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Has Manchester City’s run-in gifted them Premier League title?

Leigh Copson 13 Jun 2019
Will Guardiola be celebrating again next May? (credit:Nick Potts/PA Wire/PA Images)

Have the people behind the Premier League fixture list handed the title to back-to-back champions Manchester City?

The wait is over and the schedule for the 2019/20 Premier League is out, and while the bookmakers are predicting opening day wins for the two title favourites, Liverpool and Manchester City, we have been drawn to the latter part of the season and what could be an all-important run-in.

After all, Manchester City rode a sensational late run of form to snatch the title from under the noses of Liverpool last season, winning each of their last 14 Premier League fixtures and 18 of the last 19 to beat Jurgen Klopp’s side to the crown by a solitary point.

The 2019/20 title race could go down to the wire too and we cannot help but think City may have been handed the title on a silver platter because to say their run-in is favourable would be an understatement.

City and Liverpool will go head-to-head in what is likely to be a huge match at the Etihad Stadium on April 4, and after that the two teams face very different schedules to close out the campaign.

For their final six games defending champions Manchester City will visit two clubs who narrowly avoided the drop last season in Southampton and Brighton & Hove Albion, while they will also visit a Watford team that they demolished 6-0 in the FA Cup Final to wrap up a domestic treble.

And in terms of their last few home games, they boast a 20-year unbeaten run at home against Newcastle United, have now beaten Bournemouth in all eight of their meetings since the Cherries were promoted to the top flight, and they could not have wished for a better final fixture to have then a home meeting with a Norwich City side who are widely expected to suffer an immediate relegation back to the Championship next May.

So how does this compare to Liverpool’s run-in?

The Reds suffered late heartbreak as they paid the ultimate price for a few late-season slip-ups last time around, and one look at their schedule for the final six games suggests there is potential for history to repeat itself.

Home games against Aston Villa and Burnley and trips to face Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United should be considered favourable, but the Reds are also set to visit Arsenal and host Chelsea in early May and a single dropped point in either of those games could be fatal to their title quest.

Therefore you have to feel like Manchester City have been given the edge with the scheduling for the final few weeks of the season and the bookmakers clearly feel that way because they continue to back Guardiola’s side.

City were the favourites to win the title prior to the fixture list being released and there has been no change since its unveiling, with William Hill making them 4/6 favourites.

Liverpool are now considered 5/2 second favourites with the next team up, Tottenham Hotspur, well off the pace at 16/1 ahead of 28/1 Chelsea, 40/1 Manchester United and 45/1 Arsenal.

The Premier League Run-In

Manchester City’s Last Six Games

Southampton (A), Newcastle United (H), Brighton & Hove Albion (A), Bournemouth (H), Watford (A), Norwich City (H).

Liverpool’s Last Six Games

Aston Villa (H), Brighton & Hove Albion (A), Burnley (H), Arsenal (A), Chelsea (H), Newcastle United (A).

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Has Manchester City’s run-in gifted them Premier League title?

Have the people behind the Premier League fixture list handed the title to back-to-back champions Manchester City?

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