With a little over two weeks to go, the Premiership season is well and truly nearing its conclusion. For some clubs, the next couple of weeks will mean the difference between elation or despair and this week's fixtures have thrown up some intriguing clashes for fans and neutrals alike.
Manchester United versus Arsenal is a fixture that all football fans look forward to. These famous clubs have provided some truly memorable moments, not to mention a fair amount of controversy, over the years. The intense rivalry has often led to on-field incidents and red cards and there is little love lost between current managers Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger. United have been in decent form recently and will be hoping to pick up another three points to maintain their league runners-up position. They can call on their big-name players such as Pogba and Sanchez to inspire them, as they did against Spurs last weekend. Along with home advantage, Mourinho should have the luxury of an almost fully fit squad to pick from. With an F.A.Cup final against Chelsea coming up in May, United will be hoping to end the season on a high and victory against Arsenal is always sweet. The end of the season coincides with the end of an era for Arsenal; their manager Arsene Wenger having recently announced his imminent departure. It's fitting that one of his 'swansong' games pits him for a final time against his arch-rival, Jose Mourinho. Arsenal will warm up for this game by playing Atletico Madrid in a midweek Europa League semi-final and will hope to have Ozil and Wilshere available for selection; indeed with fellow midfielder Mkhitaryan struggling with knee ligaments, they can ill afford any further injuries.
The south coast derby is certain to be hotly contested, with Southampton fighting for Premiership survival. A look at their recent results suggests this could be another tough day for the Saints, but with only five league wins all season and their last victory back in early February, this is certainly a must-win game. Manager Mark Hughes will attempt to re-create the battling spirit shown by his team in their narrow defeat to Arsenal earlier this month. It appears that Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has once again managed to preserve his side's league status but, despite their mid-table position, there is still work to do before they can relax. They've had a few disappointing results recently but a vital game against their near neighbours should provide all the impetus they need. Top scorer Callum Wilson is probably their best hope of finding the net again.
Have Swansea done enough to stay up? It seemed that way for a while but another dip in form has tested the nerves of their fans. Back to back draws was followed by a 5-0 thrashing from the champions Manchester City last week. Currently four points above the drop zone and with games against fellow strugglers to come, they will be keen for at least a point at home to Chelsea. Antonio Conte's future has been a major talking point during what has been a disappointing season for Chelsea. There is still an outside chance of a top-four finish, however, and he is sure to be targeting three points. A repeat of their 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge in November will be very welcome.
Saturday 28th April - Kick off @ 1500hrs (Unless stated)
Sunday 29th April - Kick off @ 1415hrs
Monday 30th April - Kick off @ 2000hrs
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