Barclays Premiership Roundup

Liverpool closed the gap to within four points of Manchester United last weekend, but a tough game away to champions-elect Chelsea on Sunday might torpedo their attempts at landing a UEFA Champions League spot.

Brendan Rogers
Brendan Rogers

The Super Reds, coming out fine with a 2-1 home win at home to Queens Park Rangers on the same day United chocked 0-1 at home to West Ham United, could have long caught up with Louis van Gaal side had they picked up all of the seemingly easy points they lost along the way in the last two months.

Now they will have to fight it out till the bitter end – their game against the new champions being one of their toughest of the five remaining. Having slipped out of their first championship in more than two decades at the last lap last season, Brendan Rogers knows he has to at least make the Champions League as both consolation and assurance of a job secured at Anfield.

Games between Chelsea and Liverpool are usually full of tension and the forthcoming one cannot be an exception. Outgoing Liverpool skipper, Stephen Gerrard should go in there high with emotion; his fall in the same contest at home last season having literally heralded the beginning of The Reds’ fall from the apex of the log for a subsequent second position. In probably his last league game against Chelsea in a red Liverpool jersey, Gerrard should be out to wipe out the tears and prepare to leave his side with at least sweeter memories in as far as Chelsea are concerned.

United are themselves not entirely safe in their attempted passage to the lucrative European competition, hence would like to use their away game at Crystal Palace to try and seal that qualification alongside Chelsea and most likely, Arsenal and Manchester City.

Elsewhere, second-placed Manchester City play hosts to Queens Park Rangers with the sole aim of shrugging Arsenal off their second-place pursuit, while The Gunners are themselves seeking to maintain pressure on the former champions with a win over visiting Swansea City. Arsenal still have a game more to play and should they win that, they will overtake City to second position.

Rangers are fighting relegation and will therefore, be expected to put up a formidable challenge against a not-so-impressive City that has ost games they would have been expected to win with high-scoring ease.

Other Fixtures

Saturday: Everton vs Sunderland; Hull City vs Burnley; Aston Villa vs West Ham United; Leicester vs Southampton; Newcastle United vs West Bromwich Albion; Stoke City vs Tottenham Hotspur

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