Top Premier League storylines: Week 31

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With some Premier League sides still participating deep into the FA Cup, it’s an abridged Premier League schedule this weekend. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of fascinating storylines to watch.

Chelsea hits the road after a morale-boosting win in the UEFA Europa League this week, while Newcastle looks to build on its terrific second half performance in its 3-2 win last weekend over Everton. However, the spotlight will remain on Liverpool, which could return to first place in the Premier League with a win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.

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Below are a look at the top storylines ahead of this weekend.


First place up for grabs for Liverpool
Sunday, 10:15 a.m. ET: Fulham v. Liverpool – NBCSN [ STREAM ]

Coming off a massive 3-1 win at Bayern Munich, Liverpool returns to England with the chance to gain a slight psychological advantage. Since Manchester City is in FA Cup action this weekend, Liverpool can go top of the league with a win at Fulham. In doing so, Manchester City would in effect, be “chasing” Liverpool until the Sky Blues caught up to Liverpool in terms of games played. Fulham hasn’t won a match since January, is on its third coach of the season, and can’t seem to figure things out defensively. Sunday could be a chance for Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino to find the back of the net again and gain more confidence.

Chelsea could jump into a tie for fourth
Sunday, 12:30 p.m. ET: Everton v. Chelsea – NBCSN [ STREAM ]

About a month ago, Chelsea’s season looked to be spiraling out of control. But with five wins in the team’s last seven matches in all competitions, Chelsea’s suddenly experiencing a spring revival. Maurizio Sarri‘s side have climbed back into contention for fourth place in the Premier League, and the Blues are currently just three points behind Arsenal, which sit in fourth place. Chelsea would have to make up six goals in the goal-differential Sunday to overtake Arsenal, but even being tied on points after 30 matches with eight to go would really raise the drama down the home stretch. Everton, meanwhile, continues to struggle under Marco Silva. Despite all the signings and money spent, the Toffees are in the bottom half of the table. A big win over Chelsea at Goodison Park could bring some more positive feelings back to the blue half of Merseyside.

Rodgers looking for second-straight win
Saturday, 11:00 a.m. ET: Burnley v. Leicester – NBCSN [ STREAM ]

Yes, it was struggling Fulham, but Leicester City’s 3-1 win last weekend at the King Power Stadium was, the club will hope, the start of a new era and new momentum. It was the first win since Brendan Rodgers returned to the Premier League and took charge of Leicester City, and it saw the side returning to its winning formula, pressing high and using quick counter attacks to score goals. Rodgers took a risk leaving Celtic in the middle of the season to join Leicester and try and bring them up in the table. A visit to Burnley, fighting for its life to avoid relegation, will be a great test to see if Rodgers can win while his team will likely have more possession of the ball.