Ahead of the latest round of fixtures, the Premier League have revealed plans to launch their very own Hall of Fame to “recognise and celebrate the exceptional skill and talent of players who have graced the competition since its inception in 1992.”
An induction into the Hall of Fame will be seen as “the highest individual honour awarded to players by the League,” with the first two inductees set to be announced at a special event on Thursday 19 March.
While the inception of the honour is to recognise the performances of players from yesteryear, with Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry and Ryan Giggs just some names that come to mind, it’s hard not to compile a potential list of current players who could be inducted.
With the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool creating a new benchmark for excellence over the past three seasons, it gives those players, and indeed the rest of the division, another incentive, as if they needed one, to make the most of their time in the Premier League.
Premier League Game of the Weekend – Tottenham Hotspur vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
Two sides with very realistic chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League meet on Sunday when Tottenham host Wolves.
Just a point separates the two sides heading into the game, as the pair look to either close the gap or indeed overtake Manchester United in 5th depending on the result of their game against Everton.
Spurs garnered plenty of criticism for the way they set up in their 2-1 defeat against Chelsea last time out, but in fact only Liverpool and Manchester City have won more points than the north London club since Jose Mourinho’s appointment.
Wolves meanwhile have pushed on from last season, as them reaching the last 16 of the Europa League testifies. In Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota, they have two strikers in terrific form, while the pace of Adama Traore on the counter-attack could be a deciding factor in the game.
With so many teams in the hunt for a Champions League place, it’s games against direct rivals that will ultimately decide who reaches next season’s competition.
Rest of the Weekend
Due to the Carabao Cup final on Sunday between Aston Villa and Manchester City, resulting in Arsenal and Sheffield United not having games, there is a reduced schedule this weekend.
The action commences on Friday evening when Norwich City – who are seven points from safety – face Leicester City.
Saturday lunchtime sees the M23 derby take place when Brighton & Hove Albion host Crystal Palace in what is always a hotly-contested affair.
Bournemouth welcome Chelsea to the south coast in what is another fixture pitting a side near the foot of the table against a side with aspirations of securing Champions League football.
Newcastle United face an in-form Burnley side, with Sean Dyche’s side winning four of their last five league games (D1).
West Ham United – who currently sit in the relegation zone – play Southampton at the London Stadium.
Saturday evening’s action comes from Vicarage Road when Watford play a Liverpool side on the cusp of securing a record-breaking 19th consecutive league win.
Sunday sees Everton host Manchester United in what is almost always an entertaining affair.
Premier League Player to Watch: Jamie Vardy – Leicester City – £1.42
Yes Jamie Vardy has gone seven Premier League games without a goal, but Leicester City’s game against Norwich City is an ideal game for him to break his scoring duck.
As with the Manchester City game, he’s still making the same penetrating runs as always, while the width of a post was all that stopped him scoring last weekend.
Against the second-most leakiest defence in the division, expect the league’s top scorer to find his scoring boots once again.