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Premier League Matchday 18: Covid-hit Spurs host in-form Reds
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Cian Cheesbrough
LiveScore
Antonio Conte and Jurgen Klopp come face to face on Sunday
Antonio Conte and Jurgen Klopp come face to face on Sunday

Surges in coronavirus cases mean there are just five Premier League games this weekend — but all three title contenders are still in action.

Leaders Manchester City are away at Newcastle, Chelsea will hope to keep pace when they face Wolves and Liverpool make a trip to London as they come up against Tottenham.

Aston Villa vs Burnley (Saturday, 3pm)

Saturday’s only 3pm kick-off sees Aston Villa look to continue their fine form under Steven Gerrard when they host Burnley.

The Villans have won four games out of six since their new man took over — picking up more points (12) than they did in their first 11 games of the season under former boss Dean Smith.

The Clarets have seen two of their last five matches postponed due to bad weather and coronavirus — they are winless in the last five they have played.

Villa have failed to find the net in just one of their last 14 home league games, while Sean Dyche’s side are hoping to end a run of three without scoring.

Danny Ings has scored in each of his last three appearances against former club Burnley, while opposing No9 Chris Wood has four in his previous five starts against the Midlands outfit.

Danny Ings has scored in his last three games against former club Burnley
Danny Ings has scored in his last three games against former club Burnley

Leeds vs Arsenal (Saturday, 5.30pm, Sky Sports)

Two sides with differing fortunes face off in the late kick-off on Saturday as Leeds host Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta’s men climbed into the top four for the first time this season with victory over West Ham, while Leeds are recovering from a 7-0 drubbing by City on Tuesday.

But recent home and away form paints a different picture with the Whites unbeaten in their last five league games at Elland Road and Arsenal losing three on the bounce away from North London.

But the Gunners are unbeaten against Leeds in their last 10 Premier League games (eight wins, two draws) with the Yorkshire club’s last victory coming in a 3-2 win at Highbury back in May 2003.

Arsenal’s young duo Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe are driving their success this season.

The academy graduates have assisted each other six times in the Premier League — the second-most for a duo aged 21 or under behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney (eight).

Buyako Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have formed a formidable attacking partnership
Buyako Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have formed a formidable attacking partnership

Newcastle vs Manchester City (Sunday, 2pm, Sky Sports)

City have been ruthless in recording seven straight Premier League victories — and hopes of struggling Newcastle ending that run look slim.

Pep Guardiola’s men have won 33 Premier League games in 2021 — one more would see them set a new top-flight record for wins in a calendar year.

A 3-1 defeat by Liverpool on Thursday left Eddie Howe’s Magpies still three points off safety having played more games than the two sides directly above them. 

To make matters worse, they have a miserable record against City after recording just one win in their last 27 meetings with the league leaders (four draws, 22 defeats), while Howe has lost all 10 of his previous league meetings with the Citizens.

The Geordies finally won a game this season in their last home encounter — a 1-0 triumph over Burnley ­— they have not won back-to-back home games in nearly two years.

City winger Riyad Mahrez is one short of 50 goals in all competitions for the league champions.

Only Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling have more since he moved to the Etihad in 2018.

Riyad Mahrez is in impressive form for Manchester City this term
Riyad Mahrez is in impressive form for Manchester City this term

Wolves vs Chelsea (Sunday, 2pm)

Chelsea lost yet more ground in the title race on Thursday night as they were held to a 1-1 draw with Everton so cannot afford another slip up against Wolves.

The Blues have failed to win four of their last six games in all competitions and now find themselves four points off leaders City.

Their previous form against Wolves is indifferent, having lost three of their last five league games at Molineux.

Bruno Lage’s men have scored just two goals in their last seven Premier League clashes, so the fact that Chelsea have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last five league games will be welcome news.

It is Chelsea’s longest run without a shut-out in the league under Thomas Tuchel.

Chelsea must avoid dropping any points in the title race after being held by Everton on Thursday
Chelsea must avoid dropping any points in the title race after being held by Everton on Thursday

Tottenham vs Liverpool (Sunday, 4.30pm, Sky Sports)

Coronavirus-hit Spurs will hope to end their long wait for game time in the weekend’s final scheduled match against a Liverpool side in red-hot form after eight straight wins in all competitions.

The hosts have been out of action since December 5 due to a coronavirus outbreak but extra preparation time could hand them a boost over Jurgen Klopp's side, who defeated Newcastle on Thursday.

Spurs have a worrying record against the visitors, having won just one of their last 17 encounters and losing their previous six.

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 34 league games in the month of December, their last defeat coming in a 4-3 loss to Bournemouth in 2016 — it is the longest run any side has had in a specific month in the competition.

Mohamed Salah has either scored or assisted in in his last 15 league games — another goal involvement will set a new Premier League record.

Follow each game with our unbeatable live scores service. Simply tap the Scores tab on the web or download the LiveScore app from the App Store for iOS devices or Google Play for Android.

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