With Liverpool only managing a point away at Everton this Sunday evening, Manchester City return to the top of the Premier League having played the same number of games as Merseyside club.
Manchester City are back to playing the total football we saw last season and dominating teams. In stark contrast Liverpool have taken their foot off the pedal and have only won twice in their last seven.
One point now separates the two sides with the next 9 fixtures being all that’s left to decide this seasons Champions. With 27 points up for grabs, we’ll take a look at both sides run-ins and who has the momentum going into the business end of the season.
Jurgen Klopp’s side looked to be good form for the Premier League title when they were 6 points clear back in January. Times have changed dramatically and Liverpool have now drawn five of their last seven games and sit second in the Premier League. This form is not good enough if Liverpool want to be serious contenders for the title, but will their remaining nine fixtures make things a little easier for them?
A visit from Burnley is next, followed by a trip to Fulham, both games that Liverpool must win if they are to keep their title hopes alive. They then host Spurs, one of the two major tests they face in their final 9 games. This will be a big game for both sides as they battle for different achievements this term.
A trip to Southampton follows Spurs and then they play host to a Chelsea side, who like Spurs are in a battle for a top four position, you can see our predictions on who will make the top for here. Once they have faced Chelsea, if you were a Liverpool fan you would be expecting to win all the remaining games. Cardiff, Huddersfield, Newcastle and Wolves make up their last 4 fixtures and on paper, there doesn’t seem to be any contest. These may seem like easy fixtures, but when at least 2 of them are fighting for Premier League survival, a new task is faced.
Liverpool’s fixtures, therefore, do look quite friendly. Just two of the top six remain, and both home fixtures. Liverpool’s form is the point of worry as they will need to break this habit of drawing if they are to keep up with the dominant Manchester City.
Manchester City’s results of the last 2 weeks haven’t really showed their sheer dominance. Pep Guardiola’s men have been playing complete football, and no more proof is needed than the fact that Bournemouth did not have a single shot when the two sides met at the Vitality this weekend. It’s the first time a team hasn’t managed a shot in the Premier League since official stats were recorded.
This form sets them up perfectly for the final run in and their fixtures don’t make things too difficult. Watford, Fulham and Cardiff are the next three and Pep will be expecting a full return of nine points in this time. Crystal Palace are then waiting and whispers of their terrific victory at the Etihad will be floating around I’m sure.
The real test for City comes when they host Spurs and then face a trip to Old Trafford where they face the resurgent Manchester United. These two fixtures are the ones that provide a real threat for their title charge but there is no doubt they will believe they can win them both. On current form, you wouldn’t back anyone to beat them, but anything can happen in the worlds best league.
Once they have manoeuvred these two fixtures, there is only Burnley, Leicester and Brighton standing in their way to retain the Premier League for the first time. Many people have already started to say the title race is over but it certainly isn’t. There are plenty of points to play for and it’s going to make for a great end to the season.
City look to be in a strong position, top of the league and with the better momentum going into the final games. Liverpool’s fixtures do look slightly easier but their form is a concern. The next few weeks will paint a nice picture as we watch it all unfold.