EPL: Top 10 Most Important Fixtures Remaining This Season

Ned Harwood@@RBStampedeContributor IIIMarch 16, 2012

EPL: Top 10 Most Important Fixtures Remaining This Season

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    With just 10 weeks left in the English Premier League season, every fixture means that much more. For every victory that can feel twice as sweet, losses can wind up proving devastating to your club's campaign.

    If one thing is for certain, money, prestige and pride are all on the line as we enter the home stretch of the 2012 season. Here are the 10 games remaining that mean the most when it comes to those three factors. Enjoy!

Honorable Mention Fixtures

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    Arsenal at Everton, March 21

    Chelsea at Aston Villa, March 31

    Newcastle at Chelsea, April 14

    Newcastle at Manchester City, May 6

    Manchester United at Sunderland, May 13

Chelsea at Manchester City, March 21

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    The first game on the list is the first game that will arrive on your schedule.

    As City looks to get back on top the Premier League table, Chelsea will try to be the only top six club to sweep the Blues this season. It’s going to be a midweek matchup you surely will not want to miss. 

Tottenham at Chelsea, March 24

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    It is the game that may ultimately decide who sees UCL football next season. With City and United way ahead and Arsenal hotter than any other team in the league right now, this matchup has more relevance than ever before as each team battles for a final Champions League qualification bid.

    Winning three points would be absolutely huge to the cause for either team, and failing to take away anything would evidently be detrimental. 

Blackburn at Bolton, March 24

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    Bolton’s 2-1 victory over Blackburn nearly caused the Rovers' team and management to self-destruct in December. Now, Blackburn has a chance to return the favor and put Bolton fans on edge during their March 24 meeting at the Reebok.

    Both teams are currently out of the relegation zone, but as we all know, it is these types of games that surviving teams must win in order to stay afloat. This game could mean the season for both Bolton and Blackburn. 

Newcastle at Liverpool, April 1

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    While the Champions League seems a bit out of reach for both clubs, this game will be huge in deciding who rounds out the top six in the Premier League.

    After a phenomenal start to the season, Newcastle must feel that anything less than a top-six finish would be disappointing, while Liverpool is trying to prove its relevance once again by at least finishing right behind its normal rivals.

    While this game doesn’t mean much in terms of money or survival, there certainly is a lot of pride on the line on April 1. 

Manchester City at Arsenal, April 8

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    One thing is for sure: Arsenal are going to give everything they have got on April 8 against Manchester City. After two tough losses to City earlier in the year, the Gunners will make sure that the Blues don’t leave the Emirates as content as last time.

    Add all that in with the fact that it is the EPL return of Nasri and Clichy, and you have a potential dogfight in the works. The game kicks off at 11:00 EST on FSC. 

Chelsea at Arsenal, April 21

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    The London rivalry will be renewed with just a few weeks left in the campaign. With the teams placed fourth and fifth in the table, this game has more relevance than ever—Champions League football is up for grabs.

    Both teams have admitted that failing to qualify for the UCL next year would be a disaster, and therefore losing this game will have serious consequences.

Wigan at Blackburn, May 6

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    Of course, there is nothing like a good ol' fashioned relegation battle! It has been a long time since the “Kean Out” chants were at an absolutely maximum, but that doesn’t mean they won’t start to resurface if this game doesn’t go Blackburn’s way.

    This game will feature two teams desperately trying to survive the drop just one week before their fates are decided. Does it get any better than that?

Chelsea at Liverpool, May 6

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    This Week 37 matchup has all the capabilities of being a thriller.

    It is a rematch of the November fixture where Glen Johnson stole three points from his old club in the 87th minute for the Reds at the Bridge. It is the official return of Fernando Torres to Anfield, where he will certainly hear a number of mixed reviews from the crowd.

    Finally, it is a match that could decide the Champions League fate of Chelsea next season as they currently find themselves out of a bid. I know a lot of games fall victim to over-anticipation, but trust me, this one will be worth the hype. 

Wolves at Wigan, May 13

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    There may not be another game the rest of the season worth more than the Wolves vs. Wigan battle on the final day of the EPL season.

    With so much money and credibility on the line, it would be foolish of you not to label this game as a must-see on your calendar. We saw the final day fiascos that occurred last year as teams trying to survive the drop played some of the most entertaining matches of the season.

    Don’t miss out on this sure-to-be thriller as Wigan and Wolves try to keep their heads above water. 

Manchester United at Manchester City, April 30

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    This is it. It is the must-watch game of the season. Cross-town rivals separated by merely a few points, battling it out for not just bragging rights, but possibly an EPL title as well.

    United looks for revenge while City tries to sweep the Reds for the first time in over 40 years. These are the types of games that remind us how much we love sports. My date on the couch has been confirmed. The only question now is: Where will you be?