Premier League, Week 17 preview: Everything is the undercard until Monday

Laurence Griffiths

There are a couple of mildly watchable games this weekend, all leading up to the grand finale: Arsenal and Chelsea's Monday showdown in North London.

Liverpool vs.Cardiff City

Anfield; Saturday, 12:45 GMT/7:45 AM ET

By the time this game is played (or even by the time this is posted) there's a very good chance Malky Mackay will have moved on from Cardiff City, and it's hard to see things working out as well for ~the Dragons~ as they did for Southampton when Nigel Adkins was let go. Time will tell and etc and so forth and so on, but it's hard not to see this as a somewhat desperate stab at survival. Which might make sense if Cardiff weren't four points above the relegation zone, but, uh.

Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle United

Selhurst Park; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Newcastle is still pretty good, which, as someone that just ripped Alan Pardew to shreds on a regular basis as recently as one month ago, is really annoying. Be terrible like I said you were! I don't enjoy learning anything, ever! Jackal!

Fulham vs. Manchester City

Craven Cottage; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Fulham is apparently getting Clint Dempsey back, which is going to be a pretty nasty surprise when they realize what Clint Dempsey is at the moment. But that's still to come; this week, they'll just get shredded by City and wish he could have come sooner. Or they'll win, because City away is apparently a game of chance.

Manchester United vs. West Ham United

Old Trafford; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

United beat Villa pretty soundly last time out, but even in defeating a mid-table side as soundly as they did, they didn't seem all that impressive. But really, that's kind of been United's thing for the past ... however many years, right? David Moyes is finally coming around!

Stoke City vs. Aston Villa

Britannia Stadium; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Every week I start with last week's post, and change the teams/times/venues as necessary. This week, I got to this point in the schedule and what did this game replace? Hull-Stoke. I deleted whatever it was that I wrote last week, but you can probably guess how it went, and then apply it to this game.

Sunderland vs. Norwich City

Stadium of Light; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

This capsule replaced Sunderland-West Ham, so just go ahead and read the thing above and then thank god for the advances in technology that made it possible to not watch these games ever as long as you live.

West Bromwich Albion vs. Hull City

The Hawthorns; Saturday, 15:00 GMT/10:00 AM ET

Well, there was no correspondingly horrible fixture in this space last week, but everything above still applies. This means that this week of Premier League games is The Worst Ever and so you should respond by throwing slices of smoked meats at your television.

Southampton vs. Tottenham Hotspur

St. Mary's Stadium; Sunday, 13:30 GMT/8:30 AM ET

Hey, this one might be good! Spurs are kind of a mess right now, with one of the more progressive -- to a fault, apparently -- managers in England seemingly replaced by a Council of the Yesteryear, at least on an interim basis. That makes for chaos, and chaos makes for fun, and Southampton is prone to similarly chaotic games, and I guess the point of all of this is to say that there's a good chance this game is the trigger of Ragnarok.

Swansea City vs. Everton

Liberty Stadium; Sunday, 16:00 GMT/11:00 AM ET

This game, in contrast, will be very nice and tidy and interesting and probably quite fun. But there will also be a feeling that things are just a little too perfect, a little too clean. And also, no one will score any goals, and at the end everyone will by asking how that's even possible.

Arsenal vs. Chelsea

Emirates Stadium; Monday, 20:00 GMT/3:00 PM ET

A Monday night game that's the least bit interesting is always delightful; a Monday night game that could potentially swing the title race is a joyous occasion. Arsenal and Chelsea match up wonderfully, they're both brilliant teams with glaringly exploitable flaws, and all that's at stake is the Premier League's top perch.

Don't blow this, guys. Give us something awesome.

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