Premier League title race: Mo Salah is only focused on ending Liverpool drought
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wants to ‘smell’ his side’s desire to retain the championship
It could be a crucial evening in the Premier League title race tonight as both Liverpool and Manchester City are in action.
Going into matchweek 28 Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are top of the Premier League table on 66 points, just one point ahead of Pep Guardiola’s Man City.
Tottenham sit in third but their title chances took a massive hit after losing 2-1 to Burnley at the weekend.
Tonight Liverpool host Watford at Anfield (8pm kick-off) while defending champions Man City are at home against West Ham United (8pm).
Here we look at the talking points ahead of tonight’s action and the February and March fixtures for the title rivals.
Salah only has eyes on big prize
Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah could break a Premier League record tonight should he score against Watford at Anfield, but the Egyptian star says he’s only focused on the title race not personal glory.
If Salah finds the net this evening it would make him the fastest player in Premier League history to score 50 goals, Sky Sports reports. However, Liverpool’s 29-year title drought is the biggest motivation for the 26-year-old.
He said: “It would be nice to score number 50, number 51 and 52! I always push myself to score more goals and to perform better.
“Of course records are nice but for me the Premier League is now the most important thing. It is a very big week. There are three games in eight days and if we can do well in them and still be top of the table that’s big for us.
“After that there will only be nine games left and we will have time to recover for them and time to think about that.”
After tonight’s game against Watford, Liverpool travel the short distance to Goodison Park on Sunday for the Merseyside derby against Everton.
Liverpool’s February and March fixtures
- 27 February: Premier League, home vs. Watford (8pm)
- 3 March: Premier League, away vs. Everton (4.15pm)
- 10 March: Premier League, home vs. Burnley (12pm)
- 13 March: Champions League last-16 second leg, away vs. Bayern Munich (8pm; 0-0 on aggregate)
- 17 March: Premier League, away vs. Fulham (2.15pm)
- 31 March: Premier League, home vs. Tottenham Hotspur (4.30pm)
Pep wants to ‘smell’ the title desire
Defending champions Manchester City host West Ham tonight at the Etihad and manager Pep Guardiola has urged his side to prove their desire to beat Liverpool to this season’s title.
City won Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Chelsea and the Wembley victory means they are still on course for an historic quadruple - the league cup, Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.
Guardiola has rarely acknowledged the quadruple talk, but the Spaniard wants to see his side battle for all competitions and says there’s no excuses for tiredness, the BBC reports.
“In the last two months the mentality makes the difference,” said Guardiola. “When you have the illusion to fight until the end, to retain the title, the power and the energy to give you that, it is higher than any excuses you can find.
“I want the ‘smell’ in the locker room. I want to ‘smell’ in the beginning of the game, during the game, with our fans, that when one competition is over, really we want to win this title.”
Man City’s February and March fixtures
- 27 February: Premier League, home vs. West Ham United (8pm)
- 2 March: Premier League, away vs. Bournemouth (3pm)
- 9 March: Premier League, home vs. Watford (5.30pm)
- 12 March: Champions League last-16 second leg, home vs. Schalke 04 (8pm, 3-2 on aggregate)
- 16 March: FA Cup, away vs. Swansea City (5.20pm)
- 30 March: Premier League, away vs. Fulham (12.30pm)
Premier League results and fixtures
Results: Tuesday 26 February
- Cardiff City 0 Everton 3
- Huddersfield Town 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
- Leicester City 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 1
- Newcastle United 2 Burnley 0
Fixtures: Wednesday 27 February
- Arsenal vs. AFC Bournemouth (7.45pm)
- Southampton vs. Fulham (7.45pm)
- Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur (8pm, live on BT Sport 1)
- Crystal Palace vs. Manchester United (8pm)
- Liverpool vs. Watford (8pm)
- Manchester City vs. West Ham United (8pm)