Plain Sailing for Man City with Liverpool’s Title Dream on the Rocks

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By Tom McDonough

Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that Liverpool aren’t stranded in second place for the remainder of the season after surrendering the top spot in the Premier League. For the first time in months, the Reds find their advantage at the summit of the league taken away after Pep Guardiola’s troops stormed to the top.

Klopp’s team are now in unfamiliar territory going into the last nine games of the season and will have to chase down Man City, which – it must be said – is one of the more unenviable tasks in world football.

liverpool fc anfield

With a lead of seven points going into the middle of January after a win against Brighton, it seemed like the Reds were primed to hold onto their lead for the remainder of the campaign. Four draws in their last six league games has handed the initiative to City, however, and deflated the feeling of euphoria around the city of Liverpool. Whether it is as catastrophic for the Reds as some are making it remains to be seen.

It could be spun that Liverpool managed to go through two of their biggest derbies in the league unbeaten and have come out only a point off top spot. After all, with this being the league, not getting beaten can be as important as winning – especially when your main title rival still has to play those teams.

Indeed, Man City have a trip to Old Trafford scheduled for April 24th. There are suggestions at this stage that that is the game to decide the Premier League and that could well be the case. Liverpool are in the awkward position of having to ask their arch-enemies to beat their title rivals.

manchester derby

Thankfully for the Reds, you don’t have to ask Manchester United twice to beat Man City.

The only problem with getting too swept up in the significance of the Manchester derby is that one tends to take a lot for granted with regards to Liverpool’s fixtures. For the United and City game to have the influence many are predicting it to have, the Reds will need to win all their remaining fixtures and therein lies a problem.

Just ten days before the Manchester derby takes place, Chelsea travel to Anfield for a game that could have a massive say as to which part of the North West the Premier League trophy goes to.

Chelsea have found a second wind under Maurizio Sarri and in reality, any starting 11 that costs more than £200 million should never be underestimated.

eden hazard chelsea

What do we know about the form of the Blues at the moment?

To start with, it’s picking up, and after they beat Spurs at home, the pros at betconnect predicted Chelsea would win again on matchweek 29 in their top football tips. As expected, it was a tough opening start for Ben Parker as Fulham manager after the Blues ran out 2-1 winners at Craven Cottage. Whilst it’s easy to dismiss this as a straightforward result given Fulham’s lowly position in the table, you shouldn’t forget that Sarri was able to safely negotiate the bounce and turn in fortunes a new manager brings.

If anything, it now looks like Chelsea are picking up momentum the month before they play Liverpool and that will have Klopp rattled.

There have been signs that the German is beginning to feel the pressure and his extraordinary outburst after the draw to Everton was quite revealing. After Klopp was quizzed as to why Liverpool weren’t taking more risks during his post-match press conference, the 49-year-old reminded everyone in the room that managing Liverpool wasn’t like playing PlayStation.

Sure, City have some tough fixtures left but so do Liverpool, which is why the Reds find themselves on the rocks with the storm clouds gathering. Guardiola looks to have steered the good ship Man City towards calmer waters as they bear down on their destination but the question is, will the weather hold and stay fair until May?

There’s always an unexpected storm brewing in the Premier League, so don’t look away for a second.

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