Manchester City, Liverpool or Tottenham? Who Wins the English Premier League?
Last season, the Premier League title race was something of an anti-climax. Manchester City were so dominant, especially over the early period of the season, that they opened up a large gap over all their chasing opponents and that gap was never really closed, meaning that City were able to wrap up the Premier League title with several games to go and without being under any real pressure.
Fast forward into the following season and things are much closer this time around. Liverpool and Tottenham have taken the challenge to City over the course of the season with Spurs just five points behind City, who themselves are just one point behind the current league leaders Liverpool. With fourth placed Arsenal seven points adrift of Tottenham in fourth, it certainly appears as if this is going to be a three-way run in for the title over the remaining 11 games of the season.[featured_offer id=”2416″]
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Before we take a look at the chances of the three teams most heavily involved in the title race, let’s see how things stand in the Premier League table as of Wednesday 27th February at 1pm.
Premier League Table Top 3
Each team has 11 games remaining in the Premier League, with the first of those games taking place this evening as Liverpool face Watford at Anfield, Manchester City take on West Ham at the Etihad and Tottenham face a tricky trip to Stamford Bridge to take on sixth placed Chelsea.
The next thing we need to consider is how the final 11 games for each of the teams shape up and we have provided all that information in the table below:
|Match Number||Liverpool||Manchester City||Tottenham|
|28||V Watford (H)||V West Ham (H)||V Chelsea (A)|
|29||V Everton (A)||V Bournemouth (A)||V Arsenal (H)|
|30||V Burnley (H)||V Watford (H)||V Southampton (A)|
|31||V Fulham (A)||V Fulham (A)||V Crystal Palace (H)|
|32||V Tottenham (H)||V Cardiff City (H)||V Liverpool (A)|
|33||V Southampton (A)||V Crystal Palace (A)||V Brighton (H)|
|34||V Chelsea (H)||V Tottenham (H)||V Huddersfield (H)|
|35||V Cardiff City (A)||V Man Utd (A)||V Man City (A)|
|36||V Huddersfield (H)||V Burnley (A)||V West Ham (H)|
|37||V Newcastle (A)||V Leicester (H)||V Bournemouth (A)|
|38||V Wolves (H)||V Brighton (A)||V Everton (H)|
Liverpool Run In
Liverpool have six home games and five away games left to play and their most difficult games at home will be against Tottenham (3rd) and Chelsea (6th), while the away game against Everton this Saturday is definitely their toughest away fixture.
Outside of these games, Liverpool should be confident of picking up maximum points in all their other games, although that home game against Wolves on the final day could be tricky, especially if the Reds are still in with a shout of the league title.
Man City Run In
City have five home games and six away games left to play, which could be a decisive factor, especially if they continue to pick up injuries to add to those suffered by Aymeric Laporte and Fernandinho last weekend. City have a couple of tricky home games against Tottenham and Leicester to navigate, as well as a number of awkward away games notably against Crystal Palace and Burnley but especially against their fierce rivals Manchester United.
That said, the form City have shown recently is so good that they will be expecting to take almost maximum points from this run of games. However, their success could also be a negative as City could end up playing a further nine games in cup competitions, as well as their league games, which could really test their fitness and resources to the limit at what is an already exhausting time of the season. That may well be a factor if City are to drop points in some games over the coming weeks.
Tottenham Run In
Of the top three, Tottenham have by far the more difficult run in. Although they too have six home games to play, of their five away games, three come against fellow top six opponents in Chelsea, as well as the top two Liverpool and Manchester City. Furthermore, Spurs face London derbies at home against Arsenal, Crystal Palace and West Ham that all have the potential to be banana skin games.
However, it is the games away to Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City which I feel will be the decisive ones as I can’t see Spurs getting too much return from those games and if that is the case, with nine points or so dropped from those games alone, that is going to be far too big a gap on top of the six point gap to Liverpool in first, for Spurs to pull back.
So while I expect this title race to go down to the wire, I feel it may be just Liverpool and Manchester City that are in with a shout come the final day of the season, with Spurs hopes fading just a short time before that.
Other decisive factors
In deciding who will win the league between Liverpool and ManchesterCity, now that we have ruled out Spurs, we need to factor in some other key issues. Injuries could help or hinder either side. Liverpool have a trio of key players, Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all set to return in the coming weeks and Roberto Firmino’s injury doesn’t appear to be too bad.
City though have lost Laporte and Fernandinho this week, two lynchpins of the side and if they lose any more key players then they could struggle. It is notable that their weaker performances have come when Fernandinho especially has been missing from the team.
We’ve already mentioned that City could face more games than Liverpool, but if City go out of both competitions and Liverpool progress in Europe, then the Reds could play more games than City. It may well be each team’s success in other competitions that has a negative, or positive, impact on their league title chase.
Finally, there is the pressure. City know how to win the league having won it multiple times in recent years, but Liverpool are under huge pressure to win their first title since 1990 and that pressure will only build over the weeks. Will the Reds crack under it, or will they be able to battle through it?
One thing is sure, the title race promises to be a close and exciting one and if it does go down to the final day, it could well be a dramatic and devastating end to the season and for us, we expect Liverpool to just pip City to the title.