Liverpool marches into history while the first four race heats up
London, January 10 (AFP) The leaders of the Runaway Premier League, Liverpool, have positioned themselves for a record campaign, while Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United are involved in a dogfight for the top four places.
AFP Sport analyzes three discussion points before this weekend's action:
Liverpool has history in its sights
With a 13-point lead at the top of the table and a game in hand to further polish their lead, Liverpool will go to Tottenham on Saturday as a favorite to win the English title for the first time since 1990.
Jurgen Klopp's team has been so dominant that Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has already recognized that the title race is over for his team.
The Reds, who have won 19 of their 20 league games, have the potential to establish themselves as a historically great team while pursuing some of the holiest landmarks in English football.
The remarkable undefeated streak of the Liverpool league has reached 37 games since losing at Manchester City in January 2019, which puts them just 12 games away from matching the record for the highest English category set by the Arsenal Invincibles in 2004
They will reach 110 points if they match their average points for the first 20 games in the last 18, which would eliminate the 100-point record set by the City in 2017-18.
Liverpool is only the third Premier League team to spend a calendar year without losing, a 12-month period in which European and world club champions were crowned.
After those continental conquests, finally enjoying domestic happiness is the holy grail of Liverpool and Klopp can point to last season, when they had a seven-point advantage in the New Year but still lost to the City, to protect themselves from complacency. on the complicated journey. to Tottenham.
The battle between the first four heats up
If Liverpool, Leicester and Manchester City maintain their current pace, there will only be one place left for the rest of the Champions League contenders to fight.
Chelsea in fourth place has the advantage today, but its five-point advantage over Manchester United in fifth place seems far from impregnable.
Tottenham, six points behind Chelsea, is on the hunt, while Arsenal, which is in tenth place but revitalized by the new boss Mikel Arteta, still has hopes of an increase in the second half of the season.
Shaken by the lazy way of his 3-1 loss to Manchester City in the first leg of the League Cup semifinals, United faces a clash he must win with Norwich at Old Trafford.
The first half (against City) was not a Man United performance. We will learn from it, but it won't keep us down, said United striker Marcus Rashford.
Chelsea's host, Burnley, seeks to demonstrate that he can finally replicate his impressive form of visitor, which includes victories in Tottenham and Arsenal, against Stamford Bridge fans who have witnessed defeats by surprise against Bournemouth, West Ham and Southampton. season.
Tottenham has the most difficult task of the contestants when they face Liverpool in North London, with top scorer Harry Kane sidelined until April due to a hamstring injury and Jose Mourinho's team in a frustrating victory race in his last five games in all competitions.
Watford and Southampton rekindle the hopes of survival
Written as relegation certainties after a horrible start, Watford has been revitalized by three victories in five league games under the new boss Nigel Pearson.
The Hornets were presumed dead before the arrival of former Leicester chief, Pearson, but, with combative forward Troy Deeney at his best, they are now only two points behind security, with a crunchy crash at Bournemouth in the third background looming on Saturday.
Southampton had spent time in the last three with Watford, with the lowest point in his 9-0 humiliation at home against Leicester.
But Ralph Hasenhuettl's team, who traveled to Leicester on Saturday, has climbed five points in the relegation zone thanks to five wins in his last eight league games.
What the team showed after this result (against Leicester) was absolutely outrageous of the mentality, fighting successfully, said Hasenhuettl.
Accessories (1500 GMT unless indicated)
Friday: Sheffield United v West Ham (2000)
Saturday: Crystal Palace v Arsenal (1230), Chelsea v Burnley, Everton v Brighton, Leicester v Southampton, Manchester United v Norwich, Wolves v Newcastle, Tottenham v Liverpool (1730) Sunday: Bournemouth v Watford (1400), Aston Villa v Manchester City (1630) (AFP) APA APA