With Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City running away with the Premier League Title early on, the race for the top four, and the relegation battles have become the focus of the football world. Last weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures have thrown up some unexpected results. Thus turning up the heat at both ends of the table, with this week’s midweek Premier League games proving pivotal.
Midweek Premier League Fixtures
Swansea vs Southampton
With both sides level on points, the loser of this tie faces the final round of fixtures in the relegation zone.
Both clubs have a game in hand over fellow strugglers West Brom – this one. The Baggies’ surprise win over Tottenham on Saturday gave a boost to Darren Moore’s unlikely survival bid and added a twist to the triangle.
Swansea have the worst goal difference of the three sides. Therefore a draw may not be enough to secure a finish above West Brom. With the promotion of Cardiff, a Welsh Derby could feature in the Premier League next season, should they survive.
A victory, plus a Huddersfield defeat will lift either side to 16th place. Thus providing that team with some degree of comfort heading into the final fixtures on Sunday.
Chelsea vs Huddersfield
On the 1st of April Chelsea suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham, resulting in an eight-point gap between the two, and ten between Chelsea and Liverpool.
It was looking like Antonio Conte’s men would be missing out on Champion’s League football. However, fast forward to today, and Chelsea find themselves only 2 points behind Tottenham and 3 behind Liverpool, having beaten the Merseysiders.
They were gifted the chance by West Brom’s last-gasp goal to defeat Spurs at the Hawthorns. A disaster for Pochettino’s men.
The Blues have a game in hand over Liverpool, as do Spurs. Wednesday’s game against struggling Huddersfield is, therefore, a must-win game. Champion’s League football is imperative for attracting star players.
For Huddersfield Town, one point from their remaining two games will be sufficient to survive their maiden Premier League season. They have two tough games against Chelsea and Arsenal to look forward to, having already faced Manchester City, bravely gaining a point. Despite being closest to safety with points, the Terriers have the hardest run in.
Sadly Huddersfield have the worst goal difference of those in the drop-zone. David Wagner therefore likely have a nervous week ahead of him. Securing a point against Champions Manchester City should inspire the Terrier’s fight. Three points will help ensure they’ll safely have a second Premier League season. Any less will thus see them reliant on other results.
Tottenham vs Newcastle
Spurs suffered a shock defeat to West Brom on Saturday. The defeat has blown the race for top 4 wide open. Chelsea’s victory over Liverpool has put the Blues back into the fold.
However, it has also given Tottenham the scenario of securing the third spot, or potentially fifth. They will be desperate to secure Champions League football heading into their new stadium. Fortunately for the Lilywhites, their two remaining games are at temporary home Wembley, one midweek, with the final one on Sunday versus Leicester.
Neither game will be easy given Spurs’ recent results under pressure, Pochettino will know that neither game will be a straightforward task. Newcastle currently have 41 points and lie in 10th spot. If the Magpies were to maintain that, it would represent a solid return to the top flight for Rafa Benitez’s men.