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Guard Of Honour For Champions


Chelsea• Wounded Man United Invade Palace

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has to decide whether to risk Diego Costa, but Oscar is definitely out. With the title already won, he may decide to give a game to the likes of Petr Cech, Filipe Luis and Kurt Zouma.

Liverpool have confirmed that Daniel Sturridge is expected to be out until at least September after a hip operation. Mario Balotelli returned to training this week after a foot injury and Lucas Leiva may also be back in contention.

Chelsea are worthy champions. Liverpool will give them a guard of honour; how galling that will be for Steven Gerrard in particular. Will he ponder his decision not to move to Stamford Bridge at the height of his Anfield career as he stands there to herald the title winners? He has no reason to regret.

Only the Premier League crown has eluded him in an otherwise glittering career. The 2005 Champions League was the highlight. There have been so many outstanding moments and he deserves his place in Liverpool’s pantheon of legends.

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew is expected to restore Glenn Murray and Mile Jedinak to the starting line-up. Fraizer Campbell and Marouane Chamakh are close to a first-team return.

Manchester United’s squad have been hit by a virus but manager Louis van Gaal would not specify which players have been affected. Michael Carrick is out for the season because of a calf injury, but defenders Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Jonny Evans are fit again.

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