Fri, 20 May 2022

LONDON, May 10 (Xinhua) -- The midweek round of Premier League games could be absolutely decisive in the title race and the nerve-wracking battle to avoid relegation.

The games kick off on Tuesday night when Liverpool travel to play Aston Villa on what is likely to be an emotive night for Villa's coach - the former Anfield legend, Steven Gerrard.

In many ways, Gerrard's side has the destiny of this season's title in their hands after Liverpool dropped two points at home to Tottenham at the weekend to slip three points behind league leaders, Manchester City.

With just two games left after these midweek matches, any more dropped points would effectively mean the title race is over and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has to lift his players again after a draining run of fixtures.

Wednesday sees Manchester City travel to play Wolves, who showed at the weekend with their fightback from 2-0 down to grab a late draw away at Chelsea that they still have some fight in them despite having nothing to play for.

Man City will have the advantage of knowing Liverpool's result when they kick-off, but coach Pep Guardiola has problems in defense after losing Ruben Dias at the weekend, while Kyle Walker and John Stones are also both sidelined.

There is little more than pride to play for in the game between Leicester City and already relegated Norwich City, but the tension will be ramped up in Wednesday's two remaining matches as Everton visit Watford and Leeds United host Chelsea.

Everton's win at Leicester on Sunday lifted them one point above Burnley and Leeds in the scramble to avoid relegation and Frank Lampard's side must be the favorites against a rival that had their relegation confirmed at the weekend and who have lost their last 12 home matches.

Leeds currently occupy the relegation zone and are without the suspended Luke Ayling and the injured Patrick Bamford and Liam Cooper for Chelsea's visit.

Chelsea's run of two defeats and two draws in their last five matches is indifferent at best and defeat would mean they still have work to do to confirm a top-four finish, so they will have to show personality in what is likely to be a charged atmosphere at Elland Road.

The final midweek match on Thursday is also vital as fifth-place Tottenham entertain fourth-place Arsenal in the North-London derby, with a place in the Champions League at stake.

Tottenham's draw at Anfield means Arsenal have a four-point cushion over their near neighbors, and a win for Mikel Arteta's men would seal their place in Europe's top competition, but if Tottenham take the points that would put Arsenal (and perhaps also Chelsea's) top-four finish in serious danger.

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