Premier League: Title race in England continues with Old Trafford holding key (preview)

The race for the Premier League title has no let-up this weekend as former champions Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City

London, April 5 (IANS) The race for the Premier League title has no let-up this weekend as former champions Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City continue their three-horse race at the top of the table. Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Sheffield United kept their two-point lead over Arsenal and three-point advantage over Manchester City, after all three teams won their midweek fixtures with relative ease.

Manchester City are first into action with a visit to play Crystal Palace on Saturday lunchtime.

Pep Guardiola was able to rest Erling Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne in his side’s 4-1 win at home to Aston Villa, and with a Champions League visit to play Real Madrid next Tuesday, he is likely to continue rotating his starting eleven against a rival that still have work to do to assure their survival, although his options are limited by injuries to Kyle Walker and Nathan Ake.

Arsenal are also in action on Saturday with Mikel Arteta’s side making the short trip to the south coast to take on Brighton.

Brighton have only won three out of their 11 games in all competitions and with doubts over the future of coach Robert De Zerbi, their season is in danger of drifting into mid-table nothingness, although on a good day their passing style is a match for most rivals.

Whether it will be able to stand up to Arsenal’s title ambitions is another matter, especially as an Arsenal win would take them back to the top of the table, before one of the most decisive games of the season as Liverpool have to visit Old Trafford.

The recent FA Cup tie between Manchester United and Liverpool produced a thrilling 4-3 win for United, but they go into Sunday’s game after being the victims of a similar fightback away to Chelsea on Thursday night. Erik ten Hag needs his side to show a personality that they haven’t shown this season to recover and deny Liverpool’s title ambitions, knowing that a bad defeat could seal his fate at the club.

The race for fourth spot and to avoid relegation clash in two more weekend matches, with fourth place Aston Villa at home to Brentford, while Tottenham entertain Nottingham Forest. Villa missed the injured England striker Ollie Watkins and suspended John McGinn for their defeat in the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night, while Tottenham was held in an entertaining 1-1 draw with West Ham in midweek.

Everton face Burnley in a vital game to avoid relegation which will be a poignant moment for Everton’s former Burney coach Sean Dyche. Burnley are clinging to their survival hopes after four games without defeat, while Everton will take heart from a battling point in Newcastle, but need to end a winless run that stretches back to before Christmas. Third from bottom Luton Town have to overcome an injury crisis that has left them without 11 players when they take on a form team, Bournemouth, while Chelsea should take another three points when they visit Sheffield United- although with Chelsea you never really know what to expect.

Finally, Fulham need to bounce back after consecutive defeat away from home when they return to Craven Cottage to take on Newcastle United which welcomes back winger Anthony Gordon from suspension.



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