Liverpool, Man City Battle It Out for EPL Title
The English Premier League looks like a two-team race for the title, while other teams are trying to avoid relegation.
Early in the season, it looked like three teams would challenge for the English Premier League Championship. Chelsea was atop the EPL, followed by Liverpool and Manchester City.
Then Man City went on an 8-1-1 streak in its last 10 matches and distanced itself from Chelsea and Liverpool. The team from northwest England now has a six-point lead over Liverpool. And Chelsea is 13 points behind Man City.
The EPL title odds have changed as well. Man City is -450 at BetMGM to win the league, while Liverpool is at +300. Chelsea is a distant third at +10000.
Now Man City is losing its grip on first place. It lost to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, 3-2, showing it was beatable. It had a 12-point lead in the beginning of February, but Liverpool has whittled it down to just three.
Man City Manager Pep Guardiola denies that the championship race is over. After the Tottenham loss, he told reporters it will be a battle through May. “We have to fight for every game and every game we are going to win we will be closer,” Guardiola said. “I said weeks ago we have to make a lot of points to be champions, and this is what we will try to do.
Manchester City plays Everton this Saturday and is -358 at PointsBet to bounce back from the Tottenham defeat. Everton, which is three points away from relegation, is +900 to pull off the upset.
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Brentford Welcomes Back Christian Eriksen
Brentford Manager Thomas Frank has long waited to put Christian Eriksen (l.) back on the field, and Saturday the great Dane will finally arrive, as Brentford faces Newcastle United.
Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest playing for the Danish national team during its game against Finland in June’s Euro 2020, collapsing on the field in the first half. Fortunately, medical staff performed CPR and ultimately saved his life.
The 29-year-old was playing for Inter Milan in Italy’s Serie A League, but couldn’t rejoin his team; the league doesn’t accept players who have an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator device. Brentford was able to sign him in January, but Frank was slow in bringing him back on the field.
The team played a friendly game with Scottish Premiership team Rangers on Monday, and Eriksen, in his first match since his collapse, had two assists in the 2-2 draw. Frank praised Eriksen and is excited to see him in EPL action Saturday against Newcastle United.
“At his best, Christian has the ability to dictate games of football,” Frank said. “He can find the right passes and is a goal threat; he also has very, very good set piece delivery, both from corners and direct free kicks.” Frank called Eriksen “a player you can find with the ball, who will come up with a solution to the problem in front of him. Christian will also bring experience of top-level football to the club. I expect him to have an impact in the dressing room and at the training ground.”
Brentford is currently 14th in the standings, while Newcastle is in danger of relegation at 17th. Brentford is a slight favorite at +140, while Newcastle is at +190.
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Watford Fighting Relegation in EPL
There might be a glimmer of hope for Watford as the team fights to avoid relegation to the Champions League. The team northwest of London currently sits in 18th place out of 20, with the last three teams sent down.
The team is sporting odds of -300 to be relegated. That’s second only to Norwich City, which is in 20th place and at -900.
Watford hadn’t won a game since its 4-1 upset of Manchester United in November. It had an 0-9-2 record since that victory. One of the losses was a 3-0 drubbing by Norwich City.
A victory over Aston Villa, in which Watford was a +425 underdog, has given the team some optimism. But it might not last long. The team faces Manchester United on Saturday, with Man U looking for revenge from the embarrassing loss three months ago.
Watford is +800 to pull off another upset, while Manchester United is at -334.
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EPL Weekend Games/Odds
Friday, February 25
- Southampton -189 vs. Norwich City +475 Draw +320
Saturday, February 26
- Leeds United +260 vs. Tottenham Hotspur-106 Draw +265
- Brighton & Hove Albion +125 vs. Aston Villa +215 Draw +230
- Crystal Palace -112 vs. Burnley +300 Draw +250
- Manchester United -334 vs. Watford +800 Draw +425
- Brentford +140 vs. Newcastle United +190 Draw +225
- Everton +900 vs. Manchester City -358 Draw +450
Sunday, February 27
- West Ham +105 vs. Wolverhampton +275 Draw +225
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