PREMIER LEAGUE

Liverpool look for Christmas No 1 spot to start hectic festive period

Liverpool look for Christmas No 1 spot to start hectic festive period

JASON REED

REUTERS

Victory for Liverpool at Wolves on Friday would ensure Klopp's side top spot in the Premier League at Christmas.

No trophies are won in December but Liverpool will be hoping to make their Christmas dinner taste that little bit better by ensuring they are top of the table going into the festive period.

Victory at Wolves on Friday would secure top spot for Juergen Klopp's side at Christmas, whatever Manchester City do against Crystal Palace 24 hours later.

It starts a frantic period of five games in 18 days for Liverpool which includes a trip to City on January 3 and concludes at Wolves again in the FA Cup four days later.

Six straight wins have taken Liverpool into a one-point lead over City at the top and raised hope at Anfield of a first league title since 1990.

Liverpool's head coach Juergen Klopp

But with City still strong, Klopp is determined to focus only on winning each match rather than hoping that the chasing pack slip up.

"So many things can happen; why should we think about one opponent like we are the only ones who can stop City?" asked Klopp. It's not like that, this season looks completely different. Only City can stop City, to be honest. We have to play our own game and try to get as many points as possible, that's actually all."

James Milner is likely to be fit after missing last weekend's win over Manchester United while Liverpool will wait on the fitness of Trent Alexander-Arnold before finalizing their line-up.

Wolves go into the match on the back of three straight league wins, including one over fourth-placed Chelsea, putting them seventh in the table.

Xherdan Shaqiri of Liverpool

The form of former Liverpool defender Conor Coady has been integral to Wolves' success and the centre back is convinced they can stop the power of the Liverpool attack while continuing to play their own game.

"We won't change no matter who we're playing," he told a local newspaper. "We'll have no fear and we'll play to win the game.

"Liverpool have got a brilliant team but we'll be ready for them. The whole club is high on confidence, supporters, players, everyone. We'll be fearless."

Manchester City take on Palace at The Etihad, ready to capitalize on any slip-up from Liverpool.

Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is set to play as he steps up his fitness after returning from injury while manager Pep Guardiola will rotate his side after making eight changes in his team's midweek League Cup outing.

Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City

Third-placed Tottenham travel to Everton on Sunday while fourth-placed Chelsea host Leicester, a match that could see them leapfrog Spurs into third for 24 hours.

But much of the attention this weekend will be on Manchester United and their new caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Cardiff City's manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The Norwegian, who has replaced Jose Mourinho until the end of the season, takes United to Cardiff, the club he managed briefly in 2014 when he managed just three wins out of 18.

With an expensive squad at his disposal, Solskjaer will be expected to improve United, starting with victory at his former club.

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