After an exciting midweek of UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League action involving English teams, the Premier League is back for another Matchday this weekend, the 34th Game Week of the 2017/2018 season, and it promises to be a special one as the league leaders travel to fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and David Moyes’ West Ham United entertain Stoke City in a pivotal Monday Night Football.
The next few days’ action will be kick-off on Saturday lunchtime at the St Mary’s Stadium with BT Sort’s solitary live fixture of the weekend as Southampton and Chelsea go head-to-head.
Both Mark Hughes’ and Antonio Conte’s men are low on the confidence in their differing battles at the moment, the Saints desperately need three points to try to lift them out of the bottom three and the Blues’ hopes of making the top four are fast drifting away, there will be no holding back in this one.
Attention is then set to turn to just the four traditional afternoon kick-offs, where there is still plenty at stake, none more so than in the first where the two front-runners to clinch seventh spot do battle at Turf Moor, Burnley vs Leicester City.
Sean Dyche’s men, off the back of a glittering March that earned their manager the Premier League Manager of the Month prize, are in pole position for that proposed final Europa League spot, however, Claude Puel’s Foxes are just six points behind and have the opportunity to cut that gap dramatically in Lancashire.
Also, at that time but across the border and into Wales, a team very much in the relegation mix plays host to a team sitting pretty in mid-table, it’s Carlos Carvalhal’s Swansea City against Sam Allardyce’s Everton at the Liberty Stadium.
The Swans may be a full four points clear of the dreaded drop zone, but they are anything but safe and it could be a huge afternoon for their hopes of a survival that looked very unlikely just months ago, with a win themselves, however, the Toffees could fight their way into the seventh-place race.
Back up to the North of England at 3 PM, another side looking to secure their survival will be in action, ironically, facing another from the mid-table persuasion at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The Terriers, under David Wagner, can pull themselves away from danger with three points that they are being tipped to get, many are remarking Javier Gracia’s Watford as being on the beach already, furthering the hosts’ favourites status, anything can happen in this league, however.
It’s derby time in the final of the afternoon starts, the M23 Derby to be precise and this particular edition of it has plenty riding on it in the bottom half at Selhurst Park.
Chris Hughton’s Seagulls missed out on an elusive win last weekend, one that would have seen them up and into mid-table, virtually securing their PL status for another year, whereas, it’s now or never for Roy Hodgson’s Eagles in what is being dubbed the biggest game of their season.
Sky Sports’ live evening match will be held at Anfield and feature Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Eddie Howe’s AFC Bournemouth, who will play out what is set to be an entertainer.
These two sides are famous for their attacking football and are not expected to let supporters down this time around so expect a high-scoring game, as for what’s to play for, little at this stage for either with the Cherries hoping to candidate mid-table and the Reds a top-four finish of some description.
It may well be a case of saving the best till last on Saturday night in a rare 7:45 PM kick-off as Pep Guardiola’s league-leading Manchester City travel to Wembley Stadium to face Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham.
The Citizens have slipped to an astonishing three defeats on the spin in all competitions and if there has been as low point for them in the last nine months, this is it, a win could still be enough to secure the title though, but the Spurs will certainly set out to spoil the party on home soil.
Two Super Sunday encounters are scheduled for a day later and the first of them takes us to the North East where Rafa Benítez’s Newcastle United welcome Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal to St James’ Park.
The Magpies, one would feel, are now safe in tenth position and as a result, aren’t playing with too much pressure on now thus allowing them to take more risks and make things more entertaining, while the priority for the Gunners is now the league after their Europa League exploits, the hosts will be the slight favourites.
The second offering of the day involves two outfits at the polar opposite ends of the PL spectrum in second-place Manchester United and rock-bottom West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford.
Jose Mourinho’s men may have to win to avoid their City rivals being crowned as this season’s champions on Sunday, meanwhile, the Baggies, under caretaker manager Darren Moore, are now just a few Matchdays away from relegation and require nothing more than a miracle from here on in over the final month.
However, the Match Week won’t be done there this time around as there is still the small matter of the Sky Sports Monday Night football to attend to at the London Stadium between the Hammers and the Potters.
After a rocky season on and off the pitch and with four of the top six left to play, this game is huge for the hosts and anything less than a victory could drag them back into trouble, whereas, Paul Lambert’s Stoke are inside the can spitting out and their fate may well be virtually decided under the lights in East London.
Southampton vs Chelsea (Saturday 12:30 PM)
Glanville’s Prediction: 0-3.
Burnley vs Leicester City (Saturday 3 PM)
Glanville’s Prediction: 2-1.
Swansea City vs Everton (Saturday 3 PM)
Glanville’s Prediction: 2-0.
Huddersfield Town vs Watford (Saturday 3 PM)
Glanville’s Prediction: 1-0.
Crystal Palace vs Brighton & Hove Albion (Saturday 3 PM)
Glanville’s Prediction: 1-1.
Liverpool vs AFC Bournemouth (Saturday 5:30 PM)
Glanville’s Prediction: 4-2.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City (Saturday 7:45 PM)
Glanville’s Prediction: 1-3.
Newcastle United vs Arsenal (Sunday 1:30 PM)
Glanville’s Prediction: 2-2.
Manchester United vs West Bromwich Albion (Sunday 4 PM)
Glanville’s Prediction: 4-0.
West Ham United vs Stoke City (Monday 8 PM)
Glanville’s Prediction: 0-0.
The Following Fixtures Have Been Rescheduled From Previous Matchdays And Will Take Place Over The Next Seven Days:
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Tottenham Hotspur (Tuesday 7:45 PM)
Glanville’s Prediction: 1-2.
AFC Bournemouth vs Manchester United (Wednesday 7:45 PM)
Glanville’s Prediction: 2-3.
Burnley vs Chelsea (Thursday 7:45 PM)
Glanville’s Prediction: 2-1.
Leicester City vs Southampton (Thursday 7:45 PM)
Glanville’s Prediction: 2-0.
So, now that all the spills and thrills from yet another weekend programme of fixtures of the league that we all know and love have been well and truly previewed, who will be Matchday 34’s winners? Who will be its losers? And who will make the headlines? Join us once again early next week to find out.