Premier League Week 17 schedule and scores
Brendan Rodgers’ agent is already freshening up his resume.
Business is about to pick up in the Premier League when weather is at its worst, because the Premier League continues to be insane. This is the last game for a long time that will come after a perfectly reasonable period of rest. Everyone’s shoving in quick back-to-back-to-back games next week, plus all of these teams are in the FA Cup third round. After this set of fixtures, every Premier League club will go on to play four games in eight days.
This week’s clear headline attraction is the top-four battle between Liverpool and Arsenal. Technically, the Reds are still fighting for a Champions League spot, and won’t actually be mathematically eliminated for a few months. But if they fail to win, it’s tough to see them pulling it off, and it wouldn’t be terribly surprising if Brendan Rodgers failed to make it to the new year with his job intact.
Last week, there was no early Saturday game for no discernible reason. This week, there is no late Saturday game for no discernible reason. I’m asking for a consistently sensible Premier League schedule for Christmas.
Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace
Saturday, 7:45 a.m. ET. TV: NBC Sports Network (U.S.), BT Sport 1 (U.K.), TSN1 (Canada)
City have dropped points when they shouldn’t against the Premier League’s bottom dwellers at points this season, but they’ve been better in recent weeks. Leicester, Sunderland and Hull are among their victims on their recent run of five straight wins. It’ll take a surprising collapse for them to fail to add Palace to that list.
Aston Villa vs. Manchester United
Saturday, 10 a.m. ET. TV: NBC Sports Network (U.S.), TSN4 (Canada)
Don’t look now, but Manchester United are on a pretty ridiculous hot streak. There are still some pretty obvious holes in their game, but they’ve won six in a row in the Premier League, including victories over Arsenal and Liverpool. They’re only eight points off Chelsea, and looking pretty nailed-on for top four. Which is good, because spending £100m-plus tends to get you in trouble if you don’t make Champions League.
They’re away to Aston Villa, who Villa’d it up in their last game. After giving their fans some hope with two straight wins, they got shut out by West Bromwich Albion last week. Womp womp. Expect another loss for Villa here.
Newcastle United vs. Sunderland
Sunday, 8:30 a.m. ET. TV: NBC Sports Network (U.S.), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.), TSN2 (Canada)
“The form book goes out the window in derbies” is possibly the dumbest cliche in football, especially given that there’s literally no such thing as a form book, but it’s less stupid when applied to this derby than others. The less talented or consistent of the two has a recent history of causing an upset, or at least scraping a draw in this fixture. Watch for that, and for a Newcastle crowd that’s likely to be spectacular.
Liverpool vs. Arsenal
Sunday, 11 a.m. ET. TV: NBC Sports Network (U.S.), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.), Sportsnet regional (Canada)
A nightmare week that saw Liverpool bounced out of Champions League concluded with a 3-0 loss at the hands of Manchester United, but this one started off a bit better. They looked good in a 3-1 win over Championship leaders Bournemouth in the League Cup, and Rodgers will be hoping it’s given his boys a bit of confidence heading into this fixture.
But guessing which Arsenal team is going to show up is impossible. They were very solid last week in a win over Newcastle, but have a recent embarrassing loss to Stoke on their record and fell apart against Manchester United. And remember, this is the venue of last year’s amazing 5-1 Liverpool win over the Gunners, in which some decent saves by Wojciech Szczęsny and unlucky finishing held Liverpool to only four goals in the first 20 minutes when they played well enough to score 10.
Stoke City vs. Chelsea
Monday, 3 p.m. ET. TV: NBC Sports Network (U.S.), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.), Sportsnet World (Canada)
In case anyone thought the Newcastle loss was a sign that Chelsea were about to suffer a serious downturn in form, they’ve won their last three matches in a row across three different competitions. But Stoke have raised their games against good opponents this year, recording wins over Arsenal, Tottenham, Swansea, Newcastle and Manchester City. A point for the Potters wouldn’t be much of a shock, even if they are underdogs in this one.
Schedule (all times ET, scores updated as they come in)
Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace – Saturday, 7:45 a.m.
Aston Villa vs. Manchester United – Saturday, 10 a.m.
Hull City vs. Swansea City – Saturday, 10 a.m.
Queens Park Rangers vs. West Bromwich Albion – Saturday, 10 a.m.
Southampton vs. Everton – Saturday, 10 a.m.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Burnley – Saturday, 10 a.m.
West Ham United vs. Leicester City – Saturday, 10 a.m.
Newcastle United vs. Sunderland – Sunday, 8:30 a.m.
Liverpool vs. Arsenal – Sunday, 11 a.m.
Stoke City vs. Chelsea – Monday, 3 p.m.