Break? What break? The relentless Premier League title race rolls on


Break? What break? The relentless Premier League title race rolls on

Manchester United and Tottenham will clash again this Sunday
Manchester United and Tottenham will clash again this SundayAFP
The Premier League does winter breaks like no other competition so the action will keep coming thick and fast this weekend with four blockbuster clashes to take off the chill of January.

Unlike most other European leagues where clubs get a sizeable chunk of time off around December and January -- most notably the three-week stoppage in the Bundesliga - the Premier League churns on in relentless fashion.

All 20 clubs do get a breather as the 21st round of fixtures is split over two successive weekends although with the FA Cup third round occupying the first week of January, together with replays and League Cup semi-finals, the schedule is still full.

The title race will certainly not be going into temporary hibernation this weekend with champions Manchester City travelling to out-of-form Newcastle United on Saturday with the chance to cut Liverpool's advantage to two points.

Full standings
Full standingsFlashscore

City's FIFA World Club Cup commitments mean they have played only 19 games to Liverpool's 20 and should they win on Saturday will be looming very large in what is gearing up to be a compelling scrap for the title over the coming months.

Norwegian goal-machine Erling Haaland could return for City this weekend having been out since early December with a foot injury while Kevin De Bruyne's return in the FA Cup win over Huddersfield Town was a further tonic for boss Pep Guardiola.

Newcastle's top-four challenge has faded badly with five defeats in their last six league games as injuries and fatigue have seen Eddie Howe's side fall to ninth place, 11 points shy of fourth-placed Arsenal.

Full round of fixtures
Full round of fixturesFlashscore

Aston Villa's unlikely title challenge faltered a little over the festive period but they have the chance to go level on points with Liverpool if they beat Everton away on Sunday.

Everton, on the other hand, are trying to halt a run of three successive league defeats which left them only one point above the relegation zone having appeared to be pulling clear.

Sean Dyche's side will at least be able to call on striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin after Everton successfully appealed against the red card he was shown in their FA Cup draw against Crystal Palace last week.

Wildly inconsistent Manchester United host fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday with the visitors likely to hand a debut to new loan signing Timo Werner who arrived from RB Leipzig this week to boost their attack in the absence of Son Heung-Min who is away at the Asia Cup in Qatar.

Manchester United versus Tottenham is the game of the round (time is CET)
Manchester United versus Tottenham is the game of the round (time is CET)Flashscore

Tottenham could also have defender Micky van de Ven back for the trip after the Dutchman recovered from the hamstring injury that has sidelined him since November.

Victory for Tottenham would lift them above north-London rivals Arsenal into fourth place while the best United can hope for is to climb to seventh.

Sunday also features a feisty west London derby at Stamford Bridge with Mauricio Pochettino's 10th-placed side hosting 13th-placed Fulham - both teams having suffered defeats in the first legs of their League Cup semi-finals this week.

Follow the Premier League on Flashscore.


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