Champions League

Battle for prime 4 as Chelsea going through Man United

Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes (right) in action with Chelsea's N'Golo Kante.

Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes (proper) in motion with Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante. (PHOTO: Pool by way of Reuters/Phil Noble)

SINGAPORE — What are the important thing matches and storylines to look out for within the subsequent spherical of English Premier League (EPL) motion? Yahoo Information Singapore lists the highest three:

WATCH: The Centre Circle, a weekly EPL preview present by Tampines West CSC

Chelsea vs Manchester United (Monday, 12.30am Singapore time)

With Manchester Metropolis wanting imperious on the prime of the EPL desk, the extra intriguing battle at this juncture of the season is for the remaining three Champions League spots, that are presently occupied by Manchester United, Leicester Metropolis and – surprisingly – West Ham United.

However nobody is ruling out the subsequent three groups within the desk: resurgent Chelsea, wounded however nonetheless potent Liverpool, and regular Everton. Chelsea, particularly, are having fun with a brand new lease of life beneath new supervisor Thomas Tuchel, going six league matches unbeaten because the German took over the reins.

Tuchel has been a gentle hand in getting the belief among the many Blues gamers, with striker Timo Werner beginning to regain kind after struggling beneath earlier supervisor Frank Lampard. But, Tuchel has additionally proven his ruthless aspect of their final EPL match in opposition to Southampton, benching substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi for not displaying the required efficiency requirements.

On Sunday (28 February), Chelsea will welcome second-placed Manchester United, in what shall be Tuchel greatest check up to now in his tenure. A win might vault them over West Ham into fourth place.

Man United have returned to profitable methods final weekend with their 3-1 win over Newcastle, which got here after two consecutive attracts. With an all-important conflict in opposition to Man Metropolis developing subsequent weekend, supervisor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shall be eager to take care of the Pink Devils’ profitable momentum in opposition to Chelsea and Crystal Palace in midweek.

His greatest urgent drawback is in midfield, the place linchpin Bruno Fernandes is displaying indicators of being overworked within the absence of the injured Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay. Veterans Nemanja Matic and Fred lack the dynamism of the absent duo, forcing Fernandes to cowl rather more floor that he used to.

Towards Chelsea, Solskjaer may additionally revert to a extra defensive tactic, as he has accomplished in opposition to the highest groups. Would one other low-scoring affair ensue?

SCORE PREDICTION: Chelsea 1 Manchester United 1.

Manchester City's Bernardo Silva (left) in action with West Ham United's Tomas Soucek.

Manchester Metropolis’s Bernardo Silva (left) in motion with West Ham United’s Tomas Soucek. (PHOTO: Pool by way of Reuters/Catherine Ivill)

Manchester Metropolis vs West Ham (Saturday, 8.30pm)

With 13 matches left to go within the season, the largest shock success story must be David Moyes’ West Ham, nonetheless flying excessive at fourth spot within the league.

Extensively tipped for relegation firstly of the season, the Hammers have as an alternative thrived beneath Moyes, who has instilled a well-drilled, constant aspect with stalwarts reminiscent of Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek, Michail Antonio and Angelo Ogbonna.

It has been a private triumph for Moyes, who was written off as a top-class supervisor after his poor stint with Manchester United in 2014, when he took on the thankless activity of changing the legendary Alex Ferguson.

But, because the 57-year-old Scot has proven with West Ham – and in addition with Everton, whom he was a well-liked supervisor from 2002 to 2013 – he all the time will get his staff to play at a constant degree all through the season. Briefly, they all the time present up at each match.

Whether or not they have the nous to beat league leaders Manchester Metropolis, nevertheless, stays a giant query mark. Pep Guardiola’s aspect are, fairly merely, unbeatable in the meanwhile. They’re fluent in offence and remarkably stingy in defence – a potent mixture that has given Metropolis a cushty 10-point lead.

They do need to take care of the midweek exertions of a Champions League away tie, after their 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday. Might they get well properly sufficient for the early Saturday kick-off?

SCORE PREDICTION: Manchester Metropolis 2 West Ham 0.

Sheffield United's John Egan (left) in action with Liverpool's Sadio Mane.

Sheffield United’s John Egan (left) in motion with Liverpool’s Sadio Mane. (PHOTO: Pool by way of Reuters/Stu Forster)

Sheffield United vs Liverpool (Monday, 3.15am)

And so the struggling defending champions shall be dragging their battered squad to face the largest strugglers of the league this season, bottom-placed Sheffield United.

Remarkably, each Liverpool and Sheffield United have the identical variety of league victories this yr – simply two every. Each are additionally on four-match shedding streaks within the league. It has been dire for each golf equipment, who had been the undoubted success tales of final season.

It appears more and more unlikely for Liverpool to make the highest 4 spots and qualifying for subsequent season’s Champions League, simply because it appears unlikely for Sheffield United to keep away from the dreaded drop into the Championship. But, each side are identified for his or her never-say-die angle, and shall be determined to finish their dreadful runs as quickly as they will.

Jurgen Klopp shall be agonising over yet one more key harm absence, this time of captain Jordan Henderson, who has been subbing in as a makeshift central defender with all three of the Reds’ first-choice centre-backs out for the season.

Will Liverpool be capable of overcome the lack of their influential skipper? Maybe, in opposition to Sheffield United, they could be capable of journey on their abilities, however with key matches developing such because the midweek conflict in opposition to Chelsea and the upcoming Champions League second-leg tie in opposition to RB Leipzig, the Reds are working themselves ragged with their depleted squad.

SCORE PREDICTION: Sheffield United 0 Liverpool 1.

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Associated tales:

EPL PREVIEW: Merseyside derby an opportunity for Liverpool, Everton to get season again on monitor

EPL PREVIEW: Metropolis again at their invincible finest as they face wounded Liverpool

EPL TALK: Defence, not assault, is essential to Man Metropolis’s rise to the highest

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