It is what it is, there are more people rooting against Liverpool’s title bid than those wishing them well, football rivalry is on another level and it doesn’t matter if the noisy neighbors clinch it, or if a team from league two is awarded the title, it’s about bragging rights and the Kops have it all to do against everybody.
Jurgen Klopp’s side didn’t cover themselves in glory recently, they dropped points at odd places, now it means they are at par with the Citizens and very much at risk of bottling it though they have one match at hand, they do face Bournemouth next and it’s a game that will tell a lot for them; The Cherries aren’t a very serious side, who destroys Chelsea here and goes to lose meekly at Cardiff? They enjoy showing signs of greatness against top sides and then lose guard when their co-lightweights square up against them, it’s a massive opportunity for Liverpool to restore the three points lead before City face Chelsea the next day, it’s a game they must win, and for the Cherries, they have to prove they aren’t there for the beating, with Callum Wilson struggling with injuries and David Brooks unclear as to fitness, they bulk of the job lies with Ryan Fraser and the two fleet footed forwards, Junior Stanislas and Josh King.
Manchester United did return to winning ways at Leicester but certainly have lots to improve on, the horrendous defending that cost them dearly against Burnley must be fixed, the confidence is sky high but defensively, the team must take responsibility, new contract for a few has steadied the ship, while they work hard as a unit to fight for every ball, but the gas seems to be running out, the team will have Fulham for company in the early kickoff of Saturday, Claudio Ranieri’s side is down and under, the Championship seems to be calling but they don’t want to answer, they lost the six pointer last weekend and now they have it all to do against a team that has the top four in their sights, at either end of the table, a slip is all it takes to derail ambitions… Come on United.
Arsenal are away to Huddersfield, not like many expected them to beat a very angry Manchester City side, but the question is, if Newcastle could do it, what was their excuse? We’ll get back to team selection later, but what exactly is the Gunners’ problem? Their attitude in the 3:1 loss at the Etihad was absolutely nothing to write about, they have game changers on the bench but opted for a rigid flat midfield against a terrifically talented fluid City side. The Terriers are waiting for Unai Emery’s side, although on paper it should only go one way, but Arsenal knows exactly how to make a poor side look like UCL winners, and with injuries hitting the Gunners hard… Anything can happen.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Watford will hope to get one over Everton, the Magpies couldn’t do much to hurt the Citizens on Wednesday, they had their chances, the decision to rest key players didn’t do them much favors and with a slot available for the trio of Watford, Everton and Bournemouth to fight for in Europa qualifications, Watford and Leicester would also feel they have the rights to it, this makes this a six pointer of note as only one point separates them and a draw might not be a good result if surrounding teams pick points elsewhere.
Cardiff travel to Southampton with the news of Emiliano Sala’s body recovery, it evokes the sadness again but it leaves every dust settled as the body has now been found. Two points separate the two sides and the Welsh side would want to usurp the Saints, the hosts on the other hand have it all to do, they need to keep the momentum and three points is all they can think of here, they have what it takes to go ahead and win, they shouldn’t drop points here.
Tottenham hosts Leicester first on Sunday in a must win tie for both sides, the late wins that have characterized Spurs showings of late is a testament to their strong resolve, they however mustn’t go behind hoping to bounce against a spirited side like Leicester, they must do their job early and give Liverpool and City something to worry about.
Finally, one of the few fixtures that would shape the title race takes center stage on Sunday, City host Chelsea, the Blues beat City earlier in the season, the Citizens must return the favor or hand Liverpool the advantage again, it’s a must win and regardless of the tactics Chelsea throw into the mix, be it a Jorginho-Kovacic pivot, or moving Kante about as a breaker, City must stay disciplined and fierce enough to top them, this is a six pointer, the champions must not miss this opportunity to make a statement.
Premier league predictions is upon us, it’s a perilous time, for teams on either end of the log, win and rise, lose and sink… Let’s do it!
|Fixtures||Verdict||Player to watch|
|Fulham vs Man United||United to win||Marcus Rashford|
|Palace vs West Ham||Both teams to score||Michail Antonio|
|Huddersfield vs Arsenal||Arsenal to win||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang|
|Liverpool vs Bournemouth||Liverpool to win||Mo Salah|
|Southampton vs Cardiff||Southampton to win||Nathan Redmond|
|Watford vs Everton||Both teams to score||Richarlison|
|Brighton vs Burnley||Brighton to win or draw||Jurgen Locadia|
|Tottenham vs leicester||Spurs to win or draw||Christian Eriksen|
|Man City vs Chelsea||City to win||Sergio Aguero|
|Wolves vs Newcastle||Wolves to win or draw||Raul Jimenez|
Strictly the writer’s opinion