Defending champions Manchester City and their title rivals Liverpool have battled fiercely this season to make themselves worthy of the title.
For the next nine games, it’s not known what colour the Premier League’s ribbons will turn at the end of a gruelling season.
While hardly a winner, there’s room to speculate on what might make or break the two contenders.
Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at five things that could have a real impact on the Premier League title race this season:
#5 Difficulty of remaining Premier League fixtures
Every Premier League team has the ability to upset.
However, judging a team strictly by the depth of the squad and the quality of the players available, we have to admit that the Reds have a tougher road ahead.
Jurgen Klopp’s side will face Manchester City (A), Everton (H), Tottenham (H) and Manchester United (H) in their remaining nine league games. In addition to these top-flight fixtures, Liverpool will face Watford (home), Aston Villa (home), Newcastle United (home), Southampton (home) and Wolves (home).
Apart from title contenders Liverpool, City have not met any other top-six teams in their remaining nine games. The absolute advantage of Sky Blues.
#4 The fate of Liverpool and Manchester City in the FA Cup and Champions League
The Merseyside giants have already won the Carabao Cup thanks to a heroic performance from backup goalkeeper Kelleher in the penalty shootout against Chelsea in the final.
The Reds are also active in the FA Cup and Champions League, both important events.
Last season’s League Cup winners Manchester City were eliminated by West Ham in the fourth round of the season. Their League Cup defeat could make the Citizens even more eager for success in the FA Cup and Champions League.
Klopp’s side will face Benfica in the Champions League quarter-finals and Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals. Meanwhile, the Premier League title has Atletico Madrid dealing with a quarter-final of the Champions League.
Both Premier League giants are likely to advance to the Champions League semi-finals. However, missing the semi-finals will mean playing fewer games this season.
In such a tight league title race, the extra rest could have a noticeable impact.
#3 Key team member injured
Injuries are an unwelcome but integral part of football. For the same reason, clubs spend millions to strengthen their squads and sign replacements.
Both Liverpool and Manchester City have strong squads, but injuries to key players could still hinder their title ambitions.
Jurgen Klopp and Guardiola will have a duty to keep an eye on their players over the next few months. While managers can’t control on-site accidents, they have to make sure they don’t overwork their superstars and cause muscle strains.
Rotation is key for both teams, which in turn can boost morale among fringe players and locker rooms.
#2 The state of Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne
Egypt International Mohamed SalahHis country was recently knocked out of the World Cup play-offs by Senegal and he will be eager to break records in the Premier League.
Leading the Reds to league glory would be the perfect way to bury his disappointment forever.
The 29-year-old is the Premier League’s top scorer this season with 20 goals and he hopes to add a few more in his next nine games.
Manchester City Kevin De BruyneMeanwhile, he has missed several games this season due to injury. Fortunately for Guardiola, he is now fully recovered and can’t wait to leave.
In 22 Premier League games this season, the midfielder has nine goals and three assists, making him City’s third top scorer in all competitions.
#1 Liverpool vs Manchester City results at the Etihad Stadium
The world will come to a standstill when the Premier League’s top two teams face each other next month.
Considering both teams will win their respective games this weekend, they’ll be just one point apart by April 10.
At home, Manchester City want to win, but Merseyside is bound to make it harder for the defending champions.
Jurgen Klopp’s side won and they will overtake Pep Guardiola’s side at the top of the Premier League table. A draw or defeat for Liverpool would give City complete control.
The prospect is mouthwatering, and the outcome of the conflict is bound to tip the scales in some way.