|Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and City’s Pep Guardiola head into the final straight of the two-horse race for the title. — AFP Photo|
Games in hand mean nothing, unless you win them. And that’s exactly what Liverpool have done over the past few weeks to take themselves within touching distance of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
Three points are all that stands between the two, and with the teams set to meet at the Etihad Stadium on April 10, it's as plain as the nose on your face that the title race is well and truly back on.
For their part, Liverpool just need to win all their games and hope City don’t record some big scores in the matches left, so the Reds can edge out the Blues on goal difference.
Easy right? Wrong.
Aside from the game on April 10 between the two top teams (Dear Editor, I will be late into the office on April 11), there is still lots of football still to play with tricky games ahead for both.
Factor in the Champions League, with Liverpool and City both in the driving seat to progress into the next round, and it promises to be a rip-roaring end to the season.
Liverpool must travel to Arsenal, and while it’s safe to say on paper the Gooners should be a pushover, Arsenal are desperate to finish in the top four, so could put up more of a fight.
Manchester City have to play both Wolves and West Ham away, not easy games, but the crunch match could be when both teams play Manchester United.
Asking a United fan who would they prefer to win the league, Liverpool or Manchester City, is like asking them which friend would they prefer to catch in bed with their wife?
Their hatred for both rivals in unparalleled and although United are a shadow of their former selves, I can see them having a say in where the title ends up come May 22.
Liverpool sure have momentum right now. Their squad has improved since they last won the Premier League and barring an injury crisis, I think they are ever so slightly in the driving seat.
In yesterday’s 6-0 drubbing against Leeds United, Joel Matip became the 17th different Liverpool player to score this season. That’s only happened once before, in 1912.
City are still a very, very good team and I expect them to bounce back from their last-gasp defeat against Tottenham last week.
Both side are capable of winning every one of their remaining fixtures.
But here’s a slight twist of fate that caught my eye. Steven Gerrard, a true Liverpool legend, never won the league with Liverpool, something he probably thinks about daily.
Now manager of Aston Villa, Gerrard takes his team to the Etihad on May 22 in the final game of the campaign.
If it’s all square at that point, then Gerrard could win the league FOR Liverpool by getting a result against City. Not quite the same as winning it for himself, but he will certainly be buzzing if he could have a say in the title race.
Lots of ifs, buts and maybes lay ahead. Sit back, strap in and get ready. It’s going to be a wild ride. — VNS