13/04/2024
Pep Guardiola. Picture: Terry Kearney/Flickr

Pep Guardiola. Picture: Terry Kearney/Flickr

It is an exciting weekend ahead for fans of the EPL, not limited to supporters of any team as there are numerous games that not only affect the three-way title race, but the whole of the Premier League table.

The round kicks off with Manchester United hosting a struggling Everton as they continue to fight off relegation, even after their 10-point reduction for breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) was reduced to six.

This is a game that both teams will desperately want to win as Manchester United hope to bounce back after their choked defeat to Manchester City last week.

Most matches following the opening game boast similar excitement, the later games begin with Sheffield United take on a 13th placed AFC Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium.

Whilst this game has no change on either team’s position on the table (other than Sheffield potentially rising from 20th to 19th), both teams will be playing for all three points; Bournemouth will be trying to improve on their win loss ratio, and Sheffield will attempt to show that their slight chance of escaping relegation is a possible feat.

Crystal Palace and Luton Town will face off at the same time, and stakes are almost identical as the match at Vitality Stadium.

Like Sheffield, Luton are struggling in the relegation zone, and a win will bring them to within a point of 17th place, Palace are in no immediate danger of relegation as they sit in 14th, with eight points separating them from the bottom three, but a win is needed after having only won once in their past five games.

The table heading into round 28

The third and final game kicking off at the same time is a match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Fulham.

This is a true mid-table clash between 10th and 12th place, with both teams having motivation to gain all three points: Wolves will go eighth if they win, whilst Fulham will replace them in 10th place if they can shock the Wanderers with an away victory.

Arsenal plays Brentford to conclude the matches being played on Saturday night. The Gunners will be hungry for the win as a victory will take them to first place on the table. Brentford, who are just six points away from relegation heading into matchweek 28, will be delighted at the thought of winning at least a point at Emirates Stadium during a disappointing season for The Bees.

Sunday night’s games begin with Aston Villa vs Tottenham. A game that will surely provide excitement as the two teams (currently fourth and fifth) are contesting each other for a spot in the Champions League next season. Villa has an impressive home record this season, Tottenham will be ready to pose a challenge though, this game means too much for them to wither away like most sides have done at Villa Park this campaign.

Brighton & Hove Albion will play Nottingham Forrest at American Express Stadium following the game at Villa Park. Brighton are currently sitting in ninth place and will have the expectation of beating a poor Forest side eerily close to the bottom three. Although with the fear of becoming within a point of 18th placed Luton, Nottingham Forest will not go down without a fight and will try to prove they belong in the Premier league by achieving some sort of positive result to add to their point tally.

West Ham United and Burnley play at the same time. This game is of equal importance to both sides: West Ham are continuing to earn a spot in European football for the third year in a row, whilst Burnley will be hoping to begin a comeback and begin edging towards safety from relegation.

The highlight of matchweek 28 is the penultimate fixture: Liverpool vs Manchester City at Anfield. First and second will play off in what promises to be a thrilling match that could well and truly be the decider of this year’s title race. If Arsenal are to win their game this week, any outcome in the Anfield game will result in a different team finishing the round in first place: a draw will result in the Gunners taking first place via their Goal Difference (GD), and if the game ends with a winner, the victor will move to first place.

The round will conclude at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea hosting Newcastle United as both teams fight in hopes for a higher position on the table. Chelsea (currently 11th) will be hoping to return to the top half of the Premier League. Newcastle will be ready to show their worth and that they can grab a spot in European football after a disappointing Champions League group stage exit this season. The final game this week will be played on Tuesday morning, and should not differ from the excitement the previous games in the matchweek have to offer.

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