Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham: Run-ins assessed
Last Updated: 07/02/19 12:06pm
With the Premier League title race on a knife-edge, whose run-in could define their season and see them lifting the trophy in May?
Manchester City retook top spot on goal difference from Liverpool on Wednesday night after their 2-0 win at Everton, and while the Reds have a game in hand over last season's league champions, they have now dropped more points in their last five games than in the previous 20.
Meanwhile, Tottenham are back to chipping away at the top two and have cut the gap to the top to five points courtesy of four wins from five, and still have Dele Alli and Harry Kane to return to fitness ahead of their run-in.
So where will the title be won and lost? Will it come down to the final moments?
On paper, Tottenham's run-in appears the most tricky. The teams they face are on average a whole position higher than their title rivals' opponents, at 10.4, and after travelling to Chelsea on February 27, they visit both Liverpool and Manchester City in the final weeks of the season.
Of their 13 remaining games only four are against teams in the top eight. Three are away, while Man City and Liverpool travel to one top-eight team each, and Spurs' sole home game against a 'big' club comes against arch-rivals Arsenal on March 2, in the type of game where the form book can easily go out of the window.
Premier League title run-ins
|Chelsea (h)||Bournemouth (h)||Leicester (h)|
|-||Man Utd (a)||Burnley (a)|
|West Ham (h)||Watford (h)||Chelsea (a)|
|Bournemouth (a)||Everton (a)||Arsenal (h)|
|Watford (h)||Burnley (h)||Southampton (a)|
|Man Utd (a)||Fulham (a)||Crystal Palace (h)|
|Fulham (a)||Tottenham (h)||Liverpool (a)|
|Cardiff (h)||Southampton (a)||Brighton (h)|
|Crystal Palace (a)||Chelsea (h)||Huddersfield (h)|
|Tottenham (h)||Cardiff (a)||Man City (a)|
|Burnley (a)||Huddersfield (h)||West Ham (h)|
|Leicester (h)||Newcastle (a)||Bournemouth (a)|
|Brighton (h)||Wolves (h)||Everton (h)|
That could prove similarly true when Liverpool take the short journey to Goodison Park to play Everton on March 3 before Manchester City host Manchester United on March 16, with both games live on Sky Sports.
Breathe easy, Liverpool fans, your games look the most straightforward in theory - your opponents have an average position of 11.6 - but, of course, football is not played on paper and the Reds' results in recent weeks have shown complete disregard to the form book.
They will face a huge test against bitter foes Manchester United at Old Trafford on February 24 before they host Tottenham at Anfield on March 31. Both games are on Sky Sports, while Chelsea will also visit the north west on April 13*.
Manchester City's home run looks more tricky than their title rivals - they host Chelsea live on Sky Sports this Sunday, as well as Tottenham on April 20*.
However, aside from visiting Manchester United, Bournemouth are the only team currently inside the top 10 they will face on their travels.
* These dates are subject to change as TV selections have not yet been announced