The international break is finally over, which can only mean one thing – the Premier League is back.
While for most fans this would be good news, we United fans are slightly cautious, given that the side has suffered from an inconsistent season thus far.
Thankfully, this weekend’s clash could give United the boost they need to regain momentum. While there are not too many monster ties to treat fans this Easter weekend, there is definitely one that could prove crucial in the top four standings towards the end of the season.
Here is a preview of all of this weekend’s Premier League action:
Manchester United vs Swansea
The Red Devils return to Premier League action on Saturday afternoon as they welcome Carlos Carvalhal’s Swansea City to Old Trafford.
Most of United’s stars were in action during the international period. Ashley Young, Marcus Rashford, and Jesse Lingard helped England to a 1-0 win against the Netherlands, while Paul Pogba gave a man of the match performance in France’s 3-1 victory over Russia.
United boss, Jose Mourinho, seems to have begun losing the trust of supporters, as while the club is in a significantly better place than under Moyes, more still needs to be done to restore the side’s dominant status on a worldwide scale.
Scott McTominay and Sergio Romero both suffered injuries during the international period and will, therefore, be out of action on Saturday. Marcos Rojo played 90 minutes in his nation’s meeting with Spain, while Spaniard Ander Herrera could return to the fold after missing the last few games through injury.
Despite being relegation favourites at the beginning of the season, Swans boss Carlos Carvalhal has managed to lift the Welsh side out of the ashes into 14th place.
Though, safety definitely isn’t a certainty for Carvalhal’s men, as they sit just three points above the drop zone. However, Swansea have beaten the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal, so another big upset isn’t completely outside the realms of possibility.
Everton vs Manchester City
Next up, United’s Manchester rivals visit Everton in Saturday’s evening fixture with just two wins separating them from Premier League glory.
Pep Guardiola is yet to win against the Toffees since arriving in England, while Sam Allardyce’s men are one of just four teams to have taken points off of the league leaders this season.
Everton have become another side to climb out of the depths of relegation since Allardyce’s arrival, yet calls for Big Sam to already get the sack have become louder in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, a win at Goodison Park could keep City on track to wrap up the Premier League title at Old Trafford next week – a sight that no United fan wants to see.
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool
In Saturday’s early kick-off 16th placed Crystal Palace welcome Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to Selhurst Park, as they look to step closer to Premier League safety.
Liverpool have become one of the most attractive attacking sides to watch this season (as much as it pains me to admit it), so any points return for Roy Hodgson’s men will be welcomed.
The league’s top goal-scorer, Mohamed Salah, will look to add to his already impressive tally of 28 goals, as well as helping his side to finally topple United in second place.
West Brom vs Burnley
Bottom-of-the-table West Brom welcome this season’s surprise standout side Burnley as the Baggies look to avoid a ninth consecutive defeat.
Alan Pardew’s men currently sit ten points from safety with just seven games remaining. Meanwhile, Sean Dyche’s men still sit in seventh place, edging closer to European football.
The Clarets have enjoyed back-to-back wins against West Ham and Everton in the Premier League and even managed to snag a point from league leaders Manchester City last month.
Brighton vs Leicester City
Chris Hughton’s Brighton have won each of their last three Premier League home matches, the same number as to how many they’d won in their first 12 of the season.
They welcome a Leicester side who go into the tie having thrashed West Brom 4-1 in their last away fixture.
Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez has been involved in five goals in his last five Premier League appearances against newly promoted sides, while Brighton’s own Glenn Murray has scored six goals in six home matches, accounting for 38 percent of Brighton’s total of 16 in that time.
Watford vs Bournemouth
Watford will be looking to get back on track after suffering two heavy defeats in a row at the hands of Liverpool (5-0) and Arsenal (3-0).
They welcome Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth, who have won just one of their last five games, failing to keep a clean sheet in their last six.
Just two points separate the two sides, with Bournemouth sitting ahead of Javi Gracia’s men in 10th. Both sides go into the fixture with disappointing defensive records, but the home advantage could give Watford the edge, as they’re unbeaten in their last five games at Vicarage Road.
West Ham vs Southampton
David Moyes’ men return to the London Stadium for the first time since chaos erupted during their 3-0 defeat to Burnley, in which fans invaded the pitch in protest to the club’s board.
The Hammers welcome Southampton in a clash crucial in both sides’ bids for Premier League survival. Mark Hughes began his tenure at the Saints in style as they beat Wigan 2-0 in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
Despite recently jumping ship from fellow relegation strugglers Stoke, Hughes will hope that the result against Wigan was no fluke, as his side look to pounce on West Ham during their times of toxicity behind the scenes.
Newcastle vs Huddersfield
The curious case of Newcastle United and the club’s ownership has been the topic of various tabloid exploits since owner Mike Ashley put the club up for sale in October.
Since the beginning of the international break, none other than Floyd Mayweather has been linked with a remarkable takeover of the Magpies. Though these reports should be taken with a pinch of salt – or maybe a whole ocean’s worth.
On the field, however, Rafa Benitez’s men welcome Huddersfield this Saturday. Newcastle’s home record is far from impressive, as the only team to score fewer league goals at home this season is Burnley.
On the other hand, Huddersfield’s away record isn’t much better, winning just one out of 13 matches on the road. Both sides are by no means safe from the drop, so some vital points are up for grabs in this game.
Arsenal vs Stoke City
The first of Sunday’s games sees Arsenal welcome relegation strugglers Stoke City to the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners have managed to bounce back from their poor run of form, winning their previous three games in all competitions, including two victories over AC Milan in the Europa League.
Meanwhile, Stoke have failed to win any of their last seven games in all competitions, and sink deeper into the relegation battle.
Arsenal are still chasing a top-four spot, and it’s looking increasingly unlikely they’ll make it into one. Arsene Wenger’s men are eight points behind Chelsea in fifth and 13 behind Spurs in fourth.
Chelsea vs Spurs
Speaking of Chelsea and Spurs, they take part in this weekend’s marquee matchup as Antonio Conte’s men welcome Mauricio Pochettino’s to Stamford Bridge.
Both sides are chock-full of talent both in attack and defence, though one of the sides will be without their star man.
Harry Kane is set to miss the tie after suffering ankle ligament damage against Bournemouth. Though with the likes of Christian Eriksen, Heung-Min Son, Dele Alli and more in the side, Spurs certainly don’t lack firepower in Kane’s absence.
Nevertheless, Chelsea still remain odds-on favourites to triumph this Easter Sunday, as the Blues look to close in on Champions League football.