10 reasons we can't wait for the Premier League to return this weekend

10 reasons we CAN’T WAIT for the Premier League to return this weekend: Arsenal and Liverpool meet in a Saturday night cracker, Mourinho under pressure, Aguero’s farewell tour begins at Leicester and Grealish is finally BACK for Aston Villa…

  • The Premier League is finally back this weekend after the international break
  • Arsenal take on Liverpool on Saturday night in the pick of this weekend’s games
  • Leicester host Manchester City and Chelsea play West Brom at Stamford Bridge
  • Manchester United host Brighton and there’s a spicy Yorkshire derby too 

At last the Premier League is back this weekend after a two-week absence caused by the latest international break.

The top-flight campaign is now entering the business end of the season with the majority of teams having nine games left to play.

There is plenty still to sort out, even if Manchester City look nailed on to regain the title Liverpool took from them last season.

Five teams are going for one Champions League place while Fulham and Newcastle look set to battle it out to escape the drop in the coming weeks.

With an exciting schedule pencilled in for this weekend, Sportsmail picks out 10 of the things we are most looking forward to seeing as the Premier League returns. 

The Premier League is back with Liverpool’s trip to Arsenal the standout game of the weekend

Back with a bang

After a slow couple of weeks in which top-flight stars have jetted off to represent their country, the Premier League returns with a huge slice of action that will have us glued to the TV.

Of course, all 10 games are on television with no fans still in attendance and there are four on Saturday, four on Sunday and a double-header on Monday night to look forward to.

What better way to spend Easter weekend than sat in front of never-ending Premier League football?

It all starts with West Brom travelling to Chelsea in the 12.30pm Saturday slot that managers dread and ends with West Ham trying to boost their top-four hopes at Wolves on Monday night.

In a Saturday night treat champions-elect Manchester City travel to Leicester before Arsenal host Liverpool in what promises to be a mouth-watering encounter. 

Manchester United headline Easter Sunday’s action with a home game against Brighton and Tottenham’s up-and-down season faces a test against struggling Newcastle earlier in the day. 



Chelsea vs West Brom – 12.30pm (BT Sport)

Leeds vs Sheffield United – 3pm (Amazon Prime)

Leicester vs Man City – 5.30pm (Sky Sports)

Arsenal vs Liverpool – 8pm (Sky Sports) 


Southampton vs Burnley – 12pm (Sky Sports)

Newcastle vs Spurs – 2.05pm (Sky Sports)

Aston Villa vs Fulham – 4.30pm (Sky Sports)  

Man Utd vs Brighton – 7.30pm (BT Sport) 


Everton vs Crystal Palace – 6pm (Sky Sports)

Wolves vs West Ham – 8.15pm (Sky Sports) 


Arsenal and Liverpool in a Saturday night cracker

The game of the weekend comes on Saturday night when Jurgen Klopp’s champions travel to north London to take on Arsenal.

Defeat here would possibly end Liverpool’s already faint hopes of finishing in the Champions League places but their form before the international break showed some promising signs.

After the chastening defeat by Fulham at Anfield on March 7, Liverpool responded with back-to-back wins over RB Leipzig and Wolves that offered some hope they were turning a corner.

Back-to-back wins before the international break has Jurgen Klopp’s side eyeing a strong finish

Having his South American group remain on Merseyside during the international break was a boost for Klopp, too.

Ozan Kabak and Nat Phillips will reunite in the centre of defence and Fabinho’s return at the base of midfield has been a huge boost in their last two games.

But the Reds have not won at the Emirates since August 2016 and Mikel Arteta’s side come into the game off the back of a rousing 3-3 comeback at West Ham and a north London derby win over Tottenham.

The Gunners are also just four points behind Liverpool and will see a win over Klopp’s side as a potential springboard for a chance of finishing in the Europa League spots.

Will Tottenham implode again?

Jose Mourinho’s job as Spurs boss is hanging by a thread.

His tumultuous reign plunged to new depths after he presided over the defeat by rivals Arsenal and then saw his team crash out of the Europa League in humiliating fashion at Dinamo Zagreb.  

A victory over Aston Villa before the international break slightly eased the pressure and left Spurs three points off fourth-placed Chelsea.

But, as Sportsmail reported, Mourinho’s job is on the line if he fails to finish in the Champions League places.

Jose Mourinho is under big pressure at Tottenham and defeat at Newcastle could spell the end

Spurs have the ideal game in which to return to action, with a trip to face relegation-threatened Newcastle, who have not won in the league since February 6.

Harry Kane looks back to his goalscoring best but it will be Mourinho’s leaky defence that will determine if they can leave St James’ Park with three points.

Would another embarrassing loss spell the end for Mourinho? Possibly. 

Golden Boot race 

The race to finish as the Premier League’s top scorer looks to be a five-way battle as we enter the final stretch of the season.

Kane and Mohamed Salah are both level on 17 goals but the Tottenham star will be desperate to win an award he has not claimed since 2017.

Liverpool’s Egyptian king, meanwhile, has won the prize in two out of his three full seasons at Anfield so far and has been ice cold in front of goal in a season of struggles for his team.

Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes remains a threat to the top two though because of his set-piece volume. The Portuguese midfielder has 16 goals so far.

Beyond the top three, tied on 14 goals are Leeds’ Patrick Bamford and Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton, but they will need to perform miracles in the coming weeks to usurp either of the top two.

Son Heung-min (13), Ilkay Gundogan and Jamie Vardy (both 12), Alexandre Lacazette (11) and Ollie Watkins (10) complete the current top 10 in the Golden Boot standings. 

Heavy defeat by Spurs could be final straw for Bruce

Newcastle are officially in crisis mode after their weak surrender at fellow strugglers Brighton before the international break.

They have now won only a staggering two matches in 20 and are two points outside the relegation zone with nine games remaining. 

As Sportsmail recently reported, there was shock among players when club sources let it be known that owner Mike Ashley would be sticking by boss Steve Bruce – even after the defeat at Brighton.

Newcastle are in disarray and players are surprised manager Steve Bruce is still in a job

Club staff are well aware that a section of players want to see a change of boss, but they are working on the understanding that Ashley will not sack Bruce, who has also insisted he will not resign. 

Bruce even scheduled six days off from nine for his Newcastle squad earlier on in the international break so fans will be expecting to see a high-tempo performance against Tottenham on Sunday. 

But surely it gets to a point where a manager cannot turn things around. A heavy defeat against Spurs this weekend could be just that for Bruce. 

Leicester take on unstoppable Man City

It was at this point last season that Leicester’s form took a major turn for the worse and ultimately cost them a place in the Champions League.

The Foxes have bounced back from that disappointment and been even better this season and are now surely at a point where a top-four finish is guaranteed.

Brendan Rodgers’ side are in third place, a point behind Man United in second and seven clear of West Ham in fifth.

It would take an extraordinary blip in results to deny them now. Leicester went into the international break on a high, beating Man United to book a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Leicester are closing in on a top-four finish and have a tough task against Man City on Saturday

Kelechi Iheanacho continued his fine scoring streak against United and will be keen to show his former club what they are missing out on when he goes up against his old City colleagues. 

Now they welcome Man City to the King Power Stadium aiming to take another scalp after beating Liverpool and Chelsea at home this season.

Pep Guardiola’s side will be keen for revenge though after the Foxes blew them away 5-2 at the Etihad back in September. 

Aguero’s goodbye tour begins 

The game at Leicester represents the first in Sergio Aguero’s final run of games for Man City.

It was announced this week that City’s greatest-ever striker will leave the club this summer when his contract expires after a decade of service.

Aguero has scored 257 goals in all competitions since joining from Atletico Madrid for £35million and is set to win a fifth Premier League title this year. 

The Argentine became a City legend after his last-minute winner against QPR secured their first league title since 1968 on the final day of his debut season in England.

Sergio Aguero revealed this week he will be leaving Manchester City at the end of the season

Aguero’s 181 league goals are the highest of any foreign signing and he is seven shy of eclipsing third-placed Andrew Cole on the all-time scorers list.

It remains to be seen whether he will even start against Leicester, given he has been far from a regular on the teamsheet this season due to injuries and Guardiola’s preferences.

He has eight games left in the league in a City shirt and, as he looks likely to leave with another Premier League winners’ medal, will want to go out on a high.

Grealish back for Villa 

It’s always good news when one of the most exciting players in the league returns after an injury.

Jack Grealish has been out of action since the middle of February with a leg injury but has been using the international break to regain fitness and work towards a return to action.

The 25-year-old was back in first-team training earlier this week and Dean Smith will be hoping his captain is ready for selection against Fulham on Sunday.

In a big boost for Aston Villa, captain and talisman Jack Grealish should be fit to play Fulham

Grealish has seven goals and 12 assists so far this season and has been integral to Villa sitting in 10th place after 28 games – and they were much higher when Grealish suffered his injury.

It will also be a welcome boost to England boss Gareth Southgate as he tries to whittle down his players for his European Championships squad.

Grealish impressed in the previous international break but, after missing out this time, has work to do to convince Southgate to take him to this summer’s tournament. 

Will Big Sam’s Baggies end Tuchel’s unbeaten run?

The first game of the weekend sees a surely doomed West Brom side travel to play Chelsea, who need to keep picking up points to ensure they hold on to fourth place.

Managers tend to dread playing in the 12.30pm slot on a Saturday immediately after an international break.

Players have not been back long, rhythm with club colleagues is off and, made worse without a crowd, the atmosphere is flat.

So Thomas Tuchel will probably not be looking forward to facing Sam Allardyce’s side, knowing they are more than likely going to sit deep, soak up pressure and hope for a goal at a set piece or on the break.

Thomas Tuchel (centre left) is still unbeaten as Chelsea boss and is chasing the top three

Tuchel is still unbeaten as Chelsea boss since replacing Frank Lampard and has got his side playing a possession-based style that is not blowing teams away but is definitely getting results.

The way Chelsea dismantled Atletico Madrid over two legs in Europe was impressive and now they look all set up for a superb end to the season.

A top-four finish and FA Cup and Champions League glory are all possible for Tuchel and it would be the perfect start to his first few months in west London.

West Brom, meanwhile, need a miracle to get out of danger now. They are 10 points behind Newcastle and look destined for the Championship next season. 

Yorkshire derby at Elland Road

Marcelo Bielsa will be licking his lips at the thought of his all-action Leeds side playing Sheffield United this weekend.

Leeds are safe from relegation and are now eyeing a top-half finish that would cap an impressive return to top-flight football.

They have won plenty of plaudits for the frantic, attractive brand of football and have one of the season’s best players in Bamford leading the line.

Leeds now have the chance to inflict more misery on their Yorkshire rivals at Elland Road this weekend.

Patrick Bamford (left) will fancy his chances of scoring against Sheffield United at Elland Road

Sheffield United are 14 points adrift in the relegation battle and look like a team who know their fate is in the Championship next season.

Chris Wilder has left, they have won just four times all season and have conceded 50 goals in 29 games. 

These remaining fixtures will be an opportunity to restore some pride after a season that has been plagued by setbacks and bad results. 

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article