Will Manchester City win the league for a second successive time?
As the saying goes, they think it’s all over. Well, in this case, it nearly is. The season has all but finished with just a handful of games left to be played. From last weekend’s action, the battle for the top spot has seen a change of hands again, and Manchester City has returned to the top of the table with just one point separating them from Liverpool. Bonusbets.com looks at the current situation which is becoming too close to call.
Just one point separates the two teams, and there is no other team close enough to rival them, so it is clear we will have a Liverpool/City or City/Liverpool one-two this year. For City, a win would give them the title for the second year in a row, whereas it will be the first ever Premier League title win for Liverpool. Currently, City have 92 points with the Reds just behind them, and both are playing so well it is impossible to call. As it stands, they have both an unbeaten win record in their last five games. Overall, with 36 games in the bag, Man City have won 30 matches and Liverpool 28. The Reds’ record is stunning with just a single loss all season and seven draws, and equally impressive the Blues have lost only four of their games and drawn two.
If they were to continue on this unbroken streak then Manchester City will be unbeatable and will take the title with 98 points. Liverpool can only achieve 97 if they win both games, but stranger things have happened. If City were to lose or draw a game, the prospect of a Liverpool title win opens up. Should City lift the trophy, they will be just two points down on their 100-point win last season. Never before has there been such a good runner-up in the Premier League. The highest ranking second place team in a Premier League season prior to this term only managed 89 points, and that was Manchester United who were defending their title in 2011/12, but failed to take it again. The season before they won the league with just 80 points. For the last two seasons the points needed to win the title certainly seem to be on the increase. City boss Pep Guardiola said as much when he thanked his team’s title rivals for their strong competition.
He said in a press conference: “The standards we created, people know that you have to be close to 100 – before it was 90. This standard was last season, we helped Liverpool to achieve it, and Liverpool helped us to keep going, so thanks to Liverpool we are competing.
“Liverpool knows that to win you have to make a lot of points. That’s what we communicate to anyone.”
The highest scoring season prior to last year was in 2004/05, when Chelsea took the title with 95 points. The topped the league again in 2016/17 with 93 points, so numbers that are so close to the 100-point mark are very unusual in the Premier League. It just goes to show how well the top-flight teams are playing.