aldo's view Premier League title race is unlikely to be decided as many people are predicting
Wouldn’t it be great if it went down to the final game of the season to decide it all?
If Liverpool win their final nine Premier League games, they will be champions of England for a 20th time – but I don’t think that’s going to happen.
While I’m delighted to admit I was wrong to suggest Manchester City were champions-elect when they were 11-points clear at the top at the start of January, this title race is unlikely to be decided as many people are predicting.
The first point to make here is the Premier League should be sending thank you cards to Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool team.
Without them going on an amazing run over the last couple of months, this was a one-team title race that would have done nothing for the claim that England’s top division is the most entertaining in the world.
There’s no doubt that Liverpool have a real chance to pull off a miracle and if they go on to lift the Premier League trophy at Anfield in May, this may be the greatest title win in the club’s illustrious history.
To come from where they were and haul in a City side that must have believed they had it in the bag would be incredible and while it could happen, it won’t be because Liverpool win their last nine matches.
This weekend’s international break gives us a chance to draw breath and assess what is to come in the Premier League title race and this will all come down to a handful of matches.
Everyone is looking at the Manchester City v Liverpool game at the Etihad Stadium on April 10th as a title decider and it might well be if Pep Guardiola’s men win.
Even though Liverpool are knocking on their door now and proving to be a real pain in the ass (to use a phrase offered up by Guardiola to describe Klopp’s side couple of weeks back), Liverpool could not come back from a defeat at the Etihad.
I suspect we might see a draw in that big top-of-the-table match and if that’s the case, then you are looking at the other eight matches to decide the title.
I’d expect Liverpool to win their next two home games against Watford and Manchester United, even if the second of those two looks tricky on paper.
The reality is, Klopp’s side have been light years ahead of United for a long time now and they proved as much by hammering them 5-0 at Old Trafford in October.
So I’d expect United to be beaten at Anfield and then you are looking at home games against Everton, Spurs and Wolves.
The middle one of those three could be tricky, as Tottenham have players who can trouble anyone on their day.
Harry Kane’s performance as they beat Manchester City at the Etihad last month confirmed that could be a tricky game for Liverpool, but the bigger threats lie away from Anfield.
We saw Manchester City dropping points at Crystal Palace earlier this month and Liverpool have three away matches on their schedule that could be tricky.
Newcastle have been one of the form teams in the Premier League over the last couple of months and St James’ Park will be rocking when Klopp’s side comes to town on April 30th.
The 12.30 lunchtime kick-off in that game is also an issue, as players struggle to be at their best in that early morning slot and we know Klopp doesn’t like matches at that time.
On top of that, Liverpool may have played a Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich a few days before and you don’t know how players will react to a tough trip to Tyneside straight after.
The other two games I’m looking at with concern is Southampton away, where Liverpool have often struggled and then, intriguingly, Aston Villa away.
Steven Gerrard has had a positive impact since taking over as Villa manager and his side have both Liverpool and City to play in the final weeks of this season.
How ironic would it be if this Liverpool legend oversees a result that costs his old club the title.
Then, on the final day of the Premier League season, Gerrard takes Villa to the Etihad Stadium to take on City.
Can you imagine the scenario of Villa somehow keeping a clean sheet against City, Liverpool beating Wolves at Anfield and Gerrard winning the Premier League title for his old club.
Stevie never managed to get his hands on the biggest prize in English football during his time at Liverpool, but we could mint him a special title winners’ medal if he pulled off that trick!
I also look at City’s away games for slip-ups, with their matches at Wolves and West Ham far from easy, so this story will have twists in it.
The unknown is how Liverpool and City respond to the challenges in front of them and whether Guardiola’s side are distracted by their Champions League push.
City are desperate to win the big trophy in European football because after throwing an obscene amount of money in a bid to win the Champions League, they keep fluffing their lines when it matters most.
They face a tough quarter-final against an Atletico Madrid side who will do everything in their power to stop them playing.
Atletico have a method of playing that is hard to love and equally tough to overcome, as Liverpool found to their cost in the Champions League a couple of years back.
We saw what they did to Manchester United at Old Trafford earlier this month but it will be good for Liverpool if City get through to play either Chelsea or Real Madrid in the semi-final.
That will be a taxing assignment and it might drain them when they play Premier League matches.
So don’t be lured into the idea that Liverpool’s game against City at the Etihad in a couple of weeks will decide everything because this title race has plenty of twists in it.
Who wins the Premier League title?
It’s too close to call at this stage and I’m just glad we have a title race to savour and wouldn’t it be great if it went down to the final game of the season to decide it all?
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