Red v Blue: Where could the Premier League title be won and lost?
Is this going to be Liverpool’s year? They know exactly what they need to do to win the title for the first time since 1990.
They’re four points ahead of Manchester City with 16 games to go. They’ve already faced the champions twice, so the title will be theirs if they match or better City’s results in the remainder of the campaign. They can even afford to drop one match along the way.
There’s still plenty of football to be played. And we’ve taken a look at some of the big tests ahead for both sides.
February 19th – Bayern Munich (home)
Liverpool are evens to get a first-leg win against Bayern, who’ve had a very disappointing season so far.
But Jurgen Klopp has struggled to balance a title challenge with a European run in the past. He’s reached the Champions League Final twice – in 2013 with Borussia Dortmund and last season with Liverpool. But his side finished at least 25 points behind the title winners on both occasions.
Can he change that this year? Or will competing on two fronts take too much out of his squad? The Reds are 9/1 to go all the way in Europe.
February 24th – Manchester United (away)
Liverpool will fancy taking maximum points from upcoming league games against Crystal Palace, Leicester City, West Ham United and Bournemouth.
After that, there’s a huge trip to Old Trafford. United always want to get one over on Liverpool. And the chance to derail their rival’s title bid will mean they’ll be even more fired up.
Coming so soon after the Bayern game, will Klopp be able to put out his best side here?
March 3rd – Everton (home)
Like United, Everton would love to dent Liverpool’s title hopes. But the Toffees have a dismal recent record in Merseyside derbies. They’ve only won one of the last 18 meetings.
March 30th – Tottenham Hotspur (home)
Spurs have only won twice at Anfield in the Premier League era. But they’ve got the talent to beat anyone on their day.
April 13th – Chelsea (home)
Chelsea came to Anfield and spoiled Liverpool’s party when they came agonisingly close in 2013-14.
This fixture is just days before a potential Champions League quarter-final first leg. And with the Blues in the race for a top-four spot, both sides could have plenty on the line.
February 2nd – Arsenal (home)
Arsenal have been inconsistent lately, but you can never count them out with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in attack.
February 10th – Chelsea (home)
Chelsea inflicted City’s first league defeat of the season last month. The Cityzens will be out for revenge, but they have a Champions League last-16 tie against Schalke only days afterwards as well.
February 23rd – Everton (away)
City seemed to be strolling to the title back in autumn. But three defeats in December were a huge setback.
Those losses should have removed any complacency, but this is a potential banana skin. The Manchester side have lost on two of their last three visits to Goodison Park.
March 16th – Manchester United (away)
United only delayed City’s triumph with a 3-2 win at Old Trafford last term. Could they do more damage this year?
The Red Devils’ pace could cause real problems for Pep Guardiola’s defence.
April 20th – Spurs (home)
Spurs have only lost one of their last three games at the Etihad. City can’t afford to let them get a result this year. They have no room for error if they’re going to catch Liverpool.
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