EPL: Liverpool seeks to extend the advantage as the battle between the first four resumes
LONDON: Liverpool they are expected to take another step towards closing a long-awaited Premier league title at the bottom of the Norwich table, while behind the runaway leaders, the battle for the Champions League places takes center stage this weekend.
The Reds can extend their huge 22-point lead over Manchester City on Carrow Road on Saturday, as their goal is not only to win the league for the first time in 30 years, but also to break the records in the process.
Jurgen Klopp's men have lost only two points throughout the season and are on a run of 16 consecutive league wins.
That march to the title began on the opening night of the season when Norwich visited Anfield and lost 4-0 in 42 minutes.
An injury to Alisson Becker was the great concern of that victory for Klopp, since the Brazilian was away for two months.
After taking some time to get back to his best form, Alisson has saved 26 of the last 27 shots he has faced, with Liverpool racking up an aggregate score of 23-1 in that time.
"We want to win the title and for winning the title, you need to win everything," Alisson told Premier league Productions.
The way we play, you should enjoy that because if you don't enjoy that, then you can't play every game with our intensity.
A huge 55 points separate Norwich from the elected champion, with the Canaries seven safety points.
Daniel Farke's men desperately need to start turning good performances into points to overcome the fall.
However, they have demonstrated an ability to alter the odds with one of their four league wins this season against Manchester City.
For a long time, Leicester were Liverpool 's closest challengers at the top of the table, but the Foxes' form before a two-week winter break had faded with just one win in four league games.
A streak of eight consecutive wins at the beginning of the season means that Brendan Rodgers' men still have a 10-point mattress in the race for a place in the Champions League and can even return to second place with the Wolves victory on Friday .
And Rodgers hopes that a fortnight's rest, without any training camp abroad, has been the perfect tonic to recharge his side for the match.
There's improvements to be made, no doubt, said the former Liverpool boss. We will now regain a bit of stability.
We are all fresh before this last third of the season.
Wolves have also suffered a mid-season dip with one win from their last six league games, albeit two of those fixtures were against Liverpool.
The team of Nuno Espirito Santo has lagged behind Sheffield United, Tottenham, Everton and United Manchester in the battle for the first four and they need to return to the winning ways on Friday to stay on the hunt.
Chelsea remains in pole position for fourth place despite a run of four wins in their last 13 league games.
The Blues' lead over Tottenham could be down to a single point, though, by the time they entertain United Manchester on Monday if Spurs win at Aston Villa on Sunday .
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard claimed that Tottenham and United Manchester 's January transfer spending meant his side are now "underdogs" to hold onto fourth.
However, victory over United on Monday at Stamford Bridge would give Chelsea a nine-point cushion over the Red Devils.
Visitors could debut with the new striker Odion Ighalo, despite the fact that the Nigerian has been denied the opportunity to train with his new teammates due to fears about the coronavirus .
Ighalo is lent by the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua and did not travel to United's warm weather training camp in Spain due to fears that he would be refused re-entry to the United Kingdom if restrictions on travelers who had been in China in the last two weeks were tight
The 30-year-old has even been training outside United's training camp in Manchester until completing a 14-day quarantine period.
Fixtures (all GMT hours)
Wolves v Leicester (2000)
Southampton v Burnley (1230), Norwich v Liverpool (1730)
Aston Villa v Tottenham (1400), Arsenal v Newcastle (1630)
Chelsea v United Manchester (2000)