London, April 9: The Premier League weekend’s decider, if not the decider of the entire season, will be played at Manchester City’s Ethiad Stadium on Sunday when the league leaders take on second-place Liverpool.
Liverpool’s record of 10 consecutive league wins has allowed them to reduce City’s lead. The two teams are now separated by just one point and a win would take Jurgen Klopp’s men top of the table.
Neither team can be happy with the Premier League schedule, with the game played on Sunday afternoon, just three days before the Champions League quarter-final second leg next Wednesday, Xinhua reports. .
Perhaps Liverpool have a slight advantage in that regard, as they will defend a 3-1 lead in the first leg against Benfica at home, while City have to travel to Madrid to try and maintain a slim 1-1 lead. 0 against Atletico Madrid and that may sow seeds of doubt in Pep Guardiola’s mind about his starting eleven.
Manchester United, who appear set to appoint Ten Hag as their new manager, will be the first on Saturday night in a visit to Everton that is vital for both teams.
Everton’s 3-2 loss to Burnley on Wednesday left Frank Lampard’s side just one point from the bottom three, with a tough fixture list ahead of them. A very erratic United offer the possibility of the three points, but Everton will have to defend much better than they did in the middle of the week to take something from the game.
Second-from-bottom Watford have a vital game at home against Leeds United, who have moved six points clear of the relegation zone with seven points from their last three games.
Arsenal have to improve on Monday’s performance away from Crystal Palace if they are to return to fourth place and a Brighton side who could only draw at home to Norwich last weekend offer a perfect opportunity for three vital points.
Brighton’s draw ended a run of six consecutive defeats but did little to end the feeling that they are in free fall.
Three wins in a row have put Tottenham level on points with Arsenal and Antonio Conte’s men are favorites to make four out of four when they host Aston Villa, who have suffered three defeats in a row, but welcome striker Dani Ings after that he became a father.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel warned after his team’s 3-1 loss to Real Madrid on Wednesday that a repeat of the performance away from Southampton will also see them lose on the south coast and Southampton will have seen Real Madrid and Brentford, who beat Chelsea by four weekends, both opened holes in Tuchel’s defence.
West Ham’s battle to return to Europe next season sees them visit Brentford, who have all but secured their survival with three wins from their last four games.
Leicester City entertain Crystal Palace in a game between two sides with little at stake, before drama is guaranteed when bottom-of-the-table Norwich entertain Burnley. Norwich looked doomed to an immediate return to the Championship, but depending on Everton’s result against Manchester United, Burnley could have a chance of exiting the relegation zone with a win or a draw.
With Burnley without scoring in four of their last five games and Norwich without scoring more than one goal in a game since late January, expect tension but not many goals.