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Friday, January 1, 2021

Manchester United eye Premier League summit

Manchester United eye Premier League summit

Liverpool will start 2021 in a familiar position at the top of the Premier League but with a rejuvenated Manchester United leading a pack of challengers who are all within striking distance.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side would join the champions on 33 points if they beat Aston Villa on Friday, with Jurgen Klopp’s men not in action until Monday.

But just seven points separate Liverpool from their next opponents Southampton, all the way down in ninth spot, giving clubs a chance to dream.

AFP Sport looks at some of the main talking points ahead of the weekend action in the English top-flight.

Liverpool v United battle?

Jurgen Klopp said he was not “overly frustrated” after seeing his side held to a goalless draw at Newcastle on Wednesday.


But the squandered points denied Liverpool the comfort of a five-point lead over bitter rivals United heading into the New Year.

The leaders have now drawn three of their past five Premier League games, including last weekend’s disappointing 1-1 draw against struggling West Brom.

Midfielder James Milner has noticed Manchester United’s rise and has warned injury-hit Liverpool that they must “kick on” or risk losing their crown.

 Liverpool and United are the two most successful clubs in English football history but have rarely been at their best at the same time.

It would take a brave punter to back against Liverpool, and Manchester City are tipped by the bookies as more likely winners than their neighbours.

But despite lingering questions over United’s defence, there is a sense of momentum at Old Trafford and a growing belief that they could mount a proper title challenge for the first time since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
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