Fresh Liverpool look to extend commanding lead



London ) -By Simon Cambers - Liverpool return from their brief winter break this weekend, looking to extend their huge lead at the top of the Premier League.

Victory at bottom side Norwich on Saturday would put them at least 24 points clear at the top, closing in on their first top-flight title since 1990.



No one at Anfield will admit that the title is in the bag but it would take an unprecedented collapse to deny them.
The two-week break in matches means manager Juergen Klopp should have a full squad from which to choose, including Sadio Mane, who returned to training this week following a hamstring injury.
Midfielder James Milner may also be back in contention after a hamstring injury, the former England player staying at the club’s Melwood training ground to work on his fitness, rather than take a holiday.
One of those who did venture further afield was goalkeeper Alisson, who went home to Brazil for some warmth and to visit family.
"I've been in Brazil and I spent time to see my brother," Alisson told Liverpool’s website.
"Obviously you cannot stop, you need to keep training to keep fit and then I did some work with him. It's nice to have sunshine."
Alisson has been a key figure in Liverpool’s stunning unbeaten run, which now stands at 42 matches, with just two points dropped from a possible 75 in their 25 matches this season.
Success tends to produce happy players but the Brazilian said it also works the other way around.
"We are enjoying this time because it's good to be on the top. We work for this - to be on the top in a top level," he said.
"We are enjoying it a lot. For winning you need to enjoy the game. The way we play, you need to enjoy that because if you don't enjoy that then you cannot play all the games with our intensity. We try to do our best and be happy on the pitch.
"In Brazil we always say that you need to enjoy the game to be happy playing football because football is happiness. Of course you need to be serious because you are in a competition of a high level, but you need to enjoy."
Norwich are battling for their lives, six points adrift at the bottom of the table and seven short of safety.
With games against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester and Tottenham to follow the visit of Liverpool, time is running out for Daniel Farke’s side.
But Alisson said Liverpool will take nothing for granted on Saturday.
"We are expecting a tough game. Every game in the Premier League - no matter if you are top or bottom - always is a difficult game," he said.
"We need to prepare ourselves in the best way that we can in this week and be ready for everything."
With neither Watford or West Ham United - the two other sides in the bottom three - in action this weekend, Aston Villa could pull away from trouble if they beat Tottenham.
Leicester can go above champions Manchester City into second if they win at Wolves while Chelsea will be hoping to cement fourth place as they host Manchester United, who are still chasing a European spot.
Arsenal host Newcastle and Southampton welcome Burnley in the weekend’s other matches.

 


Thursday, February 13th 2020
By Simon Cambers
           


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