The majority of the Premier League's teams have just 180 minutes to make an impression.
Be that securing silverware, safety or just ensuring that they can finish as high as possible, as usual, there is lots of narrative and storytelling yet to be played out on the pitches of our elite clubs.
Can the blue half of Merseyside produce a result that might well see the Premier League trophy making its way to Anfield?
Two from four in the relegation battle mean that there is still everything to play for.
|Premier League Table - Week 36|
The penultimate weekend of the Premier League throws up some very exciting fixtures indeed.
While their abysmal current form—just two wins since the beginning of February, per WhoScored.com—would dictate that a win is beyond them, Newcastle are far from in-form themselves.
Alan Pardew’s men sit comfortably in the no-man’s land of mid-table, and Pardew will be thanking his lucky stars for a decent first half to the season.
Seven losses from the last 10, per WhoScored, is relegation form, and were the Magpies closer to the bottom, you wouldn’t bet against them falling through the trap door.
An early goal from the Welsh side could really put the cat among the pigeons and see the boisterous local support get on the back of the manager once more. A tense atmosphere could work against the home side and give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer something to hold onto going into the final weekend.
The Cottagers are also in dire need of the points, as they are just one point away from safety.
Felix Magath has restored a bit of pride to the London outfit, and one loss in the last four, per WhoScored, has stopped the slide that almost saw them marooned a few weeks ago.
Magath will ensure that his charges match an aggressive Stoke side in every single department, and if they are to lose the match, and potentially their Premier League status, they will go out fighting.
Sunderland and Norwich are the other two teams right in the mire. A trip for Gus Poyet and his side to an exuberant and re-energized Manchester United under Ryan Giggs is needed like a hole in the head.
Poyet should take heart from their stunning takeaway at Old Trafford in the Capital One Cup earlier this season.
Chelsea host Norwich at the “Bridge” and are looking for three points that mathematically keep them in the title race.
At the top of the table, and in the chase for the European places, is where things get very interesting.
If Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City win at Goodison Park, you would be hard-pressed to disagree that the title would be on its way back to the Etihad Stadium after a short hiatus, given that their final two opponents—Aston Villa and West Ham—are unlikely to present too many problems.
Sky Sports’ Paul Merson certainly expects the Citizens to deliver:
It's in their hands to win the league and they have got every chance. ... I expect them to win this game, especially when you consider Everton are without Gareth Barry and a few other players. The season has caught up with them and I think City will win and go on to take the title.
However, Merson’s colleague, Jamie Redknapp, doesn’t expect it to be easy for Pellegrini’s side, per Sky Sports:
This is Everton's last home game of the season and the players won't want to walk around the pitch at the end of the game embarrassed. Everton players have to set an example to everybody at the club. People look to them to uphold Everton's reputation.
Look a gift horse in the mouth and hand the win to Roberto Martinez’s swashbuckling young side, and Liverpool have the destination of the title right back in their own hands again.
Even with only two games left to play, there is still everything to play for, for almost half of the Premier League.
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