Jurgen Klopp (Getty Photographs)
Liverpooll, Chelsea and Leicester will stage an exhilarating battle to complete within the Premier League’s prime 4 because the English top-flight season involves a dramatic conclusion on Sunday.
Heading into the ultimate spherical of fixtures, only one level separates third positioned Chelsea, fourth positioned Liverpool and Leicester in fifth.
With the highest 4 assured a profitable berth in subsequent season’s Champions League, the stakes couldn’t be any increased.
Champions Manchester Metropolis and second positioned Manchester United are already sure to complete within the prime 4, leaving two locations on provide.
Chelsea, one level above Liverpool and Leicester, will clinch third place in the event that they win at Aston Villa.
Deposed champions Liverpool can salvage a tough, injury-plagued season by nailing down fourth place once they host Crystal Palace.
To do this, Jurgen Klopp’s workforce, forward of Leicester on purpose distinction, should match the FA Cup winners’ end result towards Tottenham on the King Energy Stadium.
Liverpool have a purpose distinction of +24 and Leicester are on +20, which means a Reds victory towards Palace needs to be sufficient barring a outstanding purpose spree from Brendan Rodgers’ workforce.
Having received seven of their final 9 video games, Liverpool are anticipated to complete the job and Klopp insists the stress of the tense finale will not be an issue.
“I am unable to keep in mind a season when it did not go to the wire as a result of it was just about a last or we needed to battle to the final match day for qualification for the Champions League,” Klopp mentioned.
“Even at Dortmund it was like this, at Mainz it was to remain within the league or after we acquired promoted.
“I’m actually used to emphasize till the final match day.”
Round 10,000 Liverpool followers shall be inside Anfield after a season performed virtually fully behind closed doorways due to the coronavirus.
These supporters have missed a rollercoaster marketing campaign that noticed Liverpool fall eight factors adrift of fourth place in mid-March earlier than a run of 23 factors from the previous 27 hauled them again into competition.
“What did we do? We discovered stability, created confidence once more or acquired it again, scored objectives in the proper moments and conceded much less, that helped as properly,” Klopp mentioned.
Chelsea seized management of their prime 4 future with an important 2-1 win towards Leicester on Tuesday.
Thomas Tuchel’s workforce might additionally qualify for the Champions League in the event that they beat Manchester Metropolis within the last of this season’s match on Might 29.
Tuchel, who has revived Chelsea since changing the sacked Frank Lampard in January, has no worry of the inevitable criticism if the Blues fall out of the highest 4.
“Actually, it was the utmost goal to succeed in the highest 4 this season,” Tuchel mentioned.
“However I do know what you are talking of, and I can’t cover. You do not have to be a genius, I do know what can occur if we lose.
“After all you possibly can lose any match in soccer however hear, there is a large distinction between worry and hazard.”
Leicester doubtlessly face heartbreak for a second successive season after lacking out final yr attributable to a final-day defeat by Manchester United.
Though they received the FA Cup for the primary time with their last triumph towards Chelsea on 15 Might, Leicester’s defeat at Stamford Bridge three days later could show decisive.
Figuring out they could must win by an enormous margin towards Tottenham, Rodgers mentioned: “We’ll discuss concerning the completely different conditions which will come up within the sport.
“The hot button is to win the sport, and get three factors. There are only a few video games the place you’re going to get 5 or 6 objectives within the Premier League, so win the sport.”
West Ham want some extent at house to Southampton on Sunday to safe sixth place and a Europa League spot.
Tottenham can nonetheless pip them on purpose distinction ought to they beat Leicester and the Hammers lose.
Fixtures (all 17:00 SA time):
Arsenal v Brighton, Aston Villa v Chelsea, Fulham v Newcastle, Leeds v West Brom, Leicester v Tottenham, Liverpool v Crystal Palace, Man Metropolis v Everton, Sheffield United v Burnley, West Ham v Southampton, Wolves v Man United