This season’s Premier League title race looks set to go to the wire. With seven fixtures remaining, just one point separates the division’s top two teams. In the blue corner you have defending champions Manchester City, who are top with 74 points from 31 games. In the red corner is Liverpool, who are second with 73 points from the same number of matches played.
In Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash at the Etihad Stadium, the title rivals played out a “classic” 2-2 draw, said Phil McNulty on the BBC. The meeting between “the country’s two outstanding sides” lived up to its pre-match billing and “in the end there was nothing to separate them, with the destination of the title still hanging in the balance”.
City and Liverpool have been “involved in some epic battles” in recent seasons, in particular in 2018-19 when City pipped their rivals to the title by a single point, said AFP. Expect another thrilling end to this season’s main club competitions. The next instalment comes on Saturday in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. “This time they know there cannot be a draw, with Liverpool’s bid for an unprecedented quadruple and City’s treble chase on the line.”
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There could even be the possibility of a Uefa Champions League final featuring the two teams. “For many, such a match-up would merely confirm what we already know – they are the best two sides not only in England but also in Europe.
What Guardiola and Klopp said after the 2-2 draw
Praising his opponents as “a joy to watch”, City head coach Pep Guardiola said his side have given Liverpool “a life” in the title race, The Guardian reported. The Spaniard believes City will need to win all of their remaining matches if they are to retain the championship.
“We know now that one game and a dropped result, then we will not be champions,” he said. “Will it be easy? Absolutely not but it will be difficult for them too. Seven games in the Premier League is a lot [to win] – they are tough games and they have tough games.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insisted his team would “not stop chasing” the champions and compared the rivalry to two heavyweight boxers. “We can describe it like a boxing fight,” the German said. “Both arms down for a second and you get a massive knock. You can shake it off a bit and then the next knock is coming from the other team. Now it is seven games to go for both teams. We will not stop chasing now. That is clear.”
Pundit predictions: who will win the title?
Before the start of the season, City, Chelsea and Liverpool were the favourites to win the Premier League. Now it’s a two-horse race. Here we look at the pundit predictions for the title with seven matches remaining.
The “enthralling” 2-2 draw leaves the title race “finely poised as we enter the final six weeks of the campaign”, said the Daily Mail. The paper’s Sportsmail team has “looked into its crystal ball” to predict the outcome of each side’s remaining fixtures. They tip Man City to get six wins and one draw from their seven matches to finish with 93 points. However, the Mail predicts that it will be Liverpool who end up as champions, winning their remaining seven games and finishing with 94 points – just one more than City.
In a manner “neither of these formidable teams are likely to”, “we’ve bottled it a bit”, said Dom Farrell on The Sporting News, which has also predicted the results of the key fixtures. “We have each of City and Liverpool winning six and drawing one of the remaining games and Guardiola claiming his fourth title in five seasons by the solitary point advantage in place today.”
It should be a title race that will “go down in top-flight folklore”, said Matt Whiley on Planet Sport. After looking at the fixtures and “using some good old-fashioned stats”, he predicts Liverpool to pip Manchester City to the title by two points.
There are “five key games” that will decide who becomes champions, said the i news site. The key clashes will be Liverpool’s home fixtures against Manchester United and Tottenham and City’s away matches at Leeds and West Ham and their home game against Aston Villa.
According to Oddschecker.com, the bookies have Man City as 4/9 favourites to win the Premier League while Liverpool are priced at 15/8.
Premier League run-in: which fixtures are left?
The rest of Man City’s league fixtures – four at home and three away – “seems favourable in comparison to Liverpool’s”, said Jeorge Bird on The Sporting News. However, in their final three matches City come up against “complicated” opponents: Newcastle, West Ham and Aston Villa. Liverpool “clearly have a tougher run-in than City” and it “certainly won’t be easy” for Klopp’s team. They still have to play Man Utd, Spurs and Merseyside rivals Everton.
Man City’s remaining Premier League fixtures
|Date||Opponent||Home or away|
|20 April||Brighton & Hove Albion||Home|
|30 April||Leeds United||Away|
|8 May||Newcastle United||Home|
|15 May||West Ham United||Away|
|22 May||Aston Villa||Home|
Liverpool’s remaining Premier League fixtures
|Date||Opponent||Home or away|
|19 April||Man Utd||Home|
|30 April||Newcastle United||Away|
|7 May||Tottenham Hotspur||Home|
|10 May||Aston Villa||Away|
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