Could Man United and Liverpool still chase league leaders Man City?

Could Man United and Liverpool still chase league leaders Man City

After 11 straight wins, Man City shortened their odds, and are favourites to win the league, with 53 points and one game behind. Manchester United is 7 points behind, but their erratic form inspires no confidence. Liverpool have struggled through the last matches, lost 3 straight home games and fell to 4th place in the league table. So could one of them improve recent performances and make a title run with 14 matches to be played?

STSBet lists Manchester City’s odds to win the title at 1/16, ahead of United and Liverpool, who are 33/1 and 80/1 respectively. If these sides still dream of being crowned champions by the end of the season, there’s a long road ahead of them.

Manchester United

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Manchester United’s season has been full of ups and downs, so far. The team is capable of great wins, like the historic 9-0 victory over Southampton, but also had terrible moments, such as the horrifying 6-1 loss to the Spurs, at the start of the season. Under former striker Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the Red Devils became one of the most unstable teams in recent history, and the tie against Everton, two weeks ago, was another perfect example of that. After scoring 2-0 in the first half, United conceded two goals within three minutes, before McTominay scored, in the 70th minute, what looked like the game winner. But in the last minute of the match, Calvert-Lewin netted the equalizer, and the Toffees left Old Trafford with a much appreciated draw. This weekend, one more disappointing performance by United and another stalemate; a 1-1 tie against West Brom, at the Hawthorns, that made their odds lengthen to 33/1.

There are still 14 matches for United to play, and they’re sitting 7 points behind Manchester City. The two will face off in the last Manchester derby of the Premier League season on March 6th, at the Etihad Stadium. One week earlier, Man United will play another rival, this time Chelsea, at Stamford Bridge.

With many difficult matches ahead, United’s journey to a possible Premier League title would be far from smooth. There is another derby to be played, against Liverpool, in May, and important games against Tottenham and Leicester City, that can be decisive to any aspirations Solskjær and his men might have, as they have to hope Manchester City lose some points in their next fixtures. Apart from that, Manchester United have a busy schedule, as the team faces Real Sociedad, in Europa League’s round of 32, and Leicester City in the quarter-finals of FA Cup. In an unusual season like this one, the team may lose some players due to injuries or fatigue.

Liverpool

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Before the start of the season, Liverpool were pointed as the big favourites to lift the Premier League trophy, coming from an excellent year, when the team won their first league title in 30 years. With seven games to spare, it was the earliest any team had ever won the Premier League. As the 2020-21 season started, Liverpool’s performances were inconsistent, despite winning their earlier matches. A 7-2 loss to Aston Villa was the first sign that something could be wrong. But the team kept winning some games, racking up points, and by the end of the year, Liverpool were at the top of the league table. Then came January, and things started to turn around. Following a 7-0 win against Crystal Palace, the team went on a streak of six league matches without a win, including a one-nil loss to Burnley, at Anfield Road, which was their first home loss after 68 games. Since then, Liverpool still have not won a game at Anfield, and fell to fourth place in the table, behind Leicester City, United and Manchester City. On Saturday, Klopp’s side failed to turn the tide, as the team lost yet another match; a 3-1 defeat to Leicester City.

On their path to a possible title, Liverpool will face some bottom-of-the-table opponents, so if they are able to get back to a good form, matches against Sheffield, Newcastle and West Brom can prove to be a good way for the team to gain some positions in the league table. With a Merseyside derby to be played on February 20th, and a clash with United in May, Jurgen Klopp must find some solutions to the defensive problems the team has been facing since van Dijk’s injury. With 80/1 odds, some might say Liverpool are definitely out of title contention.

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