Assessing the run-in in the Premier League title race - Arsenal - Liverpool - Manchester City
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Assessing the run-in in the Premier League title race

Are we heading towards the greatest Premier League title race of all time? Just one point separates the top three teams in the table, the closest it has ever been between three sides at this stage of a season.

Arsenal capitalised on a draw between title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City to move top of the table on goal difference at the weekend, as the Gunners target a first top-flight crown in 20 years.

Manchester City, meanwhile, are seeking a record-breaking four in a row this season, with Liverpool – the only team to stop City from winning the title in the last six seasons – also involved as Jurgen Klopp seeks a fairytale farewell at Anfield.

As the season reaches its conclusion, we’ve assessed the run-in for each team heading into the final 10 games of the Premier League season.

Assessing the run-in in the Premier League title race:

Arsenal

  • Games played: 28
  • Points: 64
  • Goal Difference: +46
  • Last title win: 2003/04
  • Average position of remaining opponents: 9.3

Remaining fixtures: Manchester City (A), Luton (H), Brighton (A), Aston Villa (H), Wolves (A), Tottenham (A), Bournemouth (H), Manchester United (A), Everton (H), Chelsea (H – date TBC)

Arsenal are the new leaders after beating Brentford to move top of the Premier League at the weekend. Mikel Arteta’s team have been in flawless form since a mini-wobble in late December, winning eight consecutive league games since the turn of the new year.

The Gunners are only the fourth team to start a calendar year with eight straight wins and each of the previous three have ended the season as champions.

Declan Rice has been a driving force in the club’s challenge after arriving from West Ham in the summer, as Arteta strengthened a squad that led the table for much of last season before faltering during the run-in. The England midfielder has six goals and five assists to emerge as a contender for the Player of the Season award, justifying the decision to break the club’s transfer record.

Arsenal have scored the most goals in the Premier League and have conceded the least, while their Expected Goals Against (xGA) is comfortably the lowest in the division. The north Londoners are strong at both ends and appear to have found solutions in the final third in the absence of a centre-forward, though have the most difficult run-in on paper.

Next up is a trip to face Manchester City at the Etihad, a ground the Gunners have struggled at historically. Arsenal have not won at Manchester City since 2015.

Liverpool

  • Games played: 28
  • Points: 64
  • Goal Difference: +39
  • Last title win: 2019/20
  • Average position of remaining opponents: 10.1

Remaining fixtures: Brighton (H), Sheffield United (H), Manchester United (A), Crystal Palace (H), Fulham (A), West Ham (A), Tottenham (H), Aston Villa (A), Wolves (H), Everton (A – date TBC)

Liverpool trail the table-topping Gunners on goal difference, after an entertaining 1-1 draw with Manchester City at Anfield. The Reds were unfortunate not to take all three points after a strong second-half showing, despite the absence of senior stars.

The emergence of academy graduates Conor Bradley and Jarell Quansah has helped combat losses this season, while the return of Virgil van Dijk to his imperious best has been the pillar on which the club’s challenge has been built.

The announcement that Jurgen Klopp will leave at the end of the season has not impacted results, perhaps even sparking greater motivation to end the German’s tenure on a high. How Liverpool cope competing on all fronts remains to be seen, as the Reds remain in the hunt for a quadruple.

Liverpool lifted the League Cup last month after beating Chelsea, face Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-finals this weekend, and have one foot in the Europa League’s last eight after thrashing Sparta Prague in the first leg of their tie with the Czech champions.

The Premier League is the one the Reds crave, however, after a surprise title tilt from a team deemed in transition last summer.

Manchester City

  • Games played: 28
  • Points: 63
  • Goal Difference: +35
  • Last title win: 2022/23
  • Average position of remaining opponents: 9.5

Remaining fixtures: Arsenal (H), Aston Villa (H), Crystal Palace (A), Luton (H), Tottenham (A), Nottingham Forest (A), Wolves (H), Fulham (A), West Ham (H), Brighton (A – date TBC)

The defending champions sit third in the Premier League table, a point behind the top two. Pep Guardiola’s side are aiming to win an unprecedented four top-flight titles in a row, while the Citizens remain in the hunt to defend each of the trophies won during their historic treble-winning campaign last term.

Arsenal arrive at the Etihad next time out and Manchester City will hope for a repeat of last season’s meeting, when an emphatic performance from the home side earned a 4-1 win over the league leaders and delivered a huge psychological blow in the title race.

The trip to Tottenham represents another challenge for City, who have won just one of the past five Premier League meetings between the teams. City’s first five visits to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium saw them lose five times to four different Spurs managers and fail to score a goal. However, the Citizens ended that run with a win in north London in the FA Cup earlier this season.

Spurs, Aston Villa and Wolves – each chasing European qualification – could decide this season’s title race with each of that trio facing the top three before the season’s end.

Read – Premier League weekend: Five things we learned

See more – Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 28

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