26 Dec 2008

Liverpool eye title as race reaches halfway point

10:34 am on 26 December 2008

The most open Premier League championship race for years reaches its halfway point on Boxing Day with five teams still battling for the title.

Despite drawing three of their last four league matches Liverpool lead the pack going into the two-match holiday programme, in a bid for their first title since 1990.

They're a point ahead of Chelsea, with Aston Villa, champions Manchester United and fifth placed Arsenal on their heels.

Liverpool face Bolton Wanderers at home and then play at Newcastle United two days later.

Chelsea will be without skipper and defender John Terry for their holiday matches against bottom-placed West Bromwich Albion and neighbours Fulham while he serves a three-match suspension.

Aston Villa's first game is at home to Arsenal before they travel to sixth-placed Hull City while Manchester United play at Stoke City on Saturday.