The pressure is on Chelsea (12-5-8; 41 points).
The fourth-place Blues are only a point ahead of fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur (and former manager José Mourinho) in the race for UEFA Champions League qualification. Chelsea are winless in their last three matches, and dropped points Monday against Manchester United (9-8-8; 35 points) at Stamford Bridge would set up a scintillating showdown between the London rivals next Saturday.
A win would rob Mourinho of his desired drama, however, and the Blues would have some much-needed separation between them and their closest rivals.
Manchester City's Champions League ban could ultimately make it a moot point, but United now have an opportunity thanks to their cross-town rivals. Manchester United are five points back of Spurs (and six back of Chelsea), so an away win would go a long way towards ensuring a legitimate race for the final Champions League spot down the stretch. United haven't won a Premier League match away from home this decade (they beat Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor on Dec. 28, 2019), and the Red Devils will need to find their form fast.
[RELATED: Check out more Premier League coverage from Sky Sports]
Here's how to watch Monday's Chelsea-Manchester United match online and on TV.
When: Monday, Feb. 17 at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT
Live stream: NBC Sports
The Premier League suspending its season last month due to the global coronavirus pandemic delayed Liverpool’s inevitable clinching of their first top-flight title in three decades by at least two months.
The Reds, who were six points from winning their first-ever Premier League title, won’t lift the trophy until May at the absolute earliest. The season is suspended through at least April 30, and league executives reportedly will discuss what the remainder of the season could look like in a Friday conference call.
There wasn’t much drama remaining in Liverpool’s title challenge, but the same couldn’t be said for the rest of the Premier League by the time it closed its doors. Every club had at least nine matches remaining, with multiple spots for next season’s European competitions, all three relegation places still up for grabs and bragging rights in some of England’s best rivalries still unsolved
Which storylines would’ve captured our attention? Here are the five we’d be most closely monitoring had the Premier League season continued uninterrupted.
UEFA postponed the finals of its three biggest intercontinental club competitions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization announced Monday.
The men's and women's Champions League final and the Europa League final, all of which were scheduled for May, have been pushed back indefinitely. The European soccer governing body said in a statement that "[no] decision has yet been made on rearranged dates."
Twelve teams -- including the Premier League's Manchester City and Chelsea -- remain in contention for the men's Champions League with half of the Round of 16 completed, while the women's Champions League has not yet kicked off its quarter-finals. The Europa League, which Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United still are competing in, completed all but one of its first-leg fixtures from the Round of 16 before UEFA postponed all of last week's matches.
UEFA also announced last week that it was postponing the men's Euro 2020 to 2021 and rescheduling the women's tournament that originally was supposed to occur that year, in large part because of the coronavirus disrupting the calendars of club competitions across the continent. The Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Serie A have all paused their seasons in an effort to halt COVID-19's spread.
Though Liverpool have the Premier League title all but wrapped up, spots in next season's Champions League and Europa League and the relegation places still need to be determined ahead of next season. UEFA's competitions this season affect the following campaign, too, as the Europa League winner automatically qualifies for the Champions League.
Beyond where and when the remaining matches this season are played (and who they're played in front of), all of the European leagues will need to address who is playing in said matches. The Premier League alone will have 69 players out of contract on June 30, according to ESPN's Ian Darke, and numerous others are set to have loan deals end at around that time. It's not yet clear if out-of-contract players would become free agents at that time.
European soccer, much like all of the world, still is navigating the knock-on effects of the coronavirus pandemic. That undoubtedly will continue long after play resumes.