THE Premier League returns for its final stretch and it’s getting more serious than a no-deal Brexit.

But let’s get one thing straight – whoever from Manchester City or Liverpool fails to win the title have not bottled anything. There will be rival fans that say otherwise but you can’t fix stupid, not even with duct tape. ffffffffffff

This is City’s greatest side making a strong argument for being the best this country has ever seen – up there with Arsenal’s Invincibles, Manchester United’s Treble-winning 1999 side and Liverpool’s kings of England and Europe in the 70s and 80s.

If Jurgen Klopp gets the better of this lot to bring the Kop their long-awaited 19th title he would have achieved a mini miracle.

If Pep Guardiola wins back-to-back titles to emulate Sir Alex Ferguson’s United teams and Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea champions he will be in an elite group of three. If they win the Quadruple he’s out there on his own.

Fans of many other clubs would love to see Liverpool go another year without winning their nineteenth title – the ludicrous dig that they have never won the Premier League is all they have on the five-time champions of Europe.

But if you were to follow the rule that a simple change of name puts clubs back to zero then I’m afraid Man United have only won the Emirates FA Cup once – those 11 others like the AXA and Littlewoods versions don’t count I’m afraid.

Oh and those PremierSHIP titles – chalk them off and they are down to just four Premier League titles. Not so funny now eh Mancunians and Guildfordians!

It’s been a good international break for both the top two. City saw key man Raheem Sterling score his first hat-trick for England so his confidence is sky-high, while the brilliant trio of Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy are all nearing full fitness.

Klopp & Co were 18 points behind City at this point last season, while they are two points ahead now, albeit with Guardiola’s side having a game in hand.

That is an impressive swing by the Reds who have a much tougher game this weekend than their title rivals as they welcome Tottenham to Anfield, while City go to relegation fodder Fulham.

Liverpool have been handed a double boost of their own with Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both returning to training.

While Virgil van Dijk is the club’s No 1 centre-back the thoroughbred Dutchman has looked at his best when the young Englishman is beside him, which has not been the case since early December when Gomez broke his leg.

The Ox has been out even longer and was not expected to play at all this season after a super-serious, multiple ligament knee injury he picked up on April 24.

The Spurs game will come too soon for both but having them for the run-in can only be a positive thing for the Merseysiders.

IT’S time we talked about Alexis.

Sanchez’s miserable time at Old Trafford plumbed new depths when even a change of manager failed to change his fortunes and he promptly picked up his 100th injury as a Manchester United player.

Every player at Old Trafford bar he, Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata have been transformed since happy, smiley Ole replaced dour, grimacing Jose.

Fellaini has already been shipped out to the delight of most United fans, while Mata’s handsome face, gorgeous beard and nice guy persona is affording him more time to turn it around under the new regime.

But Sanchez . . . oh Sanchez. From the moment he tinkled the ivories in that cringe-inducing welcome video and promptly took the place of fan favourite Anthony Martial it has gone from bad to worse to terrible for the Chilean.

It’s hard to think of a player who has swapped top clubs and suffered a decline so steep – it’s like Fernando Torres on steroids.

His £505,000 a week wages unsurprisingly raised more than a few eyebrows in the changing room. So far each goal he has scored – five in 38 appearances – has cost the club around £5.7million a pop.

Incredibly Sanchez has become an even bigger financial burden on United than anyone expected. His inflated wages are now being demanded by David De Gea and the Spanish keeper has the club over a barrel. He has been United’s best player for six years now and is their only truly world-class player – and long-time suitors Real Madrid are once again fluttering their eyelashes in his direction.

On the pitch in an Arsenal shirt the old Sanchez looked as happy as a tick on a fat dog – in the red and black of United he looks so clumsy he could trip over a cordless phone.

Leaked stories that only three Spanish-speaking team-mates talk to him, coaches overheard saying he’s ‘a lost cause’ and that he is bored and lonely in Manchester hints further at strife.

The problem both he and United have is Sanchez is 30 with a lot of miles in those legs since he made his debut in 2005 and the few clubs that can afford him – Real Madrid, former club Barcelona, Man City and Paris Saint-Germain – don’t want him.

United were cock-a-hoop when they signed him from under the noses of their noisy neighbours. They thought they were getting a superstar – the finished article. But just because a chicken has wings don’t mean it can fly.

AND finally watching this England side must have been like being a United fan in the early 90s.

Oh Lee Sharpe – he’s young, he’s handsome, he’s rather decent. Ooh Ryan Giggs – he’s young, he’s hairy, he’s rather bloody good. Ooooh David Beckham – he’s young, damn he’s gorgeous and bloody great.

For Sharpe read Raheem Sterling, for Giggs it is Jadon Sancho and Declan Rice for Becks. Every emerging player seems to get better and better and Gareth Southgate’s young squad is now packed with exciting talent.

The Czech Republic and Montenegro were both swept aside in the recent Euro 2020 qualifiers with panache, verve and skill with 10 goals scored and just one conceded.

Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit but I’m really starting to believe we might actually win a major tournament soon. Right I’m off to see a therapist or perhaps just a long lie-down is required!

Tweet @BabsDouglasBP

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