Soccer

Danger looms for Man City, Liverpool in titanic title race

14 April 2019 - 00:00 By AFP

Manchester City and Liverpool resume their epic battle for the Premier League title today after a midweek of contrasting Champions League fortunes, with both sides facing perilous fixtures.
City travel to Crystal Palace trailing Jurgen Klopp's men by two points, but still with the title in their hands thanks to a game in hand.
However, the visit to Selhurst Park kicks off a tough run of fixtures in which Pep Guardiola's men host Tottenham twice, play Manchester United at Old Trafford and face a tricky trip to Burnley.
The 1-0 defeat at Spurs in Tuesday's first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal snapped a 14-game winning streak and means Guardiola has huge calls to make with his team selection today.
If he has one eye on Wednesday's second leg on home soil, Palace could hurt City and hand Liverpool a title boost.
Roy Hodgson's men inflicted City's only home defeat of the campaign in December and also ended the champions' record 18-game winning run in the Premier League last season.
Victory for City to go back on top would flip the pressure onto Liverpool's shoulders just minutes before they kick off against Chelsea at Anfield.
The Londoners' visit evokes memories of the last time Liverpool, who took a big step towards the Champions League semifinals by beating Porto 2-0 at home in midweek, went close to ending their long wait for a league title.
Then under Brendan Rodgers, the Reds were three games away from glory in 2014 until captain Steven Gerrard's now infamous slip allowed Demba Ba to score the opening goal in a gutting 2-0 Chelsea victory.
That painful loss came at a similar stage of the campaign and current title rivals Manchester City went on to lift the trophy by two points.
However, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool will not be haunted by that title collapse five years ago.
Few Liverpool players remain from that game and Klopp is adamant that past failures will not be a burden for this generation.
"I'm not sure that's in anyone's mind. You can tell all the fans out there to ignore it. It has nothing to do with us. It is a completely different story," Klopp said.
"It's all about the game on Sunday. Anyone who wants to talk to any of my players about what happened years ago, don't do it. We want to write our own history.
"I'm not nervous. I feel the intensity of the competition, but we see the positivity of the moment.
"We want to make the next step because it's not over yet. We try to encourage them to play 'big balls' football. We will make mistakes and we have to deal with them.
"We have to create the power of Anfield and use it," Klopp said.
"We have only big games now. We have really big targets, that is clear. We have to fight for it."
For all Klopp's optimism, Liverpool have not beaten Chelsea at Anfield in their past eight encounters, a barren run that includes a 2-1 League Cup defeat this season inspired by Eden Hazard's superb late winner...

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