Cyprus Mail
Premier League

Liverpool eye huge 97-point total but it may not be enough

A seventh successive win for Liverpool against Huddersfield tonight would put them on 91 points, five more than their best Premier League haul and a higher total than that of 20 previous title winners since 1992

Liverpool will smash the 90-point barrier in the Premier League for the first time unless already-relegated Huddersfield Town produce the biggest shock of the season and avoid defeat at Anfield on Friday (10pm).

Victory will also put Liverpool back on top of the table with two games remaining, although the recurring pattern of this most extraordinary title race will likely mean that Manchester City take it back two days later at Burnley.

A seventh successive win for Liverpool would put them on 91 points, five more than their best Premier League haul and a higher total than that of 20 previous title winners since 1992.

Yet the growing fear at Anfield is that they could accumulate 97 – more than any other side in Premier League history apart from Manchester City last season – and still be waiting for their first league title since 1990.

City boss Pep Guardiola said on Wednesday after their 2-0 win at Manchester United, an 11th successive victory, that both clubs deserve to win the title and few people would disagree.

The harsh reality is that only one will have that honour and the pendulum has swung towards City.

Liverpool, who face a two-legged Champions League semi-final against Barcelona in the midst of the titanic battle with City, visit Newcastle United in their penultimate league game before finishing at home to a dangerous Wolverhampton Wanderers side.

After the trip to Burnley on Sunday, City, knocked out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals by Tottenham Hotspur, host Leicester City eight days later and finish at Brighton & Hove Albion.

When City scaled the trickiest hurdle in their run-in at Old Trafford there were no mass celebrations by the players, nor Guardiola who knows his team will almost certainly have to win their last three games to retain the title.

“We are on 89 points and Liverpool 88 points and it’s tough because there are still three games to play, it is incredible,” the Spaniard said. “We still need to win our remaining games, starting on Sunday at Turf Moor.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp meanwhile insists he was “calm” after watching City beat rivals United.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Huddersfield, Klopp said he had expected the result.

He said: “It was really the result I expected. Manchester United tried whatever they can but over 90 minutes it was clear they couldn’t withstand City.

“I was calm. We don’t only play for being champions at the end of the season. Yes it’s a big target and we are pretty close and have a chance.

“But it’s the first time, not the last time. That’s how it is.
“The club and the people are waiting for a long time for it. It is rather surprising because last season we were 25 points behind.
“That’s really good, that’s all I can say about it. It’s all good. We have to carry on but only one team will be champion.”

Klopp confirmed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Dejan Lovren both trained ahead of Friday’s clash.
He said: “Dejan trained yesterday, Oxlade-Chamberlain trained. We have to see on the others.”

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