With the international break done and dusted all eyes are now focused on domestic football until the World Cup gets underway in Russia. Alasdair Hooper highlights what you should be keeping your eyes on in this weekend’s Easter action.
1) Can Mark Hughes inspire his team in crucial relegation six-pointer?
On Saturday two teams in desperate needs of points – West Ham and Southampton – meet at the London Stadium.
The ground has been more of a haunted house for the Hammers recently with crowd trouble and a dismal 3-0 defeat to Burnley last time out.
David Moyes’ men are currently two points ahead of rivals in 17th and have to show some improvement if they are to stay in the Premier League.Embed from Getty Images
New Saints boss Mark Hughes won his first game in charge against Wigan to reach the FA Cup semi-final and now he has the chance to leapfrog the Hammers in what will be a crucial game in the battle to beat the drop.
2) Will Chelsea close the gap on the top four?
Last year’s league champions have had a season to forget by their high standards and the battle is very much on to be in the Champions League next season.
Antonio Conte’s Blues are fifth in the table at the moment and are five points behind the team in that final Champions League spot, Tottenham, who they face on Sunday.Embed from Getty Images
The two London clubs are now fighting on two fronts – FA Cup and Champions League qualification – and have similarly talented squads but this fixture will be crucial.
Chelsea’s recent league form has been questionable, having lost three of the last five, whereas Spurs’ steady run of four wins and a draw makes them slight favourites.
3) Who comes out on top in one of Germany’s biggest fixtures?
While the title race in Germany is effectively wrapped up (Bayern are 17 points clear at the top after all) there are some fixtures that can never be diluted.
One of them is Der Klassiker, and this Saturday evening we are treated to the 117th instalment of Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund.
The two sides are the highest scorers in the Bundesliga, so entertainment is surely guaranteed, even if Dortmund are 18 points behind their rivals sitting in fourth.Embed from Getty Images
However, Jupp Heynckes’ table-toppers are off the back of a league defeat and could well look to put things right from their point of view.
4) Los Angeles glamour, a rivalry and a touch of Zlatan
The one and only Zlatan Ibrahimovic could make his LA Galaxy debut in the first Los Angeles derby on Saturday.
He’s joined Ashley Cole and Giovani dos Santos at the club and is in line to feature against Los Angeles Football Club – one of the MLS’ latest expansion sides.
With former USA and Swansea coach Bob Bradley at the helm of the new club, and celebrities such as Will Ferrell part of the ownership, you will be hard pushed to find a fixture with more Hollywood glamour.Embed from Getty Images
5) Will Arsenal make WSL 1 a three-horse race?
Buoyed by their victory in the Continental Tyres Cup against Manchester City earlier in March, things are looking rosy at Arsenal under Joe Montemurro.
However, things are also looking up in the league with the Gunners sitting in third spot on 20 points and this Sunday afternoon they face Chelsea who sit top eight points clear.
Despite the gap, the Blues have played two more games than the Gunners who will have the WSL 1 title in their sights if they win.
You can follow Alasdair on Twitter @adjhooper1992