Just four points separate the top three teams in the league table ahead of Sunday’s huge clash between the Reds and Manuel Pellegrini’s men at Anfield
By Greg Stobart
The enormous clash between Liverpool and Manchester City on Sunday may have been billed as a title decider, but the race to become Premier League champions this season appears almost certain to run until the final day of the season.
Four points separate the top three and I think Liverpool, City and Chelsea will all go into the last weekend with a chance of finishing top of the pile.
While all the hype surrounds Liverpool’s home clashes with City and Chelsea, the destination of the Premier League trophy could just as easily be determined in games when you would ordinarily expect a routine victory. There is no margin for error.
Both Liverpool and City can claim to have the title in their own hands, with the Reds top of the table heading into this weekend and with the momentum behind them having won 10 league games in a row.
The Anfield clashes with City and Chelsea will, most probably, decide whether Brendan Rodgers’ men can put Liverpool back on their perch with an historic first title triumph since 1990.
Liverpool are flying and I cannot see them losing either match at Anfield. I think the home crowd will roar them to victory against City, who have been rattled in away games this season.
If they can beat City and avoid defeat to Chelsea, Rodgers’ side should not have any problems in beating Norwich, Crystal Palace and Newcastle given their formidable attacking power.
City have long been considered favourites for the title and they would probably be comfortably out in front had Sergio Aguero not been injured for most of the second half of the campaign.
Aguero’s return could prove a vital factor in the final weeks of the season but he will be lacking sharpness on Sunday, while I don’t think City’s defence is strong enough to keep Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge at bay.
A draw at Anfield would leave City in pole position to win the league, but their hopes could equally be decided by another trip to Merseyside.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side should stroll to victory in the rest of their remaining matches – and, of course, they have games in hand – except for their visit to Everton on May 3.
City have a poor recent record at Goodison Park – they lost 2-0 there last season – and the Toffees are themselves fighting for a top-four finish. Even Manchester City’s title fate looks set to be decided on the other end of the East Lancs Road.
Chelsea are almost seen as the outsiders but the Londoners have the easiest run-in, with four of their remaining five fixtures against sides currently in the bottom six in the table and facing potential relegation.
Blues fans will be aware that they have struggled in away games when they are expected to win this season, the recent defeat at Crystal Palace one such example.
But Jose Mourinho knows how to grind out results while he is the king of preparing for big matches, so I think Chelsea will manage to take a point from Anfield.
While Liverpool and City are focused solely on the Premier League, Chelsea have at least two more Champions League matches to come as they face Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of Europe’s elite competition.
That could play a part in a title race that could be decided by the finest of margins. But whatever happens, we are in for a thrilling end to the season.