LONDON, April 30 (Xinhua) — The Premier League title could be decided this weekend if results go Manchester City’s way with Pep Guardiola’s side winning their match away to Crystal Palace while Manchester United lose at home to long-term rivals, Liverpool.
Manchester City lead their neighbors by 10 points with 15 points left to play for this season and have a vastly superior goal difference to United and their morale has to be sky high after a spectacular second half display away to Paris Saint Germain on Wednesday saw them take a 2-1 lead in their Champions League semifinals.
With the return leg due to be played on Tuesday and very little recovery time ahead of Saturday’s match, Guardiola will probably rest some key players, such as Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden, while Aymeric Laporte or Nathan Ake will start for the suspended John Stones.
Chelsea also took a good result in their Champions League visit away to Real Madrid in the week, but with his team still needing to assure a top-four place for next season, Thomas Tuchel has less leeway to rest players for his south-west London derby at home to third from bottom Fulham.
Four defeats in their last five matches have put the breaks on Fulham’s recovery and they make the short trip to Stamford Bridge seven points from safety and needing a surprise win to keep alive their slim hopes of avoiding relegation.
Saturday also sees Brighton play at home to Leeds, and if they beat Marcelo Bielsa’s men that would leave Fulham nine points from safety before the game against Chelsea.
Meanwhile Everton face Aston Villa, who could include former Everton hero Ross Barkley in their side, as they look to keep their slip hopes of qualifying for Europe next season alive.
Two wins and two draws look to have lifted Newcastle United from the brink of relegation towards Premier League survival for another season and the return of players such as Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin has clearly been a factor.
Steve Bruce’s men could assure they will be in the top-flight next season when they face an Arsenal side that lost the first leg of their Europa League semifinal 2-1 to Villarreal on Thursday and will travel to the north of England with tired legs and one eye on next week’s semifinal home tie.
Manchester United against Liverpool is usually one of the grudge games of the season, but with Manchester City running away with the title and Manchester United all but assured second place, the main interest in this Sunday’s game could be whether or not United can delay their neighbors’ title celebrations for another week while putting another nail in the coffin of Liverpool’s top-four hopes.
Sunday also sees Tottenham entertain Sheffield United in a game between two clubs with temporary coaches in charge in Ryan Mason and Paul Heckingbottom. Tottenham have to recover from last weekend’s Carabao Cup final defeat, while Sheffield showed they still have come fight when they beat Brighton.
Monday’s matches see West Brom look for three vital points at home to Wolves, while West Ham travel to Burnley looking for three points in their quest to play in Europe next season. Enditem