Daily Sabah (Turkey)

Liverpool hosts minnow Norwich, Man City meets out-of-form Spurs

Currently second in the Premier League, The Reds have a game on hand, and a win over Norwich would turn the pressure up a notch on reigning champion Manchester City, who holds a 9-point lead

- EDITOR SUDIB SONTORAN

LIVERPOOL could cut Manchester City’s lead, albeit briefly, to six points as it hosts relegation-threatened Norwich on Saturday.

Despite his team winning its last four games, The Reds’ manager Juergen Klopp says Manchester City will not be peering anxiously in their rearview mirror.

The home game against Norwich, a couple of hours before Manchester City plays out-of-form Tottenham Hotspur, offers an opportunit­y just to dial up a little pressure on Pep Guardiola’s side.

Not that Klopp will have much faith in Tottenham throwing a spanner in the works of City’s well-oiled machine.

If Liverpool’s form is impressive, City’s is simply extraordin­ary, having won 14 of its last 15 league games and drawing the other. What is more, it looked unstoppabl­e Tuesday as it thrashed Sporting Lisbon 5-0 away to all but book a place in the last eight of the Champions League.

Liverpool also enjoyed an impressive 2-0 away win at Inter Milan on Wednesday and while Norwich is fighting for its Premier League lives, it is difficult to imagine Liverpool not chalking up a fifth straight league win Saturday.

Norwich lost 4-0 against Manchester City last week despite matching the league leader in the first half and midfielder Billy Gilmour knows another huge test awaits at Anfield.

“We gave (City) a right test,” the Chelsea loanee said. The score doesn’t say that but at 1-0 at halftime, we thought we had a chance to come back out and the early goal killed us.

“But we know at Anfield it will be a tough, tough test. We’ll go there with the same mindset and battle.”

SPURS FACE ACID TEST

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte avoided a defeat in his first nine league games in charge after replacing Nuno Espirito Santo in November. But things have gone badly wrong.

After losing to Chelsea in the League Cup semifinals, Tottenham has suffered three successive league defeats against Chelsea, Southampto­n and Wolverhamp­ton Wanderers – the last two the most damaging to its top-four prospects.

Conte has not experience­d a run like that as a manager since he was manager of the Italian club, Atalanta, in 2009 and with a trip to a rampant City side that run looks like getting worse.

Tottenham actually won the reverse fixture in August, one of only two defeats City has suffered this season.

While Tottenham has lost three in a row, Newcastle United has won its last three to escape the relegation zone and the Magpies will travel to West Ham United in Saturday’s early kickoff.

A win would see Newcastle climb to 15th, although West Ham has the incentive of reclaiming the fourth spot from Manchester United if it takes all three points.

While Liverpool is doing its best to keep the title race interestin­g, the battle for fourth spot and Champions League qualificat­ion looks like going the distance.

Fourth-placed United is away at Leeds United on Sunday while Arsenal, which is sixth but with three games in hand over the two sides above it, hosts struggling Brentford Saturday.

Wolves, who have crept up to seventh and into contention for the top four, face Leicester City on Sunday.

Third-placed Chelsea, the newlycrown­ed world champion, returns to domestic action with a game against Crystal Palace on Saturday with one eye on next week’s Champions League last 16 tie against French club Lille.

 ?? ?? Liverpool players celebrate a goal against Inter Milan in a Champions League game, Milan, Italy, Feb. 16, 2022.
Liverpool players celebrate a goal against Inter Milan in a Champions League game, Milan, Italy, Feb. 16, 2022.

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