Tension mounts as Premier League title 'endgame' approaches

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-26 20:04:07|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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LONDON, April 26 (Xinhua) -- This weekend the Premier League title race 'endgame' moves a step closer as Manchester City and Liverpool look to keep their nerve.

Manchester City's competent 2-0 win away to neighbours Manchester United on Wednesday night tilted the race for the title decisively in their favor and Pep Guardiola's men know that if they win their three remaining games this season they will be champions.

The first of those three games is arguably the toughest as they make the short trip to play Burnley on Sunday afternoon.

Big teams routinely have to suffer to win games at the Turf Moor Stadium and it is likely that City will have to roll their sleeves up and dig deep against a team that is always a threat from set pieces, something City have not defended as well as they might in some recent games.

Liverpool will expect to have few problems in fulfilling their part of the bargain as they play at home to Huddersfield on Saturday night.

Huddersfield have collected just 14 points all season and were mathematically relegated back to the Championship a month ago. Their last 13 games have yielded one win and 12 defeats, with the last seven games seeing them concede 19 goals.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp may give minutes to players such as Xherdan Shaqiri as he looks ahead to next week's Champions League tie with Barcelona, but anything other than a home win would be the shock of the season.

The weekend isn't just about the race for the title, with the top-four still to be decided.

Tottenham could assure their place in next season's Champions League if they win their home game in the London derby against West Ham on Saturday lunchtime, while the decisive game in the race for fourth looks as if it will be between Manchester United and Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.

United go into the game after their defeat to City on Wednesday, with the press speculating who should stay and who should be sold over the summer. Chelsea meanwhile dropped two vital points at home to Burnley in their last game and will be without teenage winger Hudson-Odoi, who has undergone an operation for a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Whatever happens one of the two sides is going to come out of the game with their season in tatters and facing a mauling from the press.

Arsenal meanwhile travel to play Leicester City, who should provide stiff opposition as Arsenal boss Unai Emery prepares to face his former club Valencia in the Europa League.

There will also be nerves in the relegation struggle as third from bottom Cardiff travel to play already relegated Fulham, while Brighton, who have just two more points, are at home to Newcastle.

Brighton have just one point from their last six league games, while Cardiff have two wins from six, one of which was against their south-coast rivals.

Elsewhere, Southampton, who need a win to assure their survival, are at home against Bournemouth, while Everton's top-seven hopes rest on a tough trip to face Crystal Palace and the Wolves visit Watford.