The 2021/22 season of the English top-flight, Premier League, started nine months ago. In these nine months, every team has played around 35-36 matches, but we still don’t know which team will lift the trophy at the end of the season and will occupy the throne of the English champions.
What we do know, however, is which teams are competing for the title. The usual suspects who have been part of a cat-and-mouse chase for a while now have emerged as the contenders for the crown this time as well. Manchester City, the defending champions, and Liverpool, the challengers, are preparing to treat the fans with a grandstand finish to the title race – one that is likely to be decided in the very last game of the season.
As of now, Manchester City is looking likely to win the title, which will be their eighth overall title and fourth in five seasons. They are currently placed at the top of the standings with 86 points to their name, having won 27 of their 35 matches.
On the other hand, Liverpool are now three points adrift after drawing 1-1 against Tottenham Hotspur in their last fixture. Jurgen Klopp’s side has won 25 of their 35 matches and they need to win all of their remaining fixtures to give themselves an outside chance of making it to the top.
Liverpool have won this title 19 times in the past, and if they can make it 20, they will join Manchester United at the top of the all-time leaderboard in terms of English first division league titles.
REMAINING FIXTURES OF TITLE CONTENDERS
Manchester City – Wolverhampton Wanderers (8th), West Ham United (7th), Aston Villa (11th)
It seems that whatever algorithm drafted the 2021/22 Premier League fixtures knew well that we will arrive at such a situation in May. Hence, two of Manchester City and Liverpool’s opponents are the same with only one being a differentiating factor.
The Sky Blues will play their next fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers and it should be a comfortable victory for them given that Bruno Lage’s team has accumulated only one point from their last four league fixtures.
The challenge will be a lot tougher when they face West Ham United in their penultimate fixture, as among their three remaining opponents, the Hammers are the only team who are currently occupying a European slot. They are placed seventh which will earn them a place in the UEFA Europa Conference League.
However, David Moyes’ team is battling for a Europa League spot with Manchester United and they will go all guns blazing in this fixture. City’s last game, again, is unlikely to be too big of a hassle as they will face Aston Villa – a team currently placed in the 11th position.
Liverpool – Aston Villa (11th), Southampton (15th), Wolverhampton Wanderers (8th)
After drawing their last fixture, it is imperative for Liverpool to win their next two matches to at least take the title race to the final round on 22nd May where anything could happen. In their next match, they will face a Liverpool legend in Steven Gerrard, who will be in the home team’s dugout.
Gerrard’s Aston Villa might not be a part of the top 10 now but they could be if they can stun the Reds, and though it seems unlikely, it also has to be taken into consideration that the Villans have won their last two league fixtures.
Liverpool’s penultimate game is against Southampton and this is where Jurgen Klopp’s men could have it easy as the Saints are effectively out of relegation and will not have much to play for while their current form is horrendous.
Current form is not something that Liverpool’s last opponent, Wolverhampton Wanderers will be proud of either. However, if by then a scenario arrives where Wolves are indeed fighting for a place in European competition, all of their players will certainly be ready to put their bodies on the line.
There is not much to differentiate between these two teams on the basis of recent results as they both have rarely put a foot wrong. Manchester City is unbeaten in their last nine Premier League fixtures, while Liverpool’s last league defeat came way back in December of last year.
However, the Reds have looked slightly less intimidating as compared to their fellow title contenders. The Sky Blues have won all of their last four matches where they have scored 17 goals and have conceded only one. On the other hand, Liverpool have drawn two of their last five matches.
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