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Klopp in danger of losing three home games in a row

Man City plan to land title knockout blow on Liverpool

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp.
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp.
Image: PHIL NOBLE

London - With champions Liverpool on the ropes Manchester City have the chance to knock Juergen Klopp's side effectively out of the Premier League title race at Anfield on Sunday.

City are beginning to look unstoppable having won their past nine Premier League games while Liverpool's midweek defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion has left them seven points adrift.

Should City win on Sunday they would move 10 points clear of Liverpool having also played one game less and it is hard to imagine Klopp's spluttering side being able to bridge that gap.

"I'm manager of Liverpool and you always ask — as we were champions last year — and I have to say 'oh my God, we want to be champions, yes we want it'," Klopp said as he looked ahead to the clash with City in the aftermath of defeat by Brighton.

"But you need the games for it and you need the performances for it. And we don't have them. That's the truth as well."

Klopp, whose side are in danger of losing three successive league games at home having gone unbeaten in the previous 68, stopped short of saying defeat by City would make it impossible to win the title, but the sentiment was clear.

"We have to fight for other things. We fight for three points," said the German, who hopes forward Sadio Mane will have recovered from injury and keeper Alisson from illness in time to face a rampant City.

A run of only two wins in their past eight league games has not only weakened Liverpool's grip on the title, they could find themselves in a scrap just to finish in the top four, something unthinkable last season when they were in a league of their own.

They are four points behind second-placed Manchester United, who take on sixth-placed Everton tomorrow, while Leicester City are in third place, two points ahead of Liverpool.

Leicester travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.

West Ham United have also emerged as unlikely challengers for a top-four finish. New signing Jesse Lingard scored twice in their 3-1 win at Aston Villa on Wednesday, a result that lifted the Hammers into fifth place and a win at Fulham tomorrow would see them leapfrog Liverpool.

Arsenal will hope to bounce back from their midweek defeat by Wolves, when they ended with nine men after two red cards, as they travel to Aston Villa for tomorrow's early kickoff. — Reuters

Fixtures

Tomorrow: Aston Villa v Arsenal, 2.30pm; Burnley v Brighton, 5pm; Newcastle v Southampton, 5pm; Fulham v West Ham, 7.30pm; Man United v Everton, 10pm

Sunday: Tottenham v West Brom, 2pm; Wolves v Leicester, 4pm; Liverpool v Man City, 6.30pm; Sheffield v Chelsea, 9.15pm

Monday: Leeds v Crystal Palace, 10pm

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