Manchester City were busy winning the League Cup at the weekend, and you thought that would be an incentive Liverpool would take when they headed to Old Trafford. Instead, they came out with a draw. The result saw them return to the summit, but it was more “two points dropped” than “one point gained”.
Pep Guardiola’s side are able to take advantage of Liverpool slipping up when they take on West Ham on Wednesday, whilst Jurgen Klopp’s side faces Watford at the same time.
With 11 games to go, neither side can afford to drop further points from here on in, so without further ado, let’s see what’s in store for both sides.
Liverpool – W20 D6 L1
Tottenham Hotspur (H)
Cardiff City (A)
Huddersfield Town (H)
Newcastle United (A)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (H)
Among their remaining games, there are some tough fixtures, along with a few “winnable” (saying it quietly) matches.
The key games for me (yours can differ) would be Chelsea at home – this was the game where they slipped up five years ago, so they wouldn’t want to do that again!
I’ve also picked out Newcastle United away. Cast your mind back to the 1995/96 season. Liverpool had just beaten a Newcastle United side going for the title, thus handing a resilient Manchester United side a massive incentive. Now fast forward to this year. The memory of THAT defeat will be fresh in the minds of older fans, so the home will be rallying on the Magpies to inflict revenge on what happened 23 years ago.
Manchester City – W21 D2 L4
West Ham United (H)
Cardiff City (A)
Crystal Palace (A)
Tottenham Hotspur (H)
Manchester United (A)
Leicester City (H)
Brighton & Hove Albion (A)
Like Liverpool’s run-in, its best if I used the term “winnable” quietly as there can still be twists and turns!
Unlike Liverpool though, City still have other tournaments such as the FA Cup as they go for a historic quadruple (I don’t think its possible, but others think otherwise).
Of all their remaining games, one I’ve picked out is the Manchester derby. Last season, Manchester City had the opportunity to wrap up the title at home against their local rivals – what a game to do it in too, but United had other ideas. Still, City went on to win the league, but doing it in a derby game like Arsenal did all those years ago would’ve been so sweet!
Should they remain within touching distance of back-to-back titles, and Liverpool somehow trip up, they’ll once again be in with a chance of wrapping up the title in a derby, but this time, on enemy territory. Just imagine the scenes if the Citizens win the league at Old Trafford?! One can dream…
Back to Liverpool, it would appear that they haven’t been pushing as much in the cups in order to aide their title run. As “callous” as it seems, in a way, it does make sense as they’d want to play in fewer fixtures so that player fatigue doesn’t become an issue. But are they “disrespecting” the cups? That’s another discussion for another day…
As Liverpool have fewer fixtures to worry about, I feel they have the upper hand, but they’ve been here before, and we all know what happened next.
The test for Manchester City will be whether they can navigate their way to a fourth title whilst fighting on multiple cylinders. Can they achieve the impossible?
I’ve been asked where the title will be won and lost. There seem to be question marks around Liverpool, but not so much around Manchester City. We’d all like for the title race to go down to the final day like it did in 2012, but I don’t think that’ll be the case this time around.
You can argue that Liverpool have the edge as they don’t have as many fixtures coming up, but that was thought to be the case five years ago, but it ultimately wasn’t.
For that reason, I believe City have the edge as they have more competition driving them on.
Can Manchester City claim their fourth title, or will Liverpool finally win a first Premier League era title?