All eyes will be on the Old Trafford dug-out and the Chelsea teamsheet this weekend as Manchester United begin life after David Moyes, while Liverpool aim to move within touching distance of the English Premier League title.
Ryan Giggs, assisted by three fellow members of United’s famed ‘Class of 92′, will be in temporary charge of the troubled giants when struggling Norwich visit Manchester for the first match following Moyes’ sacking.
Then at Anfield on Sunday, leaders Liverpool will wait with bated breath to see if Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho carries out his threat to field a weakened team as the Reds look to move a giant step closer to winning the title for the first time since 1990.
After only 10 months in charge, beleaguered Moyes was put out of his misery on Tuesday, with Old Trafford icon Giggs appointed as interim manager until the end of the season with the intention of lifting flagging spirits.
Giggs, a gloriously successful product of United’s youth academy, has surrounded himself with other gilded graduates, with Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes all helping.
“Saturday is a massive occasion, not only for Ryan, but for the staff, the fans and the players as well because they know that we’ve underachieved as a club this year,” Butt said.
“The players in that changing room know how good they are. They look round, look left and look right at the players next to them and know that they are very proud, hard-working lads. I’m sure we’ll see that on Saturday.”
Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool are five points clear of second-placed Chelsea with three games remaining and a victory over Jose Mourinho’s team would eliminate the Blues from the title race.
Although this is Chelsea’s last chance to close the gap, Mourinho has apparently opted to prioritise the Champions League, where his injury and suspension-ravaged side face Atletico Madrid in the semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
If Mourinho sacrifices the league, it will be major blow to third-placed Manchester City, who trail the Reds by six points but have a game in hand and kick-off at Crystal Palace on Sunday just minutes after the Anfield clash finishes.
Fourth-placed Arsenal host Newcastle on Monday, looking to maintain the advantage in the battle to qualify for the Champions League, while fifth-placed Everton – a point behind the Gunners – travel to Southampton on Saturday.
In other games, Fulham host Hull, Stoke are home to Tottenham, Southampton await Everton, Aston Villa travel to Swansea and West Ham visit West Brom.