Winner-Take-All?

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Liverpool and Man City clash could well decide the Premier League title.
By Greg Hudson
 
When Liverpool beat Cardiff City in December to sit first in the Barclay’s Premier League at Christmas for the first time in nearly two decades, few pundits or fans believed they’d remain there for long. And two narrow defeats to championship rivals Manchester City and Chelsea in the final week of 2013 left the Reds in fourth place, down but not out.
 
But while other title contenders have stumbled – Chelsea suffered shock defeats to Aston Villa and Crystal Palace; City were held 0-0 by Norwich City; Arsenal lost 6-0 to Chelsea, 5-1 to Liverpool, 3-0 to Everton – Liverpool have emerged in 2014 as legitimate title contenders. They are unbeaten in 2014, a run of 14 matches since their loss to Chelsea. The Reds are currently on a nine-game winning streak, and when they thrashed Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 at Anfield at the end of March, they regained the top spot in the league with just 5 matches to go.
 
Liverpool now have destiny entirely in their hands. If they win their five remaining matches, they will lift the trophy for the 19th time, but on the first occasion since 1990.
 
But Manchester City have seven games remaining, and they too have destiny entirely in their hands: win their remaining games and they win the title. And a 2-1 victory over Liverpool after Christmas will give the Citizens confidence.
 
A win for either side could potentially decide the title, with Liverpool poised to put themselves 1 point clear of City’s maximum remaining points, while City could move past the Reds’ potential by 5 with a win of their own, though that task will be difficult against a Liverpool side that lead the league in goals scored and are on a run of for unrivaled in the league this season.
 
A draw, on the other hand, could prove fatal for both sides, as it would potentially allow Chelsea back into the championship argument. And with a month left in this the season of seasons, truly anything can happen.
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