our cause, a West Ham win will pull Leicester City down to the top 4 battle and open up the possibility of two spots up for grabs for the Champions League. Both teams are fun to watch with plenty of talent out there so should be a good one. At the end of the day, the shortest path to victory for
Tottenham vs Manchester United – Sunday 11:30 EST
Is death an option or do we have to root for either Mou or Manure? Let’s hope for a Spurs point loss and not root for anyone I guess so we can sleep peacefully at night. Recent results of teams dropping points have enabled Liverpool to get into the conversation of top 4 but the Spurs are still in a good position to still go for the top 4. Tottenham still has tough away games at Everton and Leicester this season and while these tough games are an opportunity to make up ground, they also offer a potential 6 point swing when it will be difficult to make up ground with only 8 games left. Manchester United is still trying to figure out their identity and answer their long-term questions. United does have a lot of tough matchups ahead but seems to have enough of a gap between them and the 5th place to ensure Champions League football. How many times will Kane dive? How many PKs will United have? An easy game to incorporate some drinking games if you want to make the matchup even more interesting.
Here is to hoping that everything goes our way and we finish the weekend with Liverpool in 4th spot.
Enjoy your weekend! YNWA!