Top Premier League storylines -- Week 25
There’s only one big battle for the Top Four sides this week, but don’t let the match-ups fool you into thinking there won’t be table tumult.
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Struggling Arsenal and Liverpool are amongst the clubs hoping to stop the bleeding in a brutal couple of weeks (for the Reds, even longer).
Spurs next step and Reds last stand?
Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur -- 12:30 p.m. EDT Saturday on NBC and NBCSports.com
Thirteen points is a big gap, and that’s what former title darling Liverpool are staring down with 14 matches left in the season. The distance to second-place Spurs is a lot closer, as the Reds are four points behind Mauricio Pochettino’s bunch.
Liverpool -- and we can’t stop finding this stat hard to believe -- has only won one match since the calendar hit 2017. Sure a couple of those matches were Cup games with weakened lineups, but it’s still a bad run.
Spurs are still harboring title hopes, but will be taking it one match at a time en route to a hopeful end to their 21-year run of finishing below rivals Arsenal.
Can Arsenal handle the giant killers?
Arsenal vs. Hull City -- 7:30 a.m. EDT on NBCSN and NBCSports.com
The visitors have beaten Liverpool in league play and Manchester United in an EFL Cup semifinal leg in the last two weeks, and now take aim at another big boy in struggling Arsenal.
The Gunners have now lost back-to-back PL matches, home to Watford and away to Chelsea. Arsenal hasn’t lost three-consecutive league matches since January 2012, when the Gunners were beaten by Fulham, Swansea City, and Manchester United.
Can Hull knock off another giant?
Relegation six-pointer No. 1
Swansea City vs. Leicester City -- 11 a.m. EDT Sunday on NBCSN and NBCSports.com
Paul Clement’s resurgent Swans would love to put another team in their rear view mirror, especially given that the team in question is the reigning Premier League champions. Both teams have 21 points, though the Foxes enter the day with eight goals’ better differential.
Relegation six-pointer No. 2
Sunderland vs. Southampton -- 10 a.m. EDT Saturday on NBCSports.com
It reads kinda odd: Saints as relegation candidates. But Claude Puel’s Southampton is 7 points clear of the drop zone and a tough handful of matches ahead. Sunderland will be buoyed by its battering of Crystal Palace, and primed to leap out of the drop zone.
West of Reality
West Ham United vs. West Bromwich Albion -- 10 a.m. EDT Saturday on NBCSports.com
Both the Irons and Baggies aren’t yet out of the race for European action, especially if Manchester United wins the EFL Cup and another big boy takes the FA Cup. Slaven Bilic and Tony Pulis square off in a match of wits that may be decided by giant strikers Andy Carroll and Salomon Rondon.