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Premier League Title Race: A Look at The Teams Who Could Be Champions

Image of the Premier League trophy

The Premier League title race is threatening to be one of the closest run-ins ever. Just two points separate the top three currently, a stat that hasn’t been matched at this stage of the season for ten years.

Last Word on Football looks at the challengers and where the title could be won and lost.

Who Will Win the Premier League Title?

Liverpool

Not many would have forecasted Liverpool to be in with a shout of winning the Premier League this year. Last season was abysmal for Jurgen Klopp’s men having not even qualified for the Champions League and it was thought that this campaign would be a transitional one.

Read More: Brentford Vs Liverpool: History Suggests a Tough Battle For Jurgen Klopp’s Side

The Reds find themselves right in the mix though and appeared to be hitting a good run of form in January, winning all their league games and reaching the final of the Carabao Cup. That good run was brought to an abrupt halt though when they were dismantled 3-1 at Arsenal at the start of February which enabled the Gunners to narrow the gap on the league leaders.

Run-In

The standout fixture in Liverpool’s run-in is the home tie with Manchester City in the middle of March. It’s a fixture the Reds have a good record in, even since City’s rise to power, and you get the sense they might need three points in this one to have a chance of going all the way this year.

They also face trips to Goodison Park to face Merseyside rivals Everton as well as visiting Old Trafford to play Manchester United. Under Klopp, the Reds have only won twice at United whilst they’ve drawn more than they’ve won when going across Stanley Park to play the Toffees. They are often tricky fixtures. It’s a similar second half to the season as the one in 2019 where they drew both of these fixtures 0-0 in the space of a week across February and March as they missed out on the title by a point.

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If you are looking for more omens, Liverpool host Wolves on the final day, the same opposition they faced on each of the decisive final days of 2019 and 2022 when, on each occasion, the Citizens took the title.

The Reds are also still juggling four competitions compared to three for City and two for Arsenal so how they manage that will be crucial. The fact Klopp will be leaving at the end of this campaign will add extra motivation but will that be enough?

Manchester City

The starting point for Manchester City is that they have a game in hand. It’s a huge advantage as, assuming they take three points in that game, it would place them top of the league based on its current standing.

They also have the added bonus of being very experienced in these moments. They are current champions and winners of five of the last six Premier League titles. Their tendency to improve in the final stretch of a season is a common theme of those previous title wins and no one knows that better than their running mates who have both had to settle for runners-up medals at the hands of the late-season march.

That run seems to have already begun with Pep Guardiola’s side on an 11-game winning streak in all competitions.

Run-In

The aforementioned trip to Anfield will be their biggest test. Under Guardiola, the champions have only won once at the home of the Reds which came back in 2021 where, due to Covid, no fans were in the ground to create the often intimidating big game Anfield atmosphere. It remains their only win there since 2003.

Read More: Brentford Vs Liverpool: History Suggests a Tough Battle for Jurgen Klopp’s Side

Other than that, the titleholders have a favourable run-in. All of their games against Manchester United, Aston Villa and title rivals Arsenal are at home. They do have a trip to Tottenham in April to navigate but they ended their Tottenham Hotspur Stadium curse with a win there in the FA Cup in January, having lost all of their previous five visits without scoring.

It wouldn’t shock many if Manchester City were to become the first side in Premier League history to win four titles in a row and they remain favourites to do so.

Arsenal

Arsenal have the disadvantage of competing with sides who have won this trophy and have been there and done it. The Gunners have felt the heartbreak of losing out to Guardiola in the title race having been their nearest challengers last year and it will be interesting to see if they can use that experience positively to help them over the line this year.

Read More: Arsenal’s Unsung Hero – The Mastermind Behind More Than 30% of Arsenal’s Goals This Season

Mikel Arteta’s side do appear to be finding form at the right time though. Last term they began the season like a bullet train but tailed off at the end to allow Arteta’s former employers to overtake. This year, despite being top at Christmas, their form has been patchy. It appears that has now been rectified however with four wins in their last four, scoring 16 goals in that time and comfortably dispatching of fellow title chasers Liverpool in that period. Can they do what City always do and end the season strongly?

Run-In

The big test for the Londoners will be their trip to the Etihad at the end of March. Arsenal’s last win there came in 2015 although they will take comfort from having won the past two meetings between the sides.

They also have a North London Derby to contend with at local rivals Tottenham at the end of April and their penultimate game of the season is a meeting with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

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Many thought the Gunners would go one better this year and win their first Premier League title since the Invincibles of 2004 however their run-in appears a bit more challenging than the others. It looks as if they will need to get something from their game with Manchester City if they are to have a chance.

The Others

It seemed not so long ago that everyone was considering Aston Villa as dark horses who could pull off a surprise title challenge. That seems unlikely now as they’ve only won twice in 2024, one of which was their FA Cup trip to Middlesbrough. They’ve dropped to eight points off the leaders and are out of the top four so their involvement feels all but over.

Overtaking Villa in the most recent round of games was Tottenham. They too seemed like they might be involved in a title race following a promising start to life under Ange Postecoglou. Their inconsistency and constant battle with both scoring and conceding late goals however suggest a title push has come too early in the Australian’s reign. They do face all of the current top three though so expect them to have a big say on the outcome.

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