It’s Easter time in the Premier League and whilst the traditional celebration focuses on new-life, the top flight really starts to concentrate on the end-game at this point.
Indeed, we’ve been building to a crescendo over the last few weeks and, as this weekend arrives, we’re getting ever closer to the final act of another enthralling season.
So, with just a handful of games left to go in this campaign and plenty left still to play for, it can only be time for Rush Football’s Weekend Preview…
Tottenham v Bournemouth
Spurs kick us off once again this weekend after they beat Watford last time out at the Lane. The Lilywhites can cut the gap to Chelsea at least temporarily but don’t expect Bournemouth to be as easy to beat as the Hornets were last Saturday.
Crystal Palace v Leicester
Palace recorded a superb victory against Arsenal on Monday but that will all count for nothing if they don’t follow it up against Leicester. The Foxes have a Champions League quarter final 2nd leg to prepare for, though, and that should play into the Eagles’ hands for this one.
Everton v Burnley
Surely this is the banker of the weekend. We all know how poor the Clarets’ away form has been this season whilst Everton have been truly superb in front of their home fans in 2017. The Toffees are keen to reel in Arsenal, too, and so anything but a win here for the home side would be a massive shock.
Stoke v Hull
Stoke are carrying on with their annual ‘we’ve reached enough points, let’s down tools’ tradition and so Hull will fancy getting a result here. Of the bottom four it’s the Tigers who are in the best form and another win for them here would really start to see the belief grow that they’re staying up.
Sunderland v West Ham
This time last week this game looked like an absolutely massive fixture. Sunderland were gone anyway, of course, but West Ham were threatening to join the Black Cats with dire form plaguing them. However, they beat Swansea over the weekend and should be confident enough of getting a win against the Wearsiders.
Watford v Swansea
A few weeks ago Swansea would have been up for a win here but now they’ve come to a bit of a halt. Watford, though, are still ideal opponents for the Swans to try and kick-start their survival bid with it being more than likely Walter Mazzarri – for whatever reason – is going to be shown the door at the end of the year.
Southampton v Manchester City
This could be a great game. Southampton have nothing to lose now and can go out and attack a City side that also have to win. Neither team is at full-strength defensively and so, if you’re looking for goals, this is the one to tune into on Saturday evening – how’s that for jinxing a match?
West Brom v Liverpool
Tony Pulis’ men have been a bit out of form lately with them safe but too far away from Everton to challenge for Europe now. They’re bound to be up for beating a Liverpool side that came back to beat Stoke last weekend, though, and so Jurgen Klopp may need the likes of Philippe Coutinho to be the difference once more.
Manchester United v Chelsea
Ding ding – seconds out it’s round three of Jose Mourinho v Antonio Conte this season. So far it’s 2-0 to Conte on the head-to-head front between Manchester United and Chelsea, but if United can derail Chelsea’s title challenge this weekend then Mourinho won’t mind one bit. Expect fireworks on the touchline and, knowing United at home, a 1-1 draw.
Middlesbrough v Arsenal
Arsene Wenger, welcome to the last chance saloon. Of course, most people expect the Frenchman to stay with the Gunners beyond this season, somehow, but if the players do what they did against Palace and he can’t get a reaction, that simply has to change. Middlesbrough can’t score for toffee so to lose or even draw with them has to be the final straw, of about a million, to break the camel’s back.