In a season that began with Chelsea threatening to run away with the title, the Blues have come back to earth in recent weeks as goals – which used to be scored seemingly at will – have proved difficult for the defending champions. The Premier League season has provided plenty of surprises and upsets, leaving we the spectators with little idea of how the rest of the season will play out. Injuries, inconsistencies, and inexplicable coaching decisions has meant plenty of controversy while making sure no team has been predictable or safe in any fixture. A look at what we’ll be tuning into this weekend.
Arsenal v. Tottenham (Sat. 7:45 AM ET): The Gunners host the Spurs in a north-London derby that has more than just bragging rights riding on it. Arsenal could claim first this weekend, while Tottenham would love to show some consistency with a strong display at the Emirates.
Birmingham v. Chelsea (Sat. 10:00 AM ET): Chelsea will be bolstered by the return of Alex, but there are still many questions to be answered following a dismal display against Sunderland as the Blues head to Birmingham.
Bolton Wanderers v. Newcastle (Sat. 10:00 AM ET): Fifth-place Bolton will look to continue their winning ways as Johann Elmander and Stuart Holden seek to add to their goal-scoring accounts.
Fulham v. Manchester City (Sun. 11:00 AM ET): Roberto Mancini will surely face further pressure from management and supporters if he can’t emerge from Craven Cottage with a victory. Changes are coming for the Eastlands side, but they need results now to stay within striking distance Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United.
Villarreal v. Valencia (Sat. 12:00 PM ET): No. 3 in La Liga hosts No. 4 with both sides looking to stay within striking distance of Barcelona and Real Madrid, who are also in action Saturday.
Real Madrid v. Athletic Bilbao (Sat. 4:00 PM ET): Cristiano Ronaldo may be happy he won’t have to deal with Nani as Madrid host Bilbao.
Borussia Monchengladbach v. Mainz (Sat. 9:30 AM ET): After a second-half goal barrage gave Michael Bradley’s side a 4-0 win over Cologne, Monchengladbach will look to build on the momentum as they host a reeling Mainz side, who have lost four of five after beginning the season 7-0-0.
Bayer Leverkusen v. Bayern Munich (Sat. 12:30 PM ET): Second place Leverkusen host the defending champs.
Stade Rennes v. Brest (Sat. 1:00 PM ET): A 2-1 loss to Auxerre dropped Rennes to 5th in the league table. They’ll have a chance to move back into the top four, however, as Les Rouges et Noirs host top of the table Brest.
Monterrey v. Pachuca (Sun. 5:00 PM ET): Monterrey hosts Jose-Francisco Torres, Herculez Gomez, and Pachuca in the second leg of the 2010 Apertura quarterfinals after the two sides drew 1-1 in the first meeting.
Colorado v. Dallas (Sun. 8:30 PM ET): No matter what occurs, MLS will have a new champion. As Colorado and Dallas face off on Sunday evening, both will be seeking their first league trophy. MLS MVP David Ferreira will lead the way for a composed, confident, and consistent Dallas side that have seemed to keep getting better and better as the season has progressed. Colorado will strong performances from Conor Casey and Omar Cummings while hoping that Drew Moor, Marvell Wynne, and the Rapids’ defense can slow the Dallas attack and stop the counter.