After the nobody-really-cares-for-it international break, club football returns, with the English Premier League back in focus as Leicester City continue their fairy tale title run. With seven games to go, the Premier League has turned into a two-horse race, horses nobody would have picked to clinch the crown at the beginning of the season.
Leicester City currently lead Tottenham by five points, with Arsenal and Manchester City seemingly out of the running, even if they have a game in hand.
Claudio Ranieri's men will have the luxury â€“ or pressure â€“ of seeing what their title rivals do, before they play their match Sunday against Southampton at the King Power Stadium. It is quite possible that Leicester will go into the match against the Saints with the chance to increase their lead to eight points, considering Spurs have a tricky encounter at Anfield against Liverpool.
But then, Mauricio Pochettino's men just continue to find ways to win time and again, and it wouldn't be a surprise, either, if Spurs come away from Anfield with all three points. Liverpool have improved under Jurgen Klopp, but they are still very much hit and miss.
Before Spurs take to the Anfield pitch, the teams who were in the running not too long ago â€“ Manchester City and Arsenal â€“ will face off against Bournemouth and Watford respectively. The last thing City will want is to play in the Europa League next season when Pep Guardiola takes charge, so with the gap to West Ham and Manchester United at just one point, only a win will do for the team currently in fourth place.
Arsenal will hope to cling on to their slimmer than slim title hopes, while also targeting revenge on the team that ended their two-year hold on the FA Cup. Watford bullied the Arsenal defence in that match, taking a 2-0 lead before holding on for a 2-1 win, and with the Arsene Wenger's men looking bereft of confidence, particularly going forward, they will fancy their chances again.
The Gunners, though, will look to their impressive performance against Everton in the last round of matches, but they will also know they must improve on their home record to topple Watford.
The first match of the weekend will be Aston Villa vs Chelsea, a pretty inconsequential match really, when you look at it, considering Villa, who let go of their manager Remi Garde this week, are destined to go down, while the Blues have very little to play for this season, with a top four place well out of their reach.
While the first match of the weekend has very little going for it, the final one is pretty interesting, with Manchester United hosting Everton at Old Trafford. Everton have been one of the most inconsistent teams this season, outstanding one moment and woeful the next. Their performance against Arsenal a couple of weeks back fell into the second category, but on their day, they have the firepower to beat any team in the Premier League.
Manchester United put in a solid, professional performance against City in the Manchester derby last time around, with youngster Marcus Rashford making his mark yet again, scoring the only goal of the game. If the defence stays solid, and with Everton's back four suspect, this could be one of those happier days for Manchester United under Louis Van Gaal.
Premier League schedule:
Saturday, April 2: Aston Villa vs Chelsea (12.45 p.m. BST, 5.15 p.m. IST, 7.45 a.m. ET) at Villa Park.
Norwich City vs Newcastle United (3 p.m. BST, 7.30 p.m. IST, 10 a.m. ET) at Carrow Road.
West Ham vs Crystal Palace (3 p.m. BST, 7.30 p.m. IST, 10 a.m. ET) at Boleyn Ground.
Sunderland vs West Bromwich Albion (3 p.m. BST, 7.30 p.m. IST, 10 a.m. ET) at the Stadium of Light.
Bournemouth vs Manchester City (3 p.m. BST, 7.30 p.m. IST, 10 a.m. ET) at the Vitality Stadium.
Arsenal vs Watford (3 p.m. BST, 7.30 p.m. IST, 10 a.m. ET) at the Emirates.
Stoke City vs Swansea City (3 p.m. BST, 7.30 p.m. IST, 10 a.m. ET) at the Britannia.
Liverpool vs Tottenham (5.30 p.m. BST, 10 p.m. IST, 12.30 p.m. ET) at Anfield.
Sunday, April 3: Leicester City vs Southampton (1.30 p.m. BST, 6 p.m. IST, 8.30 a.m. ET) at the King Power Stadium.
Manchester United vs Everton (4 p.m. BST, 8.30 p.m. IST, 11 a.m. ET) at Old Trafford.
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