Thursday 12 December 2019

Liverpool’s four games to claim Premier League glory

Liverpool are four games from a first title since 1990.
Liverpool are four games from a first title since 1990.

DECLAN WHOOLEY

A dramatic defeat of Manchester City means the destiny of the Premier League is now in Liverpool's hands as they are just four games from a long-awaited championship.

While Merseyside rejoiced on what was an emotional weekend before a ball was ever kicked in anger at Anfield, Steven Gerrard and Brendan Rodgers were quick to point out that the next game is the most important.

The Reds are just four games from ending a barren 24 years without a title and here are the teams looking to put a dent in those championship aspirations.

Norwich (away) April 20

Another early kick-off as the Reds travel to a Norwich side hovering one place outside the dangerzone.

Even the dismissal of Chris Hughton couldn’t prevent the Canaries from losing their relegation six-pointer at Craven Cottage last time out.

The new man at the helm Neil Adams admitted afterwards his side are conceding too many and failing to take their own chances in front of goals, and their difficult run in against the top teams is well documented.

They have lost the last four games against Liverpool by a total score of 18-3, while Luis Suarez has bagged hat-tricks in his two previous visits to Carrow Road.

Even the most optimistic Norwich supporter will struggle to see how they can manage to get any return in this fixture as they desperately seek results to preserve their top-flight status.

Chelsea (home) April 27

Essentially the game that will seal Liverpool’s fate. Should Chelsea manage a draw, a real possibility under Jose Mourinho, and City win their remaining fixtures (Sunderland, West Brom, Everton, Aston Villa and West Ham), then the title will be staying in Manchester.

Chelsea got the upper hand earlier in the season at Stamford Bridge and away from home they have done what few teams have managed in recent years, victory at the Etihad.

A win will keep the Blues in the hunt and after some bitter memories of Anfield defeats in the past, Mourinho will not lack motivation.

Likely to take on an atmosphere similar to the titanic Champions League encounters during Mourinho’s first stint in charge.

Crystal palace (away) May 6

What would have appeared to have been a handy three-pointer at the start of the season is now an altogether more difficult task.

All but assured of Premier League status, Tony Pulis has transformed the Eagles into a difficult side to break down and far more threatening in the final third.

Since the turn of the year they have conceded just 11 goals in 14 games and earned a famous victory over Chelsea at Selhurst Park at the end of March.

A victory for Brendan Rodgers’ side of any description would be gladly welcomed.

Newcastle (home) May 11

Most observers expect the title to be decided on the final day and the visit of the Newcastle could be the ideal fixture. There are no easy games in the Premier League apparently, but the Magpies have little to play for and are unlikely to provide a great deal of resistance.

Some of their players have been on holiday mode for quite some time. Since a 5-1 victory over Stoke on December 26th, they have won just four in 15 league games and there was more supporter unrest following the weekend’s defeat to the Potters. This was their fourth defeat on the bounce, having conceded 12 goals and failing to muster even one of their own.

A likely three points, even owing for the nerves of the final day.

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Online Editors

The Left Wing: John Cooney on Ulster's European run and bouncing back from World Cup disappointment

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport