The latest English Top-Flight fixture changes for April were announced yesterday by the Premier League and it’s two United Kingdom broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport.
The announcement covered the remaining 2017/2018 PL ties through to the end of April, leaving only the penultimate and final weekend of the term’s fixtures unconfirmed as of yet.
West Ham United were widely affected by those alterations, remarkably seeing every single one of their matches in the fourth month of the year rescheduled for live Television coverage by Sky Sports.
The Hammers are first in action less than a week into the month when they were due to be travelling to Stamford Bridge to face London rivals Chelsea on Saturday 7 April at 3 PM.
Now, the fixture will be played out a day later on the Sunday with a kick-off time of 4:30 PM, although this date is subject to change should the Blues be in UEFA Champions League action.
Antonio Conte’s side must overcome a goal deficit against Barcelona in the second leg of their last 16 Champions League tie and then be selected to play in the quarter-finals two days later for that to happen.
The following weekend, David Moyes’ men were scheduled to welcome Paul Lambert’s relegation-threatened Stoke City to the London Stadium on the afternoon of Saturday 14 April.
Sky Sports have again moved that encounter to feature as their Monday Night Football clash with kick-off at 8 PM in Stratford, the East Londoners first MNF since defeating Huddersfield Town at home back in September 2017.
It will be back-to-back Monday evening encounters for the Irons as the month progresses and they make another tricky local trip to do battle with London rivals Arsenal under Arsene Wenger at the Emirates Stadium.
Once again, that derby was due to be contested on a Saturday afternoon, the 21st of the month to be more precise, but will now kick-off at 8 PM on Monday 23 April.
And finally, Moyes’ boys were set to be entertaining league leaders Manchester City on the final Saturday afternoon of April at the London Stadium.
That intriguing matchup has also been pushed back one day and will now take place at 2:15 PM on Sunday 29 April, though once more, this could be changed on account of European football.
It’s looking likely that this may indeed be the case as Pep Guardiola’s men have a healthy lead over Basel heading into the second leg in the last 16, it’s unknown whether, if they qualify they will be drawn to play the following Tuesday, however.
Meanwhile, West Ham’s visit of Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United to the former Olympic Stadium on Sunday 18 March, has been rescheduled due to the Manchester club’s involvement in the Emirates FA Cup.
A new date for this fixture is still being negotiated and is yet to be announced, although it is believed that it may take place in and around the 19 March, most likely in the days after.
All of these fixture, which will be played out in front of audiences of millions live on Sky Sports, could prove crucial to the Hammers’ bid for survival in England’s top tier, the club are 13th and a mere three points above the relegation zone heading into March.