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Opinion: Manchester City v Liverpool Isn’t the Title Decider Everyone Thinks It Is

Blues Face Reds but Both Still Face a Difficult Run In

Liverpool v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

According to an article on the BBC, next Sunday’s big match is the title decider. Whoever wins it will win the league, apparently. But, while there’s not doubt that the victor next week, if there is one, will have a huge psychological as well as points advantage, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will go on and win the title. And next week’s encounter will definitely not crown either team champions, regardless of what the media says.

If City win, they will open up a four-point lead over their Merseyside rivals. However, with twenty-one points still to play for, that sort of lead can be wiped out very quickly. Even more so if Liverpool emerge victorious. Two points ahead can turn into one behind over the course of one matchday. That’s how close the title race is.

So to claim that next week’s match will decide the destination of the Premier League title is a bit ludicrous at this stage. Both teams have some very tough fixtures coming up and it wouldn’t be surprising if a twist or two was thrown into the mix.

After the Liverpool game, the blues welcome Brighton and Watford to Manchester in successive home games. The Seagulls look set to enjoy another season in the Premier League, while Watford are staring relegation in the face after just one season in the top-flight.

City then travel to Elland Road, before welcoming Newcastle to Etihad Stadium. All these games are winnable, and home advantage in three should hopefully see the blues through. But the penultimate game of the season sees the blues travel to West Ham. While City have had a great record at the home of the Hammers, West Ham have beaten Spurs, Chelsea and Liverpool in the league at home this season and knocked City out of the League Cup. They are not to be underestimated by any stretch of the imagination.

The Hammers seem to step it up in games against the league’s top clubs, having lost in matches that you wouldn’t expect a team like them to lose. Home defeats to United, Brentford, Southampton and Leeds have given them an unpredictable feel, and it would remain to be seen as to which Hammers team would play City on the day.

Providing City win all their previous games, it’s the match against the Hammers that could ultimately prove to be the title decider. City finish at home to Aston Villa, and the faithful will hope the Premier League trophy will be adorned with blue and white by the time Steven Gerrard brings his new club to Manchester. If not, you can guarantee Gerrard will do everything possible to stop City and hand the title to his old club.

Turning to Liverpool, they haven’t exactly got an easy seven matches either, and there’s always the hope that they will drop points in any of these games.

After the battle of Etihad, Liverpool welcome United to Anfield and the London-based support will have a huge dilemma – which evil would they prefer to win the league? It’s probably the only time City fans will want the reds to win, although some die-hard blues will still want to see United crushed (just not too much as goal difference could still play a part).

The Mersey derby takes place after the United match, before Liverpool travel to Newcastle, and their last three fixtures see Spurs travel to Anfield, while their penultimate game see the reds travel to Southampton, before finishing the season at home to Wolves.

In rearranged matches, City must travel to Wolves while Liverpool travel to Aston Villa, two potential banana skins for both teams. Just like City, there’s a few opportunities for the reds to drop points. Southampton away is tricky, Spurs at home can be just as bad, although they only like to perform against us, and Wolves are no pushovers.

The only certainty is that if one team wins all their remaining matches (both can’t obviously), they will be crowned champions.

Both teams are the best in the Premier League right now but only one team can win the title.

Whoever emerges champions will deserve it (City a little more than Liverpool but I’m biased).