Chelsea have a week off Premier League duty over the weekend as they return to FA Cup action. The side travel to Leicester for their Quarter Final match in a bid to salvage something from this season. It is one of the more difficult away trips of the round and given Chelsea’s poor form of late they will need to be on top of their game to progress. Leicester have not lost in nine league games, including a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge in January, so come into the match on a good run.

A number of other sides will miss games this week due to the FA Cup and only four fixtures will go ahead. Just one is of significance to Chelsea but here is how the games that will be played could affect the league.

Liverpool are the only side in the top six to play this weekend and they can move back to 3rd with a point. Their defeat last weekend was the first in five games and they need to win in order to take full advantage of everyone else missing a week. They face Watford who have won three of their last five games and have started to climb the table after some poor mid-season form. They are currently 10th but have failed to score in each of their last four away games.

With just eight games remaining in the season several clubs need to improve now or face relegation. One of those sides is Stoke City who have gone five games without a win. They are one point from safety but with some sides above taking steps towards safety, it is not clear which teams would take Stokes place in the bottom three. They host Everton this weekend who have lost their last five away games. Last weekend’s win moved them up to 9th in the table and with 37 points one would imagine they are clear of any slim relegation threat.

Two other sides who will likely face a relegation battle until the end of the season are Huddersfield and Crystal Palace with the pair meeting on Saturday. A win for the home side would see them move seven points ahead of Palace and the relegation zone. Two wins and a draw in their last four has given Huddersfield a good chance of survival but the job is not complete yet. Crystal Palace, however, have lost their last four games, all be it against sides from the top half. Now with key players returning from injury, they need to improve results quickly to climb the table.

Bournemouth’s match with West Brom is the only other Premier League game this weekend as both sides look to end a poor run. Bournemouth are four games without a win and although they are 12th with 33 points, one or two more wins should see them safe this season. West Brom, on the other hand, are looking like favourites to go down at this stage. They are eight points adrift of safety at this time so need to win three more games than the sides around then to have any chance. They have scored twice in their last four games and it is this lack of goals which could spell the end of the time in the league.

The other three FA Cup ties see Brighton travel to Manchester United and Tottenham face a tricky tie at Swansea. If you are looking for an upset then it may come at Wigan as the League 1 side host struggling Southampton. Although, after knocking out league leaders Manchester City in the last round, Wigan may be slight favourites with some for this tie.

The Liverpool game is the only one which will have a bearing on Chelsea’s run in. If they win then Chelsea move a point further away from the top four but it doesn’t change the situation too much. The side can focus on their cup tie which will now be their only chance of silverware this season.

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