Villa in dogfight to stay in EPL

Quick quiz. How many know Prince William is the president of the English FA?

That explains why the Duke of Cambridge is normally at the FA Cup final to present the trophy to the winning captain.

Did you also know he supports Aston Villa, who sadly for him, lost in the League Cup final a week ago to Manchester City?

It was doubly sad as he actually gave the team a pep talk before the game. Maybe having the royal speak to them jinxed the Villains!

Apart from that, the prince mostly stays silent about football issues or for that matter, about the performance of Villa, which is fighting to stay in the Premier League.

No outbursts about the team’s dismal season or criticising the players for lacklustre performances.

Over in Malaysia, perhaps the best known Aston Villa fan is Astro’s Chief of Sports, Lee Choong Khay, or fondly known as CK Lee.

Lee is a passionate Villan who has made no secret of his love for the 1982 European Champions.

At the start of the season, during the launch of the ‘Kickstart Your Football Dreams’ campaign, a collaboration between Astro and Coca-Cola, Lee spoke about how delighted he was Villa made it back to the top flight.

Ever the realist, Lee said his one wish for the season was for the club to stay in the Premier League and then build on it.

That isn’t going to be easy as Villa is second from the bottom going into the final quarter of the season albeit with a game in hand.

Villa visits Leicester on Tuesday morning (Malaysian time) and will need Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings to be at their best if it is to remain among the big boys.

The club can take heart from its performance at Wembley where it pushed City all the way and even nearly nicked an equaliser.

The display should galvanise the squad to fight its way out of the relegation zone.

As it stands, Norwich looks doomed with only 21 points, four behind Villa.

Bournemouth, Watford and West Ham are the rest of the bottom five with all three on 27 points.

Brighton (28), Newcastle (32) and even Southampton (34) are technically still not safe.

At the top, Liverpool kicks off the weekend with a home game against Bournemouth today (8.30pm).

Liverpool is reeling following back-to-back losses to Watford in the league and Chelsea in the FA Cup but still holds a commanding 22-point lead.

Defending champion Manchester City travels to neighbour United on a high after its League Cup victory and determined to chase down Liverpool until the end.

EPL fixtures (Malaysian time)

Liverpool vs Bournemouth (8.30pm)
Wolves vs Brighton (11pm)
Arsenal vs West Ham (11pm)
Southampton vs Newcastle (11pm)
Sheffield United vs Norwich (11pm)
Crystal Palace vs Watford (11pm)

Burnley vs Tottenham (1.30am)
Chelsea vs Everton (10pm)

Manchester United vs Manchester City (12.30am)

Leicester vs Aston Villa (4am)

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