With just three games left and a five-point lead in the Premier League table, Liverpool are clearly in the driver's seat for the title. They better not get overconfident, however. One bad match this week and their position as table leaders will be tenuous.
Liverpool host Chelsea on Sunday, and the Blues will be looking to trim their league deficit to just two points. Of even bigger concern to Liverpool is the fact that Manchester City are six back, but have a game in hand.
With City currently enjoying a four-goal edge in differential, should Liverpool lose this week and the Citizens take care of business against Crystal Palace, it is the Citizens who will control their own destiny for the title.
Have a look at the table and then we'll take a closer look at the path to the title.
|Premier League Week 36 Table|
|12||West Ham United||35||10||7||18||38||48||-10||37|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||34||6||15||13||41||54||-13||33|
Remaining Schedule for Contenders
|Remaining League Matches for Contenders|
|May 5||at Crystal Palace|
|May 11||Newcastle Unite|
|April 27||at Liverpool|
|May 4||Norwich City|
|May 11||at Cardiff City|
|April 27||at Crystal Palace|
|May 3||at Everton|
|May 7||Aston Villa|
|May 11||West Ham United|
Liverpool's to Lose
If Chelsea is going to revive their title hopes, they almost have to beat Liverpool. They would still be alive with a draw, but a loss would end their hopes. Chelsea won when these two met earlier in the campaign. They earned a 2-1 advantage after doing a good job of limiting Liverpool talisman Luis Suarez.
Chelsea hosted that match. They will have a more difficult time defending Suarez and company at Anfield. On top of that, this match is sandwiched between the two legs of Chelsea's Champions League semifinal clash with Atletico Madrid.
They will have to try and balance that pursuit and keep their Premier League hopes alive by beating a Liverpool side that have won 11 straight league matches.
Meanwhile, Manchester City will be rooting as hard for Chelsea as Chelsea themselves.
City need the help. As you can see above, they don't have a match left with Liverpool and have to make up three points somewhere.
Now, Liverpool could wrestle away the lead in goal differential, but that isn't likely. City enjoy one more game than Liverpool and if goal differential is to matter, than City will have almost certainly won all four of those matches.
City has one big test looming with a May 3 match with Everton at Goodison Park. City beat Everton 3-1 way back on Oct. 5, but that match came at Etihad. City are just 8-4-5 away from Etihad this season. Meanwhile, Everton are 13-3-2 at home this campaign, and they trail Arsenal by just one point for the all-important fourth spot.
All of this adds up to a decent advantage to Liverpool. That will change in a hurry, however, if they can't maintain their grip on their winning streak as they battle Chelsea. If the Reds fail to pick up any points in that one, we will have a drama-filled finish to the season.
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