Using an immortal Scottish swordsman to slay Manchester City

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HEADS UP

For the 999th time this season, Liverpool have the joyless task of trying to put pressure on Manchester City by winning a game of football, before having all hope extinguished when City make a crucial match look like a stroll to the off-licence to pick up a six-pack of Purple Tin a couple of days later. You see, Jürgen Klopp’s side face Huddersfield on Friday night with the chance to go two points clear of City, who take on Dwight McNeil +10 on Sunday. And while creatively-challenged types such as The Fiver have struggled to come up with a title-race film analogy better than that of Liverpool playing the role of a clanking Arnie in Terminator 2 gamely trying to get the better of Pep’s super-slick T-1000, Klopp has rewound the clock to 1986 and reminded readers of a certain age of Christopher Lambert’s finest hour.

“[The title race] is like Highlander. Only one of us will be there at the end,” roared Klopp, missing an open goal by not tearing off his shirt, unsheathing a magic weapon and tooting the famous tagline. Unfortunately for Klopp, there does not appear to be an immortal Scottish swordsman under his power to help slay Manchester City, unless Andy Robertson has more hidden talents than he lets on and can magically transform himself into a Burnley striker on Sunday.

Never ones to get carried away, Liverpool fans have been pinning their hopes on Ashley Barnes instead. With ever fainter hope in their hearts, thousands of supporters have changed their profile pictures on Social Media Disgrace Twitter to that of the burly Burnley frontman because that’s obviously going to help him score. Mind you, Burnley aren’t a bad team to put their faith in. OK, let’s ignore the fact they’ve been beaten 5-0 twice by City this season and focus on the 1-1 draw at Turf Moor last term instead. That would be enough for Liverpool to stay top if they can beat a Huddersfield team that have been so staggeringly inept under Jan Siewert they may now be regretting not giving the job to Martin from Wakefield. Some bookies even have the Terriers at 50-1 to win – the longest odds for any Premier League match ever.

A Terriers win would be a more fantastical tale than Highlander, and that ends with Lambert’s character, Connor MacLeod, beheading his nemesis in Queens, New York and receiving mind-reading powers during what is called The Quickening, which he then promises to use to encourage world peace. Over to you Huddersfield.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“My kids never go to [Big Cup] games but they want to go to this one” – Luis Suárez settles down for a chat with Sid Lowe about all things Barcelona and Liverpool.

Your man, Luis.
Your man, Luis. Photograph: Pablo Garcia

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If you haven’t got your hearing gear around it yet, here’s Football Weekly Extra.

FIVER LETTERS

“Seeing the line-up of the PFA men’s Team of the Year (yesterday’s Fiver), I was surprised to see that Morris-Dancing Fiver didn’t get a look in by his peers. Usually, he makes the England squad, but isn’t good enough to make the PFA Team. What does that say about those who pick the England team or these peers who pick the PFA Team? I think that harrumph coming from the normally mild-mannered Eden Hazard might be in response to this, as well as his omission” – Nigel Assam.

“A few weeks ago many of us scoffed at the suggestions by Paul Ince that any former Manchester United player could replicate what Ole Gunnar Solskjær has done at Old Trafford. Yet given the way United have played over the past few games, it is now entirely conceivable that Ince, Steve Bruce or Ailsa from Home and Away could have achieved the same run of form. Clearly the Guv’nor was just ahead of his time” – Ed Taylor.

“Contrary to Noble Francis’s approval of Roy Keane’s punditry (yesterday’s Fiver letters), the unending tyranny of Keane’s unending tyranny has, itself, become dull and tired. Even Spinal Tap included quieter, more subtle parts between those where the volume was turned up to 11” – David Wall.

“Re: Éric Bauthéac’s penalty (yesterday’s Bits and Bobs). Classic Bauthéac, he likes to fair dink-em” – Trevor Coleman.

Send your letters to the.boss@theguardian.com. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is Nigel Assam.

NEWS, BITS AND BOBS

Emiliano Sala’s father has died, three months after the footballer was killed in a plane crash in the English Channel.

Bolton players will refuse to play their Championship match against Brentford on Saturday if they are not paid for March by the close of Friday.

Here’s your PFA Women’s Team of the Year.

Spoiler!
Spoiler! Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

We’re in a world where David de Gea’s place in the Manchester United team is being questioned. “Going through tough patches is part of a footballer’s career and David will be fine,” cheered Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

Leicester City are sniffing around €20m-rated Atalanta striker Andrea Petagna, who’s currently banging them in on loan at Spal.

Former Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe is standing in the European elections for the Brex1t Party.

And in more heartwarming news, leading European clubs are looking at a Big Cup revamp that would include more matches, plus some promotion and relegation.

STILL WANT MORE?

Yes, Getafe really might be on their way to Big Cup, shouts an excitable Sid Lowe.

Stuart James gets his natter on with Leyton Orient’s Jobi McAnuff.

Football League-bound, earlier.
Football League-bound, earlier. Photograph: Jill Mead/The Guardian

Come get your 10 Premier League talking points while they’re mildly lukewarm.

Eni Aluko on the Premier League title race.

Barney Ronay on the Bernardo principle. Also features the description of Alexis Sánchez as “like a sad, lost penguin wandering the tundra, dreaming of krill”.

David Squires on Robbie Fowler’s flamin’ new A-League gig.

Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!

‘I AM THE MESSAGE CENTRE, LOCAL AND DIRECT’