While the story has changed quite a bit for Leicester City compared to April 2015, a handful of Premier League teams have not advanced in the late-seasons standings. To their credit, these teams have not lost ground either.
For example, Southampton occupies the same rung on the current ladder as the team did a year ago. At the end of April 2015, Southampton held the seventh spot with 60 points. Just a few days shy of that point in 2016, the team holds a similar place, tied with Liverpool.
Heading into a Saturday meeting with Aston Villa, Southampton looks to improve their point total against a squad that has lost their last six matches. On the other hand, Southampton has won three and drawn two in a similar stretch of six contests. The only loss in that time came at the hands of league-leading Leicester City (1-0). Sunday, May 1, Manchester City is the opponent. Virgil van Dijk takes the field for Southampton after being named Player of the Month for March.
Everton currently stands at number 11 in the Barclays Premier League table, just behind Chelsea and tied with Watford and Bournemouth. The position is similar to that held in April of last year. The Blue will face Liverpool in a matter of hours, a meeting that is, not surprisingly, sold out. The Reds have amassed 10 more points than their Merseyside rivals and have won five, drawn one and suffered only one loss in their last seven fixtures, so they promise to be a difficult hurdle for Everton. However, the two have drawn six times in seven meetings.
Liverpool comes back quickly to meet Newcastle on Saturday while Everton waits until April 30 to meet Bournemouth. Everton and Bournemouth sport similar records in the Premier League table, each with 41 points. The Blue look forward to a May 7 fixture against leading Leicester City. When the two met in August 2014, the head-to-head battle ended in a 2-2 draw.
Stoke City remains in the ninth spot on the current table, 47 points, a position they occupied at the end of April last year with 54 points. The Potters eye a meeting with Manchester City on Saturday, April 23, with this fixture being changed from Sunday, April 24. Manchester City experienced a conflict because they will be in the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday, April 26.
Back on the pitch for Stoke will be Peter Crouch, Ryan Shawcross, and Xherdan Shaqiri. The latter two join the action when Glenn Whelan and Marko Arnautovic stay on the sidelines.
League leader Leicester City meets Swansea on Sunday, with the second standing Spurs against West Brom on Monday. The fixture at King Power Stadium could be a difficult test for Swansea as the Foxes have won five of six and settle for a draw against West Ham. However, Swansea has won three and drawn two of its last six. All in all, the last weeks promise to be a great sport for all involved.