Premier League title race at stake, but Manchester City have an advantage

However, a draw or defeat for City would give four-time chasing Liverpool the chance to sneak in and take the title from the defending champions.

Three years ago City led Liverpool to the Premier League title by a point, and will be the favorites to do so again.

Since the 2-2 draw with Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on April 10, City have comfortably won their next three home games, scoring 13 goals.

Ahead of Sunday’s round of play, Guardiola’s team also had a week off, while Villa played Thursday to tie a 1-1 draw with Burnley. Liverpool were also in action mid-week, winning 2-1 at Southampton.

The form book would indicate that Liverpool beat Wolves on Sunday at Anfield. Since the defeat to Leicester on December 28, Liverpool have been unbeaten and have won 14 of their last 17 league games.

If Liverpool manage to win the title, Jurgen Klopp’s team have the chance to secure an unprecedented quadruple in size by beating Real Madrid in the Champions League final on May 28 at the Stade de France in Paris.

“We’ve essentially reached ‘the final’ of everything we’ve fought for,” Klopp said ahead of Sunday’s game against Wolves.

“Two domestic cups, the European Cup – and to take the Premier League campaign to the final round of competition is equivalent to reaching a final. It is an understatement to say how proud I am of our team and our club.”

Ten years ago City almost made a big mess of a home game under similar circumstances against Queens Park Rangers – until Sergio Aguero made his mark in the 94th minute.

With City trailing 2-1 in the 92nd minute but needing a win over QPR to capture their first top-level English title in 44 years, Edin Dzeko equalized.

Then, at 93:20 in the closing minute of the game, a controlled Agüero made his way through the frenetic QPR defense and shot in a winner to secure the win and take the 2011-12 Premier League.

Aguero’s goal has been immortalized in the form of a statue outside the Etihad Stadium, which was unveiled earlier this month.

‘Fight to the end’

Sunday’s game at the Etihad has the potential to offer plenty of plot twists.

Villa’s manager is former Liverpool great Steven Gerrard, who would certainly be keen to help deliver a title to a club he couldn’t win as a player.

Villa’s current roster also includes two former Liverpool players: Philippe Coutinho and Danny Ings.

“It’s harder [to win the Premier League]Guardiola told City’s website. “There are many weeks, games, struggles with injuries and bad moments, difficult opponents.

Pep Guardiola has led Manchester City to three Premier League titles since becoming the club's manager.

“The success is that we have always been there for the past five years, except for the year where Liverpool were unstoppable,” added Guardiola, referring to Klopp’s team that won the Premier League title in the 2019/2020 season.

“It’s every day when you fight in the Premier League and fight to the end, it gives you happiness. You are happier when you win.

“It’s not a cup, it’s a routine. Doing a routine is the hardest thing in our lives.”

After 370 Premier League matches this season, eight of Sunday’s ten games have consequences for the title, qualification for European competitions next season or relegation to the championship.

Tottenham Hotspur can secure Champions League football by avoiding a defeat to already relegated Norwich – snatching rivals Arsenal in the process.

With Norwich City and Watford already relegated, Burnley must match Leeds United’s result to ensure safety in the Premier League.

The Premier League is Manchester City's last chance to win silverware this season.

But if this season has taught us anything, expect the unexpected on both sides of the table.

According to Opta, this is the first season in league history where it is mathematically possible to change any position to the final round of matches.

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