Can Leicester hold their nerve? – Weekend Premier League Preview

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The Premier League will once again provide us with great entertainment this weekend, and we take a look at the upcoming action.

With 10 teams playing in the league in midweek, there is more of a full schedule to look forward to in the coming days.

Liverpool enjoyed a resounding 4-0 win against 10-man Everton on Wednesday evening, and they host Newcastle on Saturday, with former manager Rafa Benitez returning to Anfield.

The Spaniard is sure to get a fabulous reception from the home crowd, but for him, picking up some much-needed points is very much the order of the day.

There are hugely important matches at both ends of the table, with just three weeks of the domestic season now remaining.

Can Leicester hold their nerve?

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, February 1, 2016: Liverpool's Dejan Lovren in action against Leicester City's Jamie Vardy during the Premier League match at Filbert Way. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Leicester’s lead at the top of the Premier League table has been narrowed to five points, with Tottenham now very much hot on their heels.

The Foxes’ 2-2 draw at home to West Ham last Sunday may have seen Leonardo Ulloa equalise with a stoppage time penalty, but it was still dropped points at the end of the day.

For the first time all season, a tiny bit of doubt will have crept into their minds, and it will be intriguing to see how they respond.

Claudio Ranieri’s side host Swansea on Sunday afternoon, which on paper, is about as easy as it gets. The Swans have nothing to play for this season.

Jamie Vardy is suspended, though, which is a big blow, and pressure can do funny things when it gets to this stage of the season.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 17, 2015: Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli in action against Liverpool during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Kloppaganda)

If Leicester do slip-up, Spurs will be waiting to pounce on Monday night, when they welcome West Brom to White Hart Lane.

The north Londoners look the best team in the league on current form, with their 4-0 dismantling of Stoke in their last outing proof of that.

The momentum is suddenly with them, and in Toby Alderweireld, Mousa Dembele, Dele Alli and Harry Kane, they have some of the most in-form players in the division.

Anything other than a win against a non-descript Baggies side would be a big surprise, and they will be praying Leicester have failed to beat Swansea by the time their game kicks off.

Sunderland find themselves in a relegation dog-fight with Newcastle and Norwich, with their 3-0 win away to the Canaries last weekend potentially season-defining.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 6, 2016: Sunderland's goal-scorer Jermain Defoe celebrates the 2-2 draw against Liverpool during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Black Cats are at home to an increasingly fragile Arsenal side on Sunday afternoon, with the Gunners not yet guaranteed a top-four finish. It should be a very interesting contest.

Stoke make the trip to the Etihad to face Man City on Saturday lunchtime, with Manuel Pellegrini likely to rest players ahead of next week’s Champions League semi-final first-leg at home to Real Madrid.

The other league games over the weekend see relegated Aston Villa at home to Southampton and Chelsea away to Bournemouth.

There is also the small matter of the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley, with Man United taking on Everton on Saturday and Crystal Palace doing battle with Watford the following day.

Because of this, there are no Premier League matches this weekend for Norwich or West Ham.

Full Fixtures & TV Info

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 2, 2016: Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen in action against Liverpool during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Premier League

Man City vs. Stoke – Saturday 12:45pm, Sky Sports 1

Aston Villa vs. Southampton – Saturday 3pm

Bournemouth vs. Chelsea – Saturday 3pm

Liverpool vs. Newcastle – Saturday 3pm

Leicester vs. Swansea – Sunday 1:30pm, Sky Sports 1

Sunderland vs. Arsenal – Sunday 4pm, Sky Sports 1

Tottenham vs. West Brom – Monday 8pm, Sky Sports 1

FA Cup

Everton vs. Man United – Saturday 5:15pm, BBC One

Crystal Palace vs. Watford – Sunday 4pm, BT Sport 2

Fantasy Football Tips

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 2, 2016: Liverpool's James Milner celebrates scoring the second goal against Manchester City as Raheem Sterling looks on during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Former Liverpool man Raheem Sterling made his return from injury in midweek against Newcastle, and he is likely to be given a start against Stoke on Saturday.

The 21-year-old could be a key player, in what will surely be a weakened City side, and he has a good chance of scoring or assisting against a disinterested-looking Potters team.

Ulloa has proven to be something of a cult figure for Leicester this season, chipping in with some vital goals from the substitutes’ bench.

The Argentine will be tasked with leading the line in Vardy’s absence on Sunday, and don’t be surprised to see him net the winner against Swansea.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 17, 2015: Liverpool's Divock Origi in action against Tottenham Hotspur's captain Jan Vertonghen during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Kloppaganda)

Centre-back Jan Vertonghen has fitted seamlessly back into the Spurs side, following a lengthy injury lay-off, continuing his excellent partnership with Toby Alderweireld.

The Belgium international will come up against a toothless West Brom outfit on Monday, and he stands a very good chance of keeping a clean-sheet.

Liverpool’s league campaign may not be the priority now, but manager Jurgen Klopp will still be desperate for three points against Newcastle.

It may be that Danny Ward is again given a chance to shine in goal, and with the Magpies not exactly brimming with attacking class, the young Welshman could well register his first shut-out at senior level.

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