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Man City and Liverpool continued their intense battle for the Premier League title at the weekend. The pair played out a scintillating 2-2 at the Etihad.
The sides could not be separated in the nail-biting encounter, but the hosts may find themselves frustrated at having not taken all three points. Riyad Mahrez wasted a glorious chance to win the match in the dying seconds.
The result means Pep Guardiola’s side remain one point ahead of the Reds. Just seven league games remain, and City will currently be the happier of the two.
But if it goes down to goal difference, Liverpool have the upper hand. Jurgen Klopp’s men have a goal difference of 57, five better than City’s 52.
However, neither club will be thinking about goal difference at this current time. It’s all about taking each fixture as they come. But which club has the more difficult run-in?
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 10, 2022
Does the fixture schedule suit Man City?
On paper, it seems that the Manchester outfit have the easier schedule. With no disrespect to other clubs, City completes April with games against Brighton, Watford, and Leeds.
They then begin May with a match against Newcastle, and will be required to play a rescheduled game against Wolves at some point. Meetings with West Ham and Aston Villa finish off the campaign.
Five of those clubs are currently in the bottom half of the table. And three are in the bottom six. The other two are chasing fourth.
As for Liverpool, they have a much more challenging run-in on paper. They welcome fierce rivals Manchester United to Anfield next. The Red Devils may not be the side they used to be, but it is always a feisty encounter when these two clubs meet.
The same can be said for Everton, Liverpool’s next opponents. The Merseyside Derby comes after Everton’s victory over Man Utd. With relegation on the line, the Toffees will be up for a fight.
Liverpool complete April with a trip to Newcastle, before beginning May with a game against high-flying Tottenham Hotspur. Away trips to Aston Villa and Southampton follow. And the Reds complete the season with a home game against Wolves.
Four of Liverpool’s opponents currently find themselves in the bottom half of the table. The other three are all fighting for the precious fourth spot.
Will Europe distract either club?
Aside from the Premier League, there is a Champions League trophy to play for. Both clubs are in pole position in their quarter-final second leg matches.
There is, of course, the small matter of the FA Cup still available. City and Liverpool face each other at Wembley on Saturday for a place in the final. The winner will take on the winners of Chelsea and Crystal Palace.
It’s been a very busy season for both City and Liverpool. But the games will continue coming thick and fast should they progress in Europe. And there will be a cup final at Wembley on the cards for whoever wins on Saturday.
Will Guardiola or Klopp decide to focus on one competition in particular?