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Title-defining match

Saturday, April 26, 2014

MANCHESTER, England - It takes something pretty special to overshadow Ryan Giggs' first game as manager of Manchester United.

A title-defining match between Liverpool and Chelsea can be described as just that.

Liverpool will eliminate Chelsea from the title race - and move to the brink of a first English championship in 24 years - with a win at Anfield on Sunday in a contest that will capture the world's attention.

The Reds hold a five-point lead over Chelsea with three games remaining, with Manchester City a point further back in third but with a match in hand.

United would usually be in title contention at this stage of the season.

But David Moyes was fired on Tuesday with the team lying seventh and with no chance of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

Giggs, a United great, has taken temporary charge of a team he has graced for 23 years and his first match is against Norwich on Saturday.

Perhaps Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was just trying to lull Liverpool into a false sense of security by saying this week that the Champions League was his priority and he'd prefer to pick a weakened team for the Liverpool match.

All will be discovered in lineup on Sunday.

The timing of the match is unfortunate for Chelsea, coming between the two legs of the Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid.

Mourinho is sure to make changes to give several players a breather, but how many?

Captain John Terry and goalkeeper Petr Cech will definitely miss out after being hurt in Tuesday's first leg.

It all puts Liverpool in a very strong position as Brendan Rodgers' team goes for a 12th straight league win.

A victory for Liverpool and a slip-up by Manchester City at Crystal Palace later Sunday would mean the Reds having a chance to clinch the title with a match to spare.

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