Liverpool can claim title with help from Man City’s opponents

first_imgLiverpool can still wrap up the Premier League title this week despite a 0-0 setback against Everton on Sunday, but they need other results to help them.Jurgen Klopp’s red men need just five points to secure their first league title since 1990, having built a 25-point lead ahead of Manchester City before the coronavirus-enforced suspension. Should City fail to beat Burnley on Monday, a win at their Anfield home against Crystal Palace on Wednesday would confirm Liverpool’s status as England’s new Premier League kings.Pep Guardiola’s side also travels to fourth-placed Chelsea on Thursday and any dropped points at Stamford Bridge could also hand Liverpool the title.Defender Trent Alexander-Arnold says the long break has been “frustrating” but he remains upbeat that the reigning European champions will eventually receive their much-anticipated reward.“If you can imagine your ultimate dream and be so, so close to it – two steps away from it really – and someone saying, ‘you need to wait over 100 days then you might get it’. It was quite frustrating,” said Alexander-Arnold.“But the league position hasn’t changed, our mentality hasn’t changed and that is to win every game, push boundaries, break records, win the league and be remembered.” At the bottom of the table, it is much tighter with West Ham United sitting equal to 18th-placed Bournemouth’s 27 points on the edge of the relegation zone.The Hammers were beaten 2-0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers in their restart fixture on Saturday and French defender, Issa Diop, says they are feeling pressured ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur.“We have to find a level and win games quickly,” Drop said.“I think it’s easy to say but it’s hard to do it, but we have to do it and we’re going to give everything to do it.“I hope we’re going to do it in the next game. We have no choice.” Brighton travel to third-placed Leicester in Tuesday’s other game full of confidence after a last gasp 2-1 win over Arsenal helped them earn a five-point gap from the drop zone.“It feels amazing, a big three points for us,” said Brighton boss, Graham Potter.“We know where we are at, we know the margins are small in the Premier League and you have to turn them in your favour and that’s what we have tried to do.“Regardless of the table, we have to keep fighting.”RelatedPosts Lampard: I still have confidence in Tomori Mane double eases Liverpool to win over 10-man Chelsea EPL: Chelsea, Liverpool in cagey duel On Wednesday, Manchester United and Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves are neck and neck in a battle for a Champions League spot, which could be the fifth-place if Manchester City’s two-year UEFA ban is upheld.United and Wolves both have 46 points in fifth and sixth as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side host Sheffield United while Wolves are visited by Bournemouth.Solskjaer’s attacking options have been boosted by the return of French midfielder Paul Pogba, who played well alongside Portuguese January signing Bruno Fernandes on Friday against Spurs.“We’re a club that wants the best players in the world playing together,” said Solskjaer after the 1-1 draw.“I think Paul showed he can play with Bruno.“Paul got a penalty for us and Bruno scored the goal.”In Wednesday’s other matches, Aston Villa travels to Newcastle United and bottom club Norwich City host Everton.Then, on Thursday before City play Chelsea, Arsenal visit Southampton and Burnley face Watford.dpa/NAN.Tags: Burnley FCChelsea FCEnglish Premier LeagueEPL titleLiverpoolManchester Citylast_img read more

Michael O’Neill in confident mood as Northern Ireland chase history-making win

first_img While the Northern Irish recorded a 3-1 victory over the Faroe Islands in Torshavn, their two biggest threats in their Euro 2016 qualifying group took a point apiece as the Hungarians held previous leaders Romania to a stalemate. It meant O’Neill’s side climbed to the top of the Group F pile, one point clear of Romania and four ahead of Hungary with only three fixtures remaining. Press Association Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill spent Friday evening trying to avoid knowing how Group F rivals Hungary were faring, but there is no escaping what lies in store for his country on Monday if they defeat the eastern Europeans in Belfast. “Laffers was a wee bit down the gears,” O’Neill acknowledged. “It’s only natural with his first game this season, coming back off the injury, he will certainly be better for the 78 minutes. Getting the goal’s an extra bonus for him as well. “Jonny will as well, although I thought Jonny had a very good game. It’s two players coming in and it’s virtually their first game of the season. They handled it extremely well. “All of those things combined are going to help us with the game on Monday night.” O’Neill had spoken before kick-off about wanting Romania to emerge victorious to enhance Northern Ireland’s prospects in a three-horse race, yet he was happy enough with what transpired in Budapest anyway as it now means a win at Windsor Park in two days’ time will ensure the hosts book a place in their first ever European Championship finals next summer. “Towards the end they were telling me things that I didn’t really want to hear – the ones in the dugout,” O’Neill said of being kept abreast of developments in the clash between Hungary and Romania. “As soon as we came in we knew it was done. I’ve been in this situation as a player where you’re dealing with other results, it wasn’t like that scenario because there’s still so much football to play. The most important thing was to focus on ourselves. “But the result in Budapest is fantastic for us. We’ll look at the highlights and the game but we know Hungary very well, we know where their threat is. We’ll be able to deal with that threat. “The players have already gone there and won. They know how to win in this situation. It’s a situation that everyone’s looking forward to.” O’Neill is also confident he can expect big performances from two players who have been integral to Northern Ireland throughout this qualifying campaign. Defender Jonny Evans, who moved to West Brom last weekend having been marginalised at Manchester United, and fit-again striker Kyle Lafferty both made their first appearances of the season against the Faroes. The latter in particular has become his nation’s go-to man over the past couple of seasons and struck his sixth goal of the qualifiers on Friday, although it was the fact he came through 78 minutes unscathed that O’Neill believes will bode well for Monday. last_img read more