Chelsea’s Willian kicks the ball during the UEFA Europa League quarterfinal soccer match between Slavia Prague and Chelsea on April 11, 2019.
Chelsea’s Willian kicks the ball during the UEFA Europa League quarterfinal soccer match between Slavia Prague and Chelsea on April 11, 2019.|Petr David Josek | Associated Press
Soccer

Soccer: Miller picks action from the Premier League, France Ligue 1, Germany Bundesliga, and the Portugal Primeira League

Sean Miller

Sean Miller

THIS DOES NOT (expletive deleted) SLIP NOW!

Those were the famous words of Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard five years ago, as his team looked like it would finally win its first Premier League title since the new league started in 1992.

But fate stepped in the following week, on April 27: facing Chelsea, Gerrard slipped at the end of the first half, allowing Demba Ba to score. Chelsea would go on to win the match 2-0, and watched the following week as Liverpool blew a 3-0 lead in the final 20 minutes to Crystal Palace, allowing Manchester City to storm back and win the title from an eight-point deficit.

So here we are in 2019, with Liverpool ahead of Manchester City by two points in the Premier League table, and both teams in action Sunday. As fate would have it, the teams face the same opponents as they did that weekend five years ago: Manchester City visits Crystal Palace in the early match, and Liverpool hosts Chelsea in the second fixture.

Crystal Palace stunned City at the Etihad in December, which at the time looked like it all but handed the title to Liverpool. But that loss, followed three days later by a defeat to Leicester City, was the impetus for a revival. City is 22-2-1 in all competitions since Boxing Day.

Crystal Palace comes into the match having lost five of eight, including three of four at home, with the lone won against relegated Huddersfield Town. Even with the UEFA Champions League match Wednesday against Tottenham, City will not miss its chance here to go back to the top of the table.

All the pressure will be on Liverpool, against a much improved Chelsea side battling for a top four spot> Liverpool has just one win in its last seven matches with the Blues, and has already lost at home in the League Cup this season in September, followed three days later by a draw. All four draw in the last three years have been 1-1.

Liverpool has a game in hand on the Citizens, much like in 2014. Will history repeat itself?

***

There are other big matches around Europe that are key to the title, or European, hopes of teams.

In Germany, Bayern Munich is back down in second place, but gets a chance to face a 10th place Fortuna Dusseldorf side with a -14 goal differential.

Eintracht Frankfurt, fresh off its trip to Lisbon in the UEFA Europa League quarterfinals, comes home to face 15th place Augsburg. Frankfurt can move four points clear of Monchengladbach for the final UEFA Champions League spot.

PSG has low odds at Lille, one of the few times you will see that. PSG can also clinch the title with a victory.

In Portugal, Benfica needs to win to go back into first place. It faces a Setubal side that it has beaten five straight times at home by a combined 16-1.

ENGLAND PREMIER LEAGUE

Crystal Palace (+800) vs. Manchester City (-300), draw (+400), 9:05 a.m. (NBC Sports and Fubo.tv)
THE PICKS:
Manchester City ML (-300)
Manchester City -1 (-111)
Manchester City to score 2+ goals (-275)

Liverpool (-137) vs. Chelsea (+380), draw (+275), 11:30 a.m. (NBC Sports and Fubo.tv)
THE PICK:
Double chance Chelsea or draw (+110)

FRANCE LIGUE 1

Lille (+310) vs. PSG (-125), draw (+280), 3 p.m. (beIN Sport and Fubo.tv)
THE PICK:
PSG ML (-125)

GERMANY BUNDESLIGA

Eintracht Frankfurt (-188) vs. Augsburg (+500), draw (+333), 12 p.m. (FS 1 and Fubo.tv)
THE PICKS:
Eintracht Frankfurt ML (-188)
Eintracht Frankfurt 2+ goals (-180)

Fortuna Dusseldorf (+1500), vs. Bayern Munich (-650), draw (+650), 9:30 a.m. (FS1 and Fubo.tv)
THE PICKS:
Bayern Munich ML (-650)
Bayern Munich -1 first half (+180)
Bayern Munich -1 game (-200)

PORTUGAL PRIMEIRA LEAGUE

Benfica (-650) vs. Vitoria Setubal (+1700), 3 p.m. (GOL TV and Fubo.tv)
THE PICKS:
Benfica -1 first half (+225)
Benfica -1 game (-185)
Benfica -2 (+130)
Benfica total goals 2+ (-350)

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