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Klopp threatens Liverpool League Cup pull-out over fixture pile-up

Friday, November 1st, 2019 07:55 |
Arsenal’s Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira celebrates after scoring the equalising goal during their English League Cup fourth round match against Liverpool at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on Wednesday night. AFP
Arsenal’s Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira celebrates after scoring the equalising goal during their English League Cup fourth round match against Liverpool at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on Wednesday night. AFP

The focus is firmly back on the race for the top four in the Premier League this weekend after the brief distraction of the ill-fated European Super League.

In the chaos earlier this week it was unclear whether the clubs that had signed up to the breakaway league would even be allowed to play in the traditional European competitions next season.

But Champions League qualification remains the big prize.

Third-placed Leicester, Chelsea, West Ham, Tottenham and Liverpool are realistically vying for two spots as the season enters its final stretch, with the Manchester clubs firmly established in the top two.

AFP Sport looks at some of the main talking points ahead of the action.

Chelsea face tricky juggling act

Chelsea have a lot on their plate in the final few weeks of the season including a Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid and an FA Cup final against Leicester.

West Ham, their league opponents on Saturday, will be hoping Thomas Tuchel’s men are distracted by next week’s match in Spain.

The German needs a result at the London Stadium but must also ensure his first-choice players are fresh for the first leg of their Champions League tie on Tuesday.

Fourth-placed Chelsea have lost just once in the league since Tuchel took over from Frank Lampard in January but face a tough run-in.

David Moyes has overseen a remarkable season for the Hammers and has a chance to take them into Europe’s premier competition for the first time.

West Ham, level on points with Chelsea, had a wobble last week, losing to Newcastle, but their fixtures following Saturday’s game all look winnable.

The ace in the pack for Moyes could be loan signing Jesse Lingard, who has scored four goals in his past three Premier League games and nine in total since he joined the club in January.

Can Liverpool find consistency?

Liverpool appeared to have turned the corner after three consecutive Premier League victories but dropped two points in Monday’s outing against Leeds.

Jurgen Klopp’s men, two points behind Chelsea, have a kind run of fixtures and no other distractions but the swagger that made them so irresistable last season is missing.

Liverpool’s title defence was ended by a run of six defeats in seven matches in February and March and Klopp will be desperate to salvage something from the campaign. “We can make this season still a suc

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