Its derby day for a handful of clubs across the country this weekend, with high-profile clashes which could potentially decide the races for Champions League qualification and the premier league title itself dominating the headlines.
The weekend’s action begins with the highly-anticipated reverse-fixture of the North-London derby as Unai Emery’s aim to repeat their impressive 4-2 victory over Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham who have suffered back-to-back defeats in their last two matches. With Spurs’ talismanic frontman Harry Kane back fit and firing, can the lily-whites set the record straight in their own backyard?
Saturday’s 3:00pm kick-offs see Crystal Palace travel north to face a resurgent Burnley who have been massively impressive since the turn of the year. Second-placed Manchester City are away at the Vitality Stadium where they’ll need to navigate a tricky tie against home-form specialists, Bournemouth, in order to keep the pressure on league-leaders Liverpool. Elsewhere, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s injury-plagued Manchester United play struggling Southampton and high-flying Wolves take on relegation candidates Cardiff. Also locked in the incredibly open relegation battle are the afternoon’s last teams – Brighton and Huddersfield – who come up against one another in a crunch match which could either buoy them with hope or condemn them to the drop.
In Saturday’s late fixture, West-Ham – who will be baying for blood after coming away from their mid-week fixture against champions Manchester City empty-handed despite putting in a spirited defensive shift – match-up against Newcastle, who last won against Burnley.
Brendan Rodgers’ first match back in the premier league kicks Sunday’s fixtures off, as Leicester City travel south to Vicarage Road to take on Watford. It’s then another – maybe smaller – London derby as Chelsea make the short journey west to Craven Cottage to do battle with Fulham who were recently in the headlines following their sacking of manager Claudio Ranieri. Finally, rounding out the premier league’s fixtures this weekend, is a Merseyside derby like none-other, with the fate of Liverpool’s entire title-bid potentially hanging in the balance. Everton are still looking to avenge the last-minute winner the Reds scored against them in reverse-fixture and tonight presents the perfect opportunity to do so. But with Liverpool having come through a number of high-profile matches relatively unscathed recently, will the Toffees have the mettle to deal a hammer-blow to their bitter rivals?
Premier League – Available all weekend on Sky Sport, BT Sport and other sports-streaming channels.