After two weeks, the English Premier League, the most watched club football competition in the world, returns. In the 29th round, the Citizens challenge Liverpool in Manchester, while Chelsea face the unpredictable Aston Villa at home.
Manchester City vs. Liverpool
The biggest showpiece of recent years has a slightly different meaning for both teams this year. The home side must win unconditionally to keep up with leaders Arsenal. Liverpool are seven points behind the Top 4, which, if they don’t kick on, they will not meet their basic seasonal target.
The biggest issue is the health of Erling Haaland. The league’s top scorer did not travel for the March national team meeting and although according to the British media the main reason was Manchester’s concern about the player’s overload, the Norwegian sniper did not take part in Thursday’s training session.
Liverpool hinted at the potential of a revamped offensive in March, but the defence is on fire even after Virgil van Dijk’s return. The Citizens have quality with or without Haaland, only the playing system changes depending on the lineup.
Newcastle vs. Manchester United
Newcastle looked more Champions League than Manchester United for much of the season, the start of the calendar year has turned the whole situation around, but the recovery of Alexander Isak has seen the Magpies return to good form.
Newcastle are good at home, the desire for revenge for the Carabao Cup final will drive the players in black and white forward. So will losing just two points to the Top 4 and the fact that Tottenham or Liverpool are not at their optimum.
The Red Devils will be looking to build on a good start to the year and anything other than three points would be a loss for them with Marcus Rashford’s current form. After all, their lead over their opponents is still three points and the stakes are high. Champions League!
Chelsea vs. Aston Villa
A match of hope. Chelsea can keep themselves in the Champions League with a win. Still, the massive investment in the squad has not and will not fully show and the Blues won’t consider anything besides top 4 a success. Nobody at Stamford Bridge is curious about the Conference League.
On the other hand, they would take it at Villa Park and after the engagement of Unaie Emery, they are asking for it with good performances. They are five points behind the Top 7 from 11th place, plus they already have games against Arsenal and Manchester City under their belt. Plus the Emery factor, who with experience and quality can pull out an inferior team.
Source: Premier League
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