Playing with Fate: Predicting the Destination of the English Premiership Title

Jon FeatonbyCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2009

WIGAN, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 11:  Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson holds the Barclays Premier League trophy aloft at the end of the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester United at The JJB Stadium on May 11, 2008 in Wigan, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Almost a month ago, Middlesbrough became the second team to beat Liverpool in the league this season and in doing so seemed to have handed the Premiership title once more to Manchester United.

The thing that all Liverpool fans feared was about to come true: that once seemingly untouchable record 18 league championships was about to be equalled by the reds from down the M62.

Then came what was quite possibly the fortnight of Rafa Benitez's eventful five year reign at Anfield.

Firstly, Liverpool put four past Real Madrid, making the Spanish champions look like Blackburn on a bad day.

Then came that unforgettable Saturday lunchtime at Old Trafford when United were put to the sword by a ruthless Liverpool, lead by an inspired Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.

The following week saw Benitez sign a new long-term deal with the club after a protracted negotiation period. I'll leave it to you to speculate on how much the timing of this deal had to do with the surely improved bargaining position Benitez was in after his last two results.

Whatever the case, he was rewarded with arguably the performance of the season when Aston Villa, a team who had, earlier in the season, won seven away games in a row, were dispatched emphatically 5-0 at Anfield.

This completed a dream weekend for Liverpool—United had been beaten 2-0 by Fulham the day before, in the process losing Rooney and Scholes to suspensions. Furthermore, Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink almost declared his side out of race following a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur.

The outcome of a crazy two weeks? A Premier League Championship that is still being contested by three teams as we head into the month of April.

Prediction Time

So who will be celebrating come six o'clock on the evening of May 24, a little over six weeks from now?

Let us look at the remaining fixtures for the top three teams and my predicted outcomes of these games:

Manchester United            Liverpool                          Chelsea

Aston Villa (H)         3-1     Fulham (A)        2-1       Newcastle (A)         3-0

Sunderland (A)        2-0     Blackburn (H)     3-0       Bolton (H)               2-0

Portsmouth (H)        3-0     Arsenal (H)       2-1       Everton (H)              1-1

Tottenham (H)        1-1     Hull (A)             1-0       West Ham (A)          2-0

Middlesbrough (A)    2-0     Newcastle (H)    4-0       Fulham (H)              3-0

Man City (H)           1-0     West Ham (A)    2-1       Arsenal (A)              0-0

Wigan (A)               2-0     West Brom (A)   2-0       Blackburn (H)           1-0

Arsenal (H)             1-1    Tottenham (H)    1-1       Sunderland (A)         2-1

Hull (A)                  2-1

If these are the results that will decide the destination of the title, how will the top of the table look?

  1. Manchester United  P38 W27 D7 L4 GD46  PTS 88
  2. Liverpool               P38 W25 D11 L2 GD46 PTS 86
  3. Chelsea                P38 W24 D9 L5 GD44   PTS 81

So Manchester United repeat as champions, while Liverpool are left to rue toothless home draws against Stoke City and West Ham.

These are just prediction, yes, and it probably is a little unrealistic that none of the top three will suffer more defeats this season. And it wouldn't be the first time that international breaks have left club managers without key players—just ask Liverpool fans about Torres and his hamstrings.

But we could see Robbie Keane scoring at Anfield to deny his former club their first league title in 19 years.

No matter happens though, we could well be in for a blinder.


    Fabregas: Ronaldo's Goals Come from Dead-Balls or Mistakes

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Fabregas: Ronaldo's Goals Come from Dead-Balls or Mistakes
    via sport

    Keita Arrives, Fekir Talk Returns, 2 Keepers Ruled Out

    Liverpool logo

    Keita Arrives, Fekir Talk Returns, 2 Keepers Ruled Out

    This Is Anfield
    via This Is Anfield

    Find Your World Cup Twin

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Find Your World Cup Twin

    VG Nett
    via VG Nett

    Lukaku & Hazard Put on Show in Belgium Goalfest

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Lukaku & Hazard Put on Show in Belgium Goalfest

    Matt Jones
    via Bleacher Report