Liverpool and Manchester City run-in predictions: Projecting all the fixtures in Premier League title race

Do Manchester City have the Premier League title-race edge over Liverpool, or did they blow a chance to break free of their rivals?

Should Liverpool regret not taking the opportunity to overhaul Pep Guardiola’s side at the top or do they remain in prime position to pounce on any slip-up?

In some respects, after the corruscating 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium on April 10, nothing is any clearer.

Here are the facts: City lead Liverpool by 74 to 73 points and each side has seven games remaining. 

We’ve taken a look at all of those fixtures and what possible pitfalls might remain for Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, whose teams are also gunning for Champions League glory and meet again on April 16 in the semifinals of the FA Cup.

READ MORE: Man City vs. Liverpool highlights & analysis

Liverpool’s Premier League run-in predictions

April 19 — vs. Manchester United (h)
Three days after playing City again at Wembley, this would look like a huge red flag in Liverpool’s run-in. But, honestly, have you seen the state of Manchester United lately? Klopp’s men ransacked them 5-0 as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign limped towards its conclusion and things haven’t demonstrably improved. It’s very hard to see beyond a home win.

Prediction: Liverpool win

April 24 — vs. Everton (h)
Same as the above, really. A Merseyside derby could throw a spanner in the works and Everton claimed their first win at Anfield since 1999 last season, albeit behind closed doors. But Frank Lampard’s Toffees are in a relegation battle and playing like a team sitting 17th in the table. They beat Manchester United last weekend but, again, have you seen the state of them lately?

Prediction: Liverpool win

April 30 — at Newcastle (a)
In the 2018-19 knife-edge battle between City and Liverpool, Klopp’s side played out a thriller at St James’ Park and prevailed 3-2 on the season’s penultimate weekend. It could be a similar story here, with Newcastle rejuvenated by the management of Eddie Howe and their new ownership. A further complication is this match coming the weekend after a potential Champions League semifinal first leg. Any second leg will precede an even more tricky assignment…

Prediction: Liverpool win

May 7 — vs. Tottenham (h)
On current and previous form, this is Liverpool’s toughest remaining fixture. Antonio Conte has revitalised Spurs’ top-four hopes and already had a say in a title race he’d like to be involved in next season. Tottenham’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool started a December wobble for Klopp’s side, and Spurs then won a chaotic encounter at the Etihad Stadium in February. Klopp’s only win over Conte came in the first of their five meetings back in September 2016.

Prediction: Draw

READ MORE: Did Jota and Mane show Liverpool’s edge over Man City?

May 10 — at Aston Villa (a)
This will be friends reunited at Villa Park, with Steven Gerrard in the dugout and Philippe Coutinho the new darling of the Holte End. The most bizarre of Liverpool’s pandemic season setbacks came in this fixture, when a Jack Grealish-inspired Villa ran out 7-2 winners. You’d get very long odds on a repeat.

Prediction: Liverpool win

May 15 — at Southampton (a)
The Times reported that Guardiola extensively studied footage of Southampton against Liverpool to prepare for Sunday’s encounter, so it’s fair to assume Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have ways to hurt Klopp and his players. But they’re a bizarre team in many respects. Will the Southampton who pushed City to the limit in two Premier League draws this season turn up, or the one that looked on course for their annual 9-0 hammering as they were hit for six by an out-of-sorts Chelsea on April 9?

Prediction: Liverpool win

May 22 — vs. Wolves (h)
Here’s a piece of symmetry Liverpool fans won’t particularly like. When they went blow for blow with City in 2018-19 and missed out by a point, and they played and beat Wolves in their final league match at home. Bruno Lage’s side relish pitting their wits against the best in the division, but they could be on the beach by this point.

Prediction: Liverpool win

Manchester City Premier League run-in predictions

April 20 — vs. Brighton (h)
Brighton claimed a headline-grabbing win at Arsenal on April 9 and Guardiola frequently expresses his admiration for Seagulls boss Graham Potter. However, to add a touch of cynicism here, the City manager is often most fulsome in his praise of coaches who play nice football but he pretty much always beats.

Prediction: City win

April 23 — vs. Watford (h)
If City could have selected any opponent for this stretch of games, it would probably have been Watford at home. They beat the Hornets 6-0 in the 2019 FA Cup final and 8-0 at the Etihad Stadium later that year. There were also 6-0 and 5-0 wins at Vicarage Road before this season’s more understated 3-0 win. The rogue element here might be Roy Hodgson, the veteran tactician who made life so difficult for City when he was in charge of Crystal Palace.

Prediction: City win

April 30 — at Leeds (a)
This could really be a huge weekend in the title race. If City make the Champions League semifinals, their first leg will precede a trip to a fervent Elland Road, with Leeds scrapping for survival. Guardiola’s great mentor Marcelo Bielsa has been replaced by Jesse Marsch, whose RB Leipzig were beaten 6-3 by City in this season’s Champions League. That bodes well enough, but a similarly frantic basketball game might be the last thing Guardiola’s players need at this point.

Prediction: City win

READ MORE: Why did Pep Guardiola pick Gabriel Jesus against Liverpool?

May 8 — vs. Newcastle (h)
A week after hosting Liverpool, Newcastle will continue to have their say in the title race. Although a different proposition under Howe, their record at the Etihad Stadium is fairly wretched, to the extent that City’s home ground was not built the last time they won a league edition of this fixture in Manchester. Like Watford at home, this feels like another welcome inclusion in the City run-in.

Prediction: City win

TBC — at Wolves (a)
We don’t have a confirmed date for this fixture yet, which was due to take place on FA Cup semifinal weekend. But it feels fairly safe to assume it will take place on the same May 10-11 midweek that Liverpool travel to Villa Park, given the lack of any other space in the schedule.

Wolves did the double over City in 2019-20 and proved to be an absolute pest as a Raheem Sterling penalty secured a 1-0 win for the hosts in Manchester earlier this year. They are in a small Premier League minority who seem to relish facing Guardiola’s side, but a season petering out into midtable might temper their appetite for a scrap.

Prediction: City win

May 15 — at West Ham (a)
If City beat Liverpool in the forthcoming cup semifinal, this game will be moved to the subsequent midweek (as is the case for Liverpool’s game at Southampton in the event of the Reds winning). Regardless, it’s probably one with a red circle around it. All City’s league games against David Moyes’s side have been tight and tough over the past two seasons and the Hammers ended their League Cup reign on penalties last October.

Prediction: Draw

May 22 — vs. Aston Villa (h)
Hello last day of the season, hello narrative gods. Gerrard and Coutinho, who were denied in heartbreaking fashion when City pipped Liverpool in 2014, might be able to provide a final twist. As delicious as that might seem to Merseyside observers, if Guardiola’s team enter the final weekend with their destiny still in their hands, you’d back them to get the job done.

Prediction: City win

Premier League title race predicted final standings

  Premier League  P W D L Pts
1st Man City 38 29 6 3 93
2nd Liverpool 38 28 8 2 92

Okay, in a manner neither of these formidable teams are likely to, we’ve bottled it a bit. 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.

But, in truth, the boldest predictions in there are the games where we suggest City and Liverpool will drop points. Seven out of seven from here would be admirable but not entirely surprising. Liverpool won 10 in a row heading into Sunday and City have lost once in the Premier League since October. They are a cut above the competition.

Handing the pressure of fighting for honors on multiple fronts and managing squads effectively looks like the biggest remaining challenge for Klopp and Guardiola, but they’ve already shown themselves to be experts in this regard. Don’t expect either of them to blink.

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