Premier League's thrilling season approaches finale with Man City and Liverpool locked in title battle

Aditya Devavrat 10:09 11/05/2019
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Man City and Liverpool set for final weekend in title race.

The Premier League comes to an end this weekend with a gripping title race set for its final blow, as Man City and Liverpool stake their claim for the crown.

While the relegation battle is over and the top-four race is more or less so – Arsenal have to win, hope Tottenham lose, and then need an eight-goal swing in their favour to steal fourth place – this is set to be an exciting finish to a thrilling campaign.

Here’s a look at what’s at stake in the title race and elsewhere in England.

TITLE RACE GOING DOWN TO THE WIRE

When City won with 100 points last season, who would have expected that they could come close to repeating the feat – and that doing so may not be enough to repeat as champions?

Yet that’s the position they’re in, because Liverpool are lurking just behind. One point separates the two sides, City on 95, Liverpool on 94. Brighton having secured Premier League status for a third straight season might make City’s job easier this weekend, though Liverpool are at home against a formidable Wolves side – albeit one that has nothing to play for, having wrapped up seventh place last week.

As long as City win, there’s no complication in the title race. But if they don’t, myriad possibilities open up. A City draw or loss coupled with a Liverpool win hands the title to the Reds.

Liverpool can’t afford to lose. And there’s even the distant possibility of a first-ever play-off for the title – if Liverpool draw 4-4, and City lose 4-0, they’ll be tied on points, goals difference, and goals scored. It’s unlikely, but in a crazy season, does anyone really want to bet against it?

CITY AND LIVERPOOL DESERVE CREDIT FOR STELLAR CAMPAIGNS

The second-place team will finish with either 95, 96, or 97 points this season. If it’s Liverpool, they will finish the season with at most two losses and yet no league title, while City, if they slip up, will have gone from a 100-point season in which they won the league by 19 points to one where even a five-point drop-off, at most, cost them the crown.

A win for City would see them tie the record they set last season for most wins in a season, 32, while Liverpool could set the record for most wins and points without winning the title.

There is definite recency bias in proclaiming this the best title race ever, and such comparisons are rather pointless anyway, but those numbers show without doubt that these have been two remarkable campaigns for both clubs, even if one is destined to end in heartbreak. Both of these teams deserve immense credit.

CHANCE FOR ENGLAND’S BEST TO STRUT THEIR STUFF

Another first this season – all four finalists in Europe’s two premier competitions are from the same country. And though there are technically still two live races in the league, with Arsenal’s small chance of fourth place, this is also a chance for England’s best to strut their stuff.

City racking up the goals while under the pressure of needing a title-clinching win would be some statement, reminiscent of Chelsea’s 8-0 win over Wigan on the final day of the 2009/10 season, with Manchester United just a point behind.

Liverpool could underpin their claim as the best-ever runners-up – or worthy champions in their own right – by doing something similar against Burnley.

Tottenham play their final home game of the season in their new stadium. Chelsea and Arsenal are both warming up for their Europa League final. United have an outside shot of finishing in fifth, and will want to end a disappointing season on a high. All six will be looking to make a statement.

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