Top Premier League storylines for Week 37


The race for the Premier League title looks set to go all the way down to the wire, with plenty of drama still to play out. Week 37 may be lacking in Big Six matchups but there are still plenty of intriguing matchups to watch, which we’ll look at below.

[MORE: JPW’s Premier League picks]

Can Rafa Benitez stop Liverpool?
Newcastle v. Liverpool, 2:45 p.m. ET, Saturday, on NBCSN [ STREAM ]

The title hopes are out of its control, but Liverpool must continue to win its final two remaining league games to keep any hope of winning its first Premier League crown. Standing in its way this week is former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, who still maintains property in the area and reportedly still holds fond feelings for the club. Will Benitez put the final nail in the coffin for Liverpool’s Premier League hopes, or have his team let Liverpool come away with a massive away victory, keeping the pressure on Manchester City. Once again, Man City plays after Liverpool, so they’ll know that a win will either seal the title or just put them back on top by one point.

Brendan Rogers rematch with Manchester City
Manchester City v. Leicester City, 3 p.m. ET, Monday, on NBCSN [ STREAM ]

If Newcastle presents a challenge for Liverpool, the similarly, Leicester City, even at the Etihad Stadium, is a challenge for Pep Guardiola and Man City. Brendan Rodgers‘ side is coming off a rousing 3-0 win over Arsenal, though the Gunners were quite poor defensively. Youri Tielemans has been terrific and Jamie Vardy has come to life under Rodgers after struggling to find regular playing time under Claude Puel. Manchester City though has won 12 straight games in the Premier League, and are making their own luck, winning by some of the finest margins – 29 millimeters worth of space in its last game.

Wolves can lock down seventh place
Wolverhampton Wanderers v. Fulham, 10 a.m. ET, Saturday, on NBCSN [ STREAM ]

The race for seventh place has been a wild one in the last few weeks. However, finally, after Wolves win last weekend at Watford, Nuno Espirito Santo‘s side can put itself in position to play in Europe next season, one year after coming up from the Championship. With a Wolves win over Fulham, the club will secure the seventh position and should Watford lose in the FA Cup final, Wolves will be heading to the UEFA Europa League.

Watford chasing Rennes, Senegal star Sarr

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Watford may capture one of the rising stars of the game.

Ismaila Sarr would cost the Hornets a club transfer record fee, and Sky Sports says that Watford and Rennes are about $10 million apart.

The Ligue 1 side reportedly wants $34 million for the Senegal national team right wing.

[ VIDEO: Nketiah leads Arsenal win ]

Sarr, 21, scored a goal and an assist in Senegal’s run to the Africa Cup of Nations final, playing opposite Sadio Mane of Liverpool.

He posted 13 goals with 14 assists last season between Ligue 1, the French Cup, and the Europa League. He was the lone Rennes player to score against Arsenal in the UEL Round of 16.

Watford has held onto Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dodi Lukebakio this offseason. Lukebakio is also a 21-year-old right wing, and had a sensational loan season with Fortuna Dusseldorf in 2019-20.

Nketiah leads Arsenal past Fiorentina (video)

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Eddie Nketiah scored twice as Arsenal beat Fiorentina 3-0 in Charlotte on Saturday.

Joe Willock also scored for the Gunners, which beat Colorado Rapids and Bayern Munich in their first two matches of the preseason and meet Real Madrid in Maryland on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]

Fiorentina took 18 of the match’s 30 shots, though Arsenal had nearly 60 percent of the ball.

Nketiah, 20, scored against Burnley in last season’s Premier League finale and then late against Bayern Munich earlier this week.

He was deft in a high-pressure spot for this one.

Premier League friendlies: Watford beats Bayer, Man Utd over Inter

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Arsenal and Fiorentina are set to kickoff in Charlotte tonight, with the Gunners the last of a bevy of Premier League sides to engage in preseason friendlies this muggy Saturday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]

Girona 1-2 Bournemouth

Juanpe’s late header pushed La Liga’s hosts past Eddie Howe and his 10-man Cherries, playing down after VAR deemed Jack Simpson‘s foul worthy of a sending off. Ryan Fraser scored Bournemouth’s goal, assisted by Jordon Ibe.

Northampton Town 0-4 Sheffield United

Oliver Norwood converted two penalties in an easy win for Chris Wilder in his return to a club he played for and managed.

Fulham 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion

Pascal Gross scored with an early free kick — a Megan Rapinoe special — but Tom Cairney scored twice after halftime for the Championship side.

Cheltenham Town 1-2 Leicester City

The Foxes collected a second win over a lower league side this week, with Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton on the board.

Newcastle United 1-0 West Ham United (Shanghai)

New manager Steve Bruce watched from the crowd as the Magpies made amends for a 4-0 loss to Wolves by blanking West Ham. Jamie Sterry‘s cross for Yoshinori Muto was delightful, and the Japanese striker’s finish was well-taken.

Port Vale 1-3 Burnley; Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Burnley

Chris Wood, Matej Vydra and Robbie Brady scored as the Clarets overcame an early Nick Pope goal to beat Port Vale, but the Premier League side couldn’t do much in a simultaneous friendly at Crewe.

Inter Milan 0-1 Manchester United (Singapore)

Substitute forward Mason Greenwood, just 17, scored the late goal in a match United controlled, outshooting Inter 21-8.

Preston North End 1-3 Southampton

Brace-bagging Danny Ings doesn’t usually have a problem with finish, so passing the ball directly to him is not something we’d recommend to goalkeepers. Jake Vokins also scored for Saints at Deepdale.

Watford 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Austria)

Will Hughes and Andre Gray scored as the Hornets collected a win over Champions League competition.

Man City (0-0, 2-3 pens) Wolves (Shanghai)

Rui Patricio was very good over 90 minutes, and stopped City’s first two penalty attempts as Wolves continue to perplex the PL champions.

WATCH: Marco Fabian smashes set piece goal

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Marco Fabian sent a missile toward goal, and perhaps it’s good the goalkeeper didn’t get to the hand-breaking shot.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead over Chicago on Saturday in Chester, Pennsylvania, thanks to the Mexican midfielder.

[ REPORT: Man Utd locks up De Gea ]

It was a pretty set piece from Jim Curtin’s men, a backwards played free kick was laid off to Fabian for his audacious rip.

Fabian hasn’t had a wonderful 2019 season, but his fourth goal of the season will give Union supporters hope that he’ll pick up his form and make the already East-leading side all the more dangerous.