If you can believe it, the 2016 Premier League season is entering its final days, and someone is going to have to win this title…
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Top-6 test for Leicester as they close in on glory
Leicester City vs. West Ham United — Sunday, 8:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
Leicester may have a seven-point lead in the race for the title — they do, for math tells us so — but their remaining five games are going to be anything but a cakewalk: trips to Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge, and visits from Everton and Swansea City, are to follow Sunday’s clash with West Ham at the King Power Stadium. Once again, Claudio Ranieri‘s Foxes will kick off before Tottenham Hotspur, their nearest rival in the title race, thus the opportunity to restore a 10-point lead by the end of day Sunday exists. Nine points is all Leicester need to clinch the title. Can Leicester make it six-straight clean sheets in PL play? The last goal Leicester conceded: 490 minutes ago, against West Bromwich Albion, on March 1.
Must-win for Spurs to stay in it
Stoke City vs. Tottenham Hotspur — Monday, 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
The math is simple: Tottenham have to keep winning and hope that Leicester will eventually slip up and drop points (three times). Spurs can only control one half of that equation, and they’ll be looking for a fourth win in five games Monday afternoon when they visit the Britannia Stadium to take on 9th-place Stoke. Harry Kane‘s lead in the race for the Golden Boot is just one goal (22 to 21) after Jamie Vardy‘s brace against Sunderland last weekend.
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St. Totteringham’s Day might not come this year
Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace — Sunday, 11 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
Every season for the last 20 years, Arsenal have finished above Spurs, their north London rivals. The Gunners’ local dominance has become such an assumed outcome that in 2002 “St. Totteringham’s Day,” the day on which Arsenal mathematically guarantee themselves to finish above Spurs on the season, was invented. Only one problem for Arsenal fans: St. Totteringham’s Day might not come this year. Heading into the weekend, Spurs have a six-point lead on the Gunners (who have a game in hand). More worryingly for the red side of north London, Spurs have shown a total inability to “Spurs it up” this season, and they might just end their two decades of inferiority.
Monkey wrench in the race for Champions League?
Manchester United vs. Aston Villa — Saturday, 10 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
Chelsea vs. Manchester United — Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
Chelsea are still Chelsea, right? We still think of them as “they could and/or should beat anyone on a given day,” right? Sure, it’s been a disastrous season — they’re 10th in the league table, and the month is April — but if you’re a Man City supporter, you’re still worried about Saturday’s trip to Stamford Bridge, if you’re just a little honest with yourself. If nothing else, you’re terrified Guus Hiddink will “pull a Jose Mourinho” and park the bus in playing for a 0-0 draw, thus opening the door for Man United, who will likely have just sewn up all three points against bottom-of-the-league Aston Villa and pulled to within a single point in Manchester’s very own race for fourth.
Relegation six-pointer at Carrow Road
Norwich City vs. Sunderland — Saturday, 7:45 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
One of Norwich and Sunderland will be playing in the Championship come August. With everyone else a minimum of 11 points clear of the relegation zone — currently occupied by Villa, Newcastle United and Sunderland, from bottom to top — only Norwich are in danger of being dragged into the bottom-three. This season’s relegation battle becomes extremely straightforward with a Norwich victory: they’ll be a minimum of six points clear, at which point only a miracle will be able to save one of the Black Cats or Magpies.