Premier League title race: Why Sunday April 14 will be the day when Liverpool and Manchester City’s challenges are won and lost
The Premier League title race is continuing to captivate as Liverpool and Manchester City battle it out for the crown.
Last weekend, Liverpool came from behind to secure a 3-1 win at Southampton to and go two points clear at the top of the table as Manchester City were in FA Cup action – beating Brighton 1-0 in the semi-finals.
It’s a race that will probably not be over until the final day on May 12 as both sides do not show signs of dropping many points.
However, this Sunday may well be the day where the race for the title reaches its most important point and here’s why.
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- Southampton vs Wolves (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Manchester United vs West Ham (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Leeds vs Sheffield Wednesday (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Wigan vs Norwich (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Crystal Palace vs Manchester City (Sunday, 2:05pm) – talkSPORT
Meanwhile Liverpool take on Chelsea, who are chasing a Champions League spot, at Anfield, kick-off 4:30pm.
In fact, when City and Liverpool were last against each other for the title in the 2013/14 season, the pendulum swung back in the Citizens’ favour when the Reds were beaten 2-0 at home to Chelsea on April 27, the game where the infamous ‘Gerrard slip’ let Demba Ba in to give the Blues the lead.
City then travelled to an in-form Palace and got the job done with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Edin Dzeko and Yaya Toure.
And Manuel Pellegrini’s City side never looked back as they went on to win their second Premier League crown.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s next fixture saw them blow a 3-0 lead at Palace to draw 3-3 and Kopite hearts were broken.
But Sunday is not pivotal in determining where the trophy is headed for only symbolic reasons.
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Pep Guardiola’s men are in the midst of a very busy and difficult run of fixtures and their last game saw them lose 1-0 at Tottenham in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.
It ended a run of 14 straight wins in all competitions for City and their Premier League credentials will be under huge scrutiny ahead of what will be an uncomfortable trip to Selhurst Park.
Meanwhile, a more fresh Liverpool are on top and have two less games than City in April and also had a relatively easy win over Porto in their Champions League match on Tuesday.
If City lose to Palace and Liverpool can get past Chelsea then that swings the race back in the Reds’ favour as they will have a five-point lead or a four-point lead if it’s a draw between the Citizens and Eagles, with Liverpool having played one more game.
However, if Liverpool fail to beat Chelsea and City beat Palace then Guardiola’s men are very much in the driving seat as they will be top of the table AND will have a game in hand on Klopp’s men.
Liverpool have an easier run-in after that but if they’re not on top by the end of play on Sunday, any more drop points will effectively end their title push.
Liverpool’s PL run-in after Sunday
Cardiff vs Liverpool (Sunday April 21)
Liverpool vs Huddersfield (Friday April 26)
Newcastle vs Liverpool (Sunday May 5)
Liverpool vs Wolves (Sunday May 12)
Manchester City’s PL run-in after Sunday
Manchester City vs Tottenham (Saturday April 20)
Manchester United vs Manchester City (Wednesday April 24)
Burnley vs Manchester City (Sunday April 28)
Manchester City vs Leicester City (Saturday May 4)
Brighton vs Manchester City (Sunday May 12)
But City have an endurance test with their must-win second leg against Spurs on Wednesday before hosting Mauricio Pochettino’s men in the league three days later.
City then have to go to Old Trafford four days after that and ideally get a win against local rivals Manchester United, who are fighting to finish in the Champions League spots.
However, this isn’t City’s first rodeo and they have more experience in this situation, even if their last league title was more a coronation to victory than an actual fight for the Premier League.
It’s not clear who will win the Premier League but Sunday April 14 could just be the day when it becomes clear who comes out on top at the end.
Source: Prem News