LONDON (Reuters) – The fixture schedule has been kind on Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur this weekend with both clubs having the opportunity to put the squeeze on Chelsea in the battle to finish the season in the Premier League’s top four.
Antonio Conte’s outgoing champions look vulnerable in fifth place and by the time they kick off against Josep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday a worrying gap could have opened up immediately above them.
Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool take on Newcastle United tomorrow after fourth-placed Tottenham, in equally impressive form, host Huddersfield Town at Wembley.
Should they both win Liverpool would have 60 points, temporarily going ahead of Manchester United into second, and Tottenham would have 58. Chelsea have 53.
United are at injury-hit Crystal Palace on Monday when victory would give them 62 points.
So the pressure could be on Chelsea when they take on a City side playing their second game in four days after they face sixth-placed Arsenal in a re-arranged match on Thursday.
Victory for City would restore their 16-point lead at the top. With the Champions League title a target for City this season Guardiola will demand his players keep their foot firmly on the gas to sew up the domestic title as soon as possible, allowing them the luxury of concentrating on Europe in the Spring.