Premier League matches you shouldn’t miss this weekend

Rafa Benitez

The Barclays Premier League title is tantalisingly close for Leicester City but – like all the best fairytales – there are usually some frights before everyone lives happily ever after.

Two weeks ago, when Claudio Ranieri’s merry bunch beat Sunderland 2-0, they were 10 points clear at the top for a couple of hours until their  league rivals Tottenham Hotspur beat Manchester United.

Last weekend, things took a dramatic turnaround when Jamie Vardy was sent off at home to West Ham United and Leicester needed a dubious last-gasp penalty to draw 2-2.

Tottenham’s 4-0 thrashing of Stoke City on Monday narrowed the gap to five points with four games to play.

Vardy on Thursday accepted a Football Association charge of improper conduct and could be given an additional suspension to his current one-match ban.

That is why when Leicester kick off against Swansea City on Sunday, 24 hours before Tottenham host West Bromwich Albion, there will be sweaty palms aplenty at the King Power Stadium.

  1. Liverpool v Newcastle

Date: Saturday, 23 April

Kick-off:7:30 PM

Venue: Anfield

This is a mouth-watering tie between Rafa Benitez and his former employers, Liverpool – the first meeting since the Spaniard left the Merseysiders. Jonjo Shelvey will also be relinquishing an Anfield return with his manager.

A re-invigorated Newcastle United will hope to get three maximum points in order to beat the drop at the expense of Norwich City, who are not playing this weekend.

The Reds will be without Belgian international, Divock Origi, who is ruled out of action for the rest of the season following a ligament damage he suffered in a challenge from Ramiro Funes Mori during Wednesday’s Merseyside derby.

Players to watch-out for: Philippe Coutinho, Mamadou Sakho, Ayoze Perez, Jonjo Shelvey.

2.Sunderland v Arsenal

Date: Sunday, 24 April

Kick-off : 2:05 PM

Venue: Stadium of Light

The journey to avoid joining Aston Villa in the Championship also continues, if Sunderland beat Arsenal at home on Sunday, they will move away from the relegation zone.

Arsenal need to win this game for Champions League qualification safety. Following a recent dip-in form, the Gunners have lost the battle for a Premier League crown.

Players to watch-out: Alex Iwobi, Oliver Giroud, Wahbi Khazri, Yann M’Vila.

  1. Leicester City v Swansea City

Date: Sunday, 24 April

Kick-off: 4:15 PM

Venue: King Power Stadium

Leicester have been grounding out points in recent weeks but with 22-goal striker Vardy suspended against Swansea after playing in their last 47 Premier League games, what looks like the perfect home fixture against a side virtually assured of avoiding relegation suddenly looks fraught with danger.

Vardy’s absence might have a telling effect in the attacking department, but Ranieri will have to probably play Leonardo Ulloa in that role.

Players to watch-out for: Leonardo Ulloa, Riyad Mahrez, Jefferson Montero, Gylfi Sigurdsson.

  1. Tottenham v West Brom

Date: Monday, 25 April

Kick-off: 8.00 PM

Venue: White Hart Lane

Tottenham’s surge is turning the screw ever so slightly and Leicester fans have been reminded of 1963 when the side known as The Ice Kings had the old first division title in their grasp before losing their last four games.

The Lilywhites, who have scored the most goals and conceded the fewest this season, are relishing the chase and will be ready to pounce should Leicester slip.

Players to watch-out for: Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Saido Berahino.