Top Premier League storylines for Week 18

Mike Egerton/PA via AP
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The Premier League weekend keeps the big boys clear of each other, but the challenges are still tricky for Liverpool and the clubs chasing the Reds.

[ MORE: Rating Mourinho’s MUFC signings ]


Solskjaer faces former club in debut as Man Utd boss 
Cardiff City vs. Manchester United, 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC 
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dazzled as a striker for Manchester United, but floundered at the wheel for Cardiff City as manager. He’ll take his first steps as Red Devils interim manager when he visits the Bluebirds. Who will start in his first XI? And who will seize the chance to restore their Manchester United reputation? Paul Pogba is a good bet for both.

Fire on the touchline when Nuno matches wits with Klopp
Wolves vs. Liverpool, 3 p.m. ET Friday on NBCSN 
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Nuno Espirito Santo‘s Wolves have found their footing again, and will be hoping to add to their list of impressive results when Jurgen Klopp brings his unbeaten Reds to town. Wolves lost 3-2 to Spurs, but have beaten Chelsea and drawn Man City, Arsenal, and Manchester United.

How many minutes can Crystal Palace add to its 91-minute clean sheet v. Man City?
Man City vs. Crystal Palace, 10 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN 
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DYK: Only two Premier League sides blanked Man City last season, and one was Crystal Palace (Bonus points if you remembered Huddersfield Town was the other, especially if you’re not a Terriers supporter)? Palace hopes whatever magic worked last year can be recalled for this visit to the Etihad Stadium, and City will know how Liverpool fared on Friday.

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Puel’s slumping Leicester City visits red-hot Hazard and Chelsea
Chelsea vs. Leicester City, 10 a.m. ET Saturday on CNBC 
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Leicester has slipped to 12th with just a point from its last three matches, and it’s not going to get any easier at Stamford Bridge. Eden Hazard has a goal and five assists in his last four matches, and scored the lone goal Wednesday in sending Chelsea to the League Cup semifinals with a win over Bournemouth.

Surging Spurs hope Everton’s defensive form stays down
Everton vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 11 a.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN 
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Marco Silva‘s run up the table has stalled thanks to two losses and two draws starting with their last-second loss in the Merseyside Derby, but Everton has a chance to feel a lot better about its festive season by performing well at Goodison Park against a very much in-form Spurs side. Everton has allowed seven goals in their last four matches.