EPL – Faltering favourites? Title race blown open

Seen as uncompetitive a month ago, the EPL title race is back on after favourites Man City dropped points for a second time in four games.

A month ago, on January 23, Manchester City travelled to Southampton and looked set to record an incredible 13th-straight EPL win this season. At this point, with a sizeable buffer at the top of the Premier League table, City were apparently strolling to yet another title under Pep Guardiola.

And the markets reflected as much.

Ahead of the clash at Saint Mary’s, City were $1.03 near certainties to claim the 2021-22 title. And at $1.25 favourites H2H against the Saints, were expected to shorten again. But surprisingly, City could only manage a draw on the road. And despite Guardiola claiming it was City’s “best performance of the (EPL) season — by far”, they left the door ever-so-slightly ajar that day.

Now, that door’s been wrenched open again.

Spurs’ helping hand for Reds

City were similarly short when hosting Tottenham on the weekend. At $1.29 with Palmerbet, Guardiola’s men were expected to solidify their top position. But after a Harry Kane masterclass — a player many thought was going to the Etihad in the summer — they dropped points for a second time in four games. And in doing so, the title race has been blown right open.

As City have stumbled, Liverpool are breathing down their necks. Six wins on the bounce (including a 6-0 trouncing of Leeds on Thursday morning) has seen Jurgen Klopp’s side come screeching into $3.75 for the title with Palmerbet after being in double figures just a month ago. At the same time, City have lengthened out to $1.22.

The EPL title race has shifted from uncompetitive to intriguing within weeks. So, where do both sides sit with one-third of the season still to play?

Run home: Manchester City

While there is sudden (and understandable) excitement that the title race is ‘back on’, City do still have a three-point buffer on top. And, in a boost for Guardiola, their next month is more straightforward that Liverpool’s. Four of their next five games are against clubs ninth or lower on the EPL table. That is; Everton, Crystal Palace, Brighton, Burnley. The other is against crosstown rivals Manchester United. That clash, however, is at home at the Etihad. It’s within the realms of possibility that the title race could come down to the now much-anticipated City v Liverpool encounter on April 10.

Run home: Liverpool

Liverpool’s next month is decidedly tougher than City’s. Four of five upcoming EPL opponents are in the top half of the table, including three Top 4 hopefuls in West Ham, Arsenal and Man United. After that stretch of game comes the aforementioned April 10 clash, which they travel away to the Etihad for. With League Cup (against Chelsea) and FA Cup (against Norwich) clash to come, Liverpool don’t play another EPL game until next weekend. Palmerbet’s early markets for that clash — despite West Ham sitting in fifth — has the Reds as strong $1.33 favourites.