Heading into Week 26 of the EPL season, we see the table being dominated by Manchester — both of them — while City widens their gap over United by extending their winning streak to 11. Leicester City are keeping pace with Manchester United, tied on points while both teams have a tough match-up this week. While Liverpool falls further down the table as they extend their losing streak to four, there are plenty of storylines to explore this week so let’s take a look at some of the best and worst of Week 26.
Best of Week 26
Chelsea v. Manchester United
Sunday, February 28, 11:30a.m. ET
Watch on NBCSN, Telemundo
These two sides never disappoint when they face off against each other, and this week shouldn’t be any different. Chelsea have slowly been climbing back up the table since sacking manager Frank Lampard in January. The Blues are riding a seven-game unbeaten streak with five wins during that stretch, while keeping a clean sheet in all three of their home matches since Thomas Tuchel took the reigns. However, United have won their last three outings at Stamford Bridge which spans three different competitions. They’ve never won four straight at Chelsea, so they’ll be eyeing that record this weekend when they visit the Blues. Bruno Fernandes has been exceptional this season for the Red Devils, banging in 15 goals while adding 10 assists, second-best in the league in both stats. Chelsea, despite having attacking stars like Olivier Giroud and Timo Werner, don’t have anyone running away in attack as Tammy Abraham is the club’s leading scorer with six on the season.
Worst of Week 26
West Brom v. Brighton
Saturday, February 27, 10:00a.m. ET
Watch on NBCSN
These are two teams who have struggled to find any kind of success this season, as West Brom sits in 19th place, winning only two games all season long. Their last win came in Week 19 when they edged out Wolverhampton with a 3-2 victory but have gone 0-3-3 in their six matches since then. They’ve only managed to put 19 goals in the back of the net all season while allowing a league-worst 55. Brighton, while logging a few more wins and a significantly better goal differential, has had a rough go most of the season as they’ve spent all their time in the bottom half of the table since Week 3. They went on a six-game unbeaten run recently where they logged three wins, but that quickly turned into a three-game winless streak as they most recently lost to Crystal Palace 2-1. While on paper it looks like Brighton should have this in the bag, history isn’t on their side as they’ve only bested West Brom once in their last 11 EPL meetings, with that win coming in September of 2017.
Week 26 Sleeper
Saturday, February 27, 12:30p.m. ET
Watch on Peacock
Eighth-place Aston Villa will host 10th-place Leeds as the visitors will look to overtake Villa, currently one point behind them in the table. A win would also see them leapfrog the ninth-place Spurs if the result of that match goes their way. They’ll have quite a task at hand, as they haven’t won a league double over Villa since the 1975-76 season, and they’ll also be without Kalvin Phillips (calf) and Rodrigo (muscle). It should be noted that Aston Villa have only won twice in their last 17 away matches in league play against Leeds, but while history isn’t on their side, we know it doesn’t mean a whole lot when it comes down to it in current league play. Villa ‘keeper Emiliano Martinez is having a fantastic season, logging an impressive 12 clean sheets in league play this season. No matter the outcome of this match, it should be an exciting one to watch especially with the implications for each team in the table, as Aston Villa could inch closer to the top five with a win.
This Weekend’s Full Schedule
All times listed are Eastern.
Saturday, Feb 27
7:30 a.m.: Manchester City v. West Ham United — NBCSN, Universo
10:00 a.m.: West Bromwich Albion v. Brighton & Hove Albion — NBCSN
12:30 p.m.: Leeds United v. Aston Villa — Peacock
3:00 p.m.: Newcastle United v. Wolverhampton Wanderers — Peacock
Sunday, Feb 28
7:00 a.m.: Crystal Palace v. Fulham — Peacock
7:00 a.m.: Leicester City v. Arsenal — NBCSN
9:00 a.m.: Tottenham Hotspur v. Burnley — NBCSN, Telemundo
11:30 a.m.: Chelsea v. Manchester United — NBCSN, Telemundo
2:15 p.m.: Sheffield United v. Liverpool — Peacock
Monday, Mar 1