Brendan Rodgers promises more twists in Premier title race
Liverpool boss feels overhauling a goal-difference deficit of nine is not beyond his team
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers insists there are more twists to come in title run-in.
Brendan Rodgers doubts whether Manchester City will win their final two games of the season and has insisted it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Liverpool could overturn a sizeable goal difference to win the Premier League.
City joined Liverpool on 80 points with a 3-2 win at Everton on Saturday and home wins against Aston Villa on Wednesday and West Ham United on Sunday would, in all likelihood, secure a second title in three seasons for Manuel Pellegrini’s team. But Liverpool’s manager is adamant there will be another twist in the compelling three-way fight for the Premier League and that his team can still claim their first league championship since 1990.
Barring a City slip-up, Liverpool need to beat Crystal Palace tonight and Newcastle United on Sunday while overhauling a goal-difference deficit of nine in the process, in order to clinch the trophy. And Rodgers insists the task of winning at Goodison Park plus two home fixtures at the Etihad Stadium inside nine days will stretch to the limit a City squad that lost Sergio Aguero to injury at Everton.
“It is a tough ask for City,” the Liverpool manager said. “To play three games at this stage of the season that really, really matter is a real tough ask. Aston Villa are an incredible team on the counter-attack and better away from home, and West Ham on their day can be a really difficult opponent.
“Manchester City need to win all their games which means they will have won five games in a row and they have done that only once this season, so it will be a wee bit new for them. It is certainly not over by a long way. If we can win our two games then it could go a long way to deciding whether we finish top or not. But it is about concentrating on our game against Crystal Palace.
“City’s result won’t deflate us because we know we have to win against Palace no matter what. We know we have to win at Palace and win against Newcastle. That hasn’t changed and that is our focus.”
Both City and Liverpool have scored 96 league goals this season and Rodgers has not discounted the prospect of his team pipping their rivals to the title on goal difference, despite City having conceded nine goals fewer.
He admits the aim at Selhurst Park is not simply three points. The Liverpool manager, who expects Daniel Sturridge to be available against Tony Pulis’s team, said: “If there is any team that can score goals and turn it around it will be us. There is no question. That will be our aim.
“I am not paying any disrespect to Newcastle but if there is a team that has shown it can score goals, it is us. We are not a 1-0 team. We showed that at the beginning of the season but what we have shown since is we can score goals.”