Premier League preview: Liverpool vs Norwich, United makes Ighalo wait

Premier League top clubs take on the bottom pile as leader Liverpool travels to Norwich City while Aston Villa hosts Tottemham Hotspur on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool will look extend its winning run to 17 games when it travels to Norwich City.   -  Getty Images

Liverpool is expected to take another step towards clinching a long-awaited Premier League title at bottom-of-the-table Norwich, while behind the runaway leaders the battle for Champions League places takes centre stage this weekend.

- Records up for grabs as Liverpool faces Norwich-

The Reds can extend their mammoth 22-point lead over Manchester City at Carrow Road on Saturday as they aim to not only win the league for the first time in 30 years, but smash the record books in the process.

Jurgen Klopp's men have dropped just two points all season and are on a run of 16 consecutive league wins.

That march towards the title began on the opening night of the season when Norwich visited Anfield and was 4-0 down inside 42 minutes.

An injury to Alisson Becker was the one big concern of that victory for Klopp as the Brazilian was sidelined for two months.

After taking some time to get back to his best form, Alisson has saved 26 of the last 27 shots he has faced, with Liverpool racking up an aggregate score of 23-1 in that time.

“We want to win the title and for winning the title, you need to win everything,” Alisson told Premier League Productions.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson is determined to win all the matches as the Reds inch closer towards the title.   -  Getty Images

 

“The way we play, you need to enjoy that because if you don't enjoy that then you cannot play all the games with our intensity.”

A massive 55 points separate Norwich from the champions-elect with the Canaries seven points adrift of safety.

Daniel Farke's men desperately need to start turning good performances into points to beat the drop.

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However, the team has shown an ability to upset the odds with one of its four league wins this season coming against Manchester City.

- Rodgers welcomes a rest -

For a long time, Leicester was Liverpool's closest challenger at the top of the table, but the Foxes' form before a two-week winter break had faded with just one win in four league games.

An eight-match winning streak earlier in the season means Brendan Rodgers's men still have a 10-point cushion in the race for a Champions League place and can even move back up to second with victory at Wolves on Friday.

And Rodgers is hoping a fortnight's rest, without any overseas training camp, will have been the perfect tonic to recharge his side for the run-in.

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers is happy with the fortnight break in the Premier League.   -  Getty Images

 

“There's improvements to be made, no doubt,” said the former Liverpool boss. “We will now regain a bit of stability.

“We're all fresh ahead of this final third of the season.”

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Wolves has also suffered a mid-season dip with one win from its last six league games, albeit two of those fixtures were against Liverpool.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side has fallen behind Sheffield United, Tottenham, Everton and Manchester United in the battle for the top four and needs to return to winning ways on Friday to remain in the hunt.

- Man Utd makes Ighalo wait -

Chelsea remains in pole position for fourth place despite a run of four wins in its last 13 league games.

The Blues' lead over Tottenham could be down to a single point, though, by the time it entertains Manchester United on Monday if Spurs win at Aston Villa on Sunday.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard claimed that Tottenham and Manchester United's January transfer spending meant his side is now “underdogs” to hold onto fourth.

However, victory over United on Monday at Stamford Bridge would give Chelsea a nine-point cushion over the Red Devils.

Odion Ighalo has been denied the opportunity to train at Carrington with the rest of the team due to fears over the coronavirus.   -  Twitter (@ManUtd)

 

The visitor could give a debut to new striker Odion Ighalo, even though the Nigerian has been denied the opportunity to train with his new teammates due to fears over the coronavirus.

Ighalo is on loan from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua and did not travel to United's warm weather training camp in Spain due to fears he would be denied re-entry to the United Kingdom if restrictions on travellers, who had been in China within the past two weeks, were tightened.

The 30-year-old has even been training away from United's training ground in Manchester until completing a 14-day quarantine period.

 

Fixtures (all times GMT)

Friday

Wolves v Leicester (2000)

Saturday

Southampton v Burnley (1230), Norwich v Liverpool (1730)

Sunday

Aston Villa v Tottenham (1400), Arsenal v Newcastle (1630)

Monday

Chelsea v Manchester United (2000)

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