The title run-in: Rating the difficulty of each of Man City and Liverpool’s remaining fixtures

The Premier League title race looks set to go down to the wire as Manchester City and Liverpool compete to be crowned champions.

Just one point separates the two teams as we approach the final fixtures of the 2021/22 season, a familiar situation unfolding as the two modern rivals go head-to-head for the Premier League title.

Odds from Sports Betting Dime has Man City as 2/5 favorites to win the Premier League. Since the start of the season, they have held on to their top spot while Liverpool trails behind.

Each will feel as if just one dropped result could prove decisive and we’ve decided to assess the difficulty of the run-in for both sides.

Manchester City

Leeds (A) – April 30

Pep Guardiola’s team travel to face Leeds in the Premier League this weekend, with the fixture sandwiched between the club’s Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid.

Leeds will hope the champions are distracted given their finely poised tie with the Spanish giants, whilst Jesse Marsch’s team – backed by a raucous Elland Road crowd – are in need of points to ensure survival.

Leeds took four points from their two meetings with City last season, but the reverse fixture this season saw the Premier League leaders win 7-0 in the joint-biggest win of the Premier League season.

The home side can pose problems but have often come unstuck against the bigger teams and City will be confident of navigating their trip across the Pennines this weekend.

Difficulty rating: 4/10

Newcastle (H) – May 8

Newcastle have emerged as a team who could potentially decide the outcome of the title, having found fine form under Eddie Howe.

City and Liverpool are the only teams to have taken more points that Newcastle across the last 12 Premier League games, with the Magpies having rose to ninth in the division.

Howe’s mid-season recruitment has proven shrewd and in Bruno Guimaraes the club appear to have unearthed a gem. However, City have won the last five meetings between the teams and have not dropped points to Newcastle at the Etihad since 2006.

Difficulty rating: 5/10

Wolves (A) – May 11

Wolves, like Newcastle, face both of the title challengers in the run-in and host City at Molineux on May 11.

Bruno Lage’s side are still pushing for a place in Europe for next season, but have stalled in recent weeks to lose three of their last four Premier League games.

However, Wolves are often difficult opponents and it took a Raheem Sterling penalty to separate the teams in December, despite Raul Jimenez’s red card in first-half stoppage-time. Wolves also completed a league double over City in 2019/20.

Difficulty rating: 7/10

West Ham (A) – May 15

West Ham shapes as a potentially problematic fixture for the Premier League champions, though there is a sense that City could face the Hammers at an ideal time.

David Moyes’ team are focused on the Europa League at present and should the club progress past Eintracht Frankfurt to reach the final, it will be staged in Sevilla just three days after City’s visit to the London Stadium.

West Ham rested the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Declan Rice and Michail Antonio during their defeat to Chelsea last weekend with one eye on Europe, and progress to the final could see another rotated team take on City.

That would be a welcome boost to Guardiola, against a team who have beaten Liverpool and Chelsea in the capital already this season.

Difficulty rating: 6/10

Aston Villa (H) – May 22

How Steven Gerrard would love to do his old side a favour on the final day of the season, as Aston Villa travel to the Etihad under the guidance of a Liverpool legend.

Villa, however, will have to show much more than their recent form to gain a result with Gerrard’s side winless in five Premier League games, scoring just twice across that period.

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Villa have the potential to spring a surprise, but history is on City’s side. The league leaders have not lost in the last 12 meetings between the teams, winning the last eight.

Difficulty rating: 4/10


Newcastle (A) – April 30

Jurgen Klopp was critical of the TV scheduling for Liverpool’s trip to Newcastle, with the Reds travelling to St James’ Park for Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.

The clash comes in between the club’s Champions League semi-final with Villarreal and the short turnaround and impressive form of Newcastle makes this look a difficult challenge.

Klopp will likely rotate his side with the likes of Joel Matip, Naby Keita and Diogo Jota set to return as he freshens up the starting XI, but a Newcastle team on a run of four consecutive Premier League wins will be eyeing an upset.

Difficulty rating: 7/10

Tottenham (H) – May 7

Which Tottenham team will turn up at Anfield?

The North Londoners were in fantastic form before a recent blip, scoring 25 goals in just seven games to move into a strong position to secure Champions League football.

Back-to-back dropped points against Brighton and Brentford – without scoring a goal –  have since halted the momentum and Spurs can ill-afford more dropped points in the race for the top four.

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Liverpool will begin as favourites and are unbeaten in the last nine encounters between the sides, but any team containing Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min has the potential to damage their title hopes.

Difficulty rating: 7/10

Aston Villa (A) – May 10

One of three teams to face both the title challengers in the run-in, Liverpool will take on Steven Gerrard and Aston Villa on May 10.

Villa have struggled since mid-March and should pose few problems for Liverpool, who will hope to earn a win and momentum ahead of the following weekend’s FA Cup final against Chelsea.

Villa’s recent results have seen the club slide just above the relegation battle, but Gerrard’s team remain clear enough of danger.

Difficulty rating: 5/10

Southampton (A) – May 17

Liverpool’s trip to Southampton has been arranged due to their FA Cup final commitments, with the Reds travelling to the South Coast five days before the season’s final day.

At this stage the Reds will know what is required to ahead of the final day and should have enough to overcome a Southampton team whose season has fizzled out.

The Saints have won just one of their last eight Premier League games, though that was an upset of Champions League chasing Arsenal at St Mary’s.

Difficulty rating: 5/10

Wolves (H) – May 22

Wolves are the visitors to Anfield on the final day of the season, with neutrals hoping for the title to be undecided to set up a dramatic afternoon of Premier League football.

Interestingly it was also Wolves who made the trip to Merseyside on the final day of the 2018/19 campaign, as Liverpool and City went head-to-head for the title.

Trailing the leaders by one points, a Sadio Mane brace earned a 2-0 win for the Reds but it was not enough to overhaul City.

Could we see a repeat this season?

Difficulty rating: 6/10

Read – Five talking points from the Champions League semi-finals

Read Also – Five Premier League players who badly need a summer move

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