2021-22 English Premier League Title Race: City still expected to take EPL title despite West Ham draw

Eddie Griffin

On Sunday, a thrilling two-team tussle for the English Premier League title will come to a conclusion. But which team will be lifting the trophy when the dust settles? Will Manchester City win their fourth title in five seasons? Or will Liverpool win their second in three seasons?

For much of the season, the Premier League title race has been a two-horse race between City and Liverpool. City are seeking to continue their recent domestic dominance, as another league title would mark their sixth in 11 seasons.

Liverpool, meanwhile, are looking to draw level with fierce rivals Manchester United for the most top-flight titles in English football history.

While that would be a momentous achievement in its own right, the men from Merseyside are also looking to keep their dreams of a historic quadruple. They have already captured the EFL Cup and FA Cup, and they will face Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday, May 28.

City Drop Points at West Ham to Keep Door Open for Liverpool

Ahead of the penultimate round of the season, City held a three-point lead and a superior goal difference over Liverpool.

But Pep Guardiola’s side had a slight stumble at West Ham last Sunday, which kept Liverpool’s hopes fully alive heading into Tuesday’s match at Southampton. City overcame a two-goal halftime deficit to level the match, but Riyad Mahrez missed a late penalty that would have all but retained the title.

Liverpool had their own deficit to deal with at St. Mary’s, as they fell behind to a brilliant strike by Nathan Redmond in the 13th minute. But the Reds rallied for a 2-1 win to take the title race into Sunday.

Here’s how the top two looked before those two results and how it looks after those results.

English Premier League Table (Entering Round 37)

  1. Manchester City – 89 points
  2. Liverpool – 86

English Premier League Table (Entering Round 38)

  1. Manchester City – 90 points
  2. Liverpool – 89

The two important fixtures on Sunday will see Liverpool host eighth-placed Wolves and Manchester City host Aston Villa, who sit 14th in the table.

Goal difference will not be a factor in the outcome of the title race unless City lose and Liverpool draw, but ahead of the decisive day, Pep Guardiola’s side has a goal difference of 72 (96 goals scored and 24 goals allowed), while Jurgen Klopp’s side has a goal difference of 66 (91 goals scored and 25 goals allowed).

If those very unlikely results occur, it is even more unlikely that Aston Villa would wallop City by a scoreline that would bring goal difference into play.

So, it all comes down to whether or not City continue their strong home form or if Aston Villa can somehow pick up a draw or a win in a Premier League at the Etihad Stadium for the first time in City’s post-takeover era.

The last time that Villa won a league match at the Etihad was April 28, 2007, when goals from John Carew and Shaun Maloney gave the visitors a 2-0 win. It’s safe to say that City have come a long way since then.

This season, City have 14 wins, two draws (vs. Liverpool and Southampton), and two losses (vs. Tottenham and Crystal Palace) at home in the league.

Their odds to retain the Premier League title were chopped due to the results in the previous round, but with an advantage in the table, a highly favorable matchup, and an excellent home record, City are still heavily favored to lift the trophy on Sunday.

2021-22 Premier League Winner Odds (Entering Round 37)

Odds are via FanDuel.

  • Manchester City -1350
  • Liverpool +1300

2021-22 Premier League Winner Odds (Entering Round 38)

Odds are via FanDuel.

  • Manchester City -600
  • Liverpool +550

Liverpool have an opening, but they need to do their part to position themselves to snatch the trophy in dramatic fashion in case City do somehow fail to beat Villa.

The Reds have not lost a league game at Anfield this season, but they have four draws, which came against Chelsea, City, Brighton, and Tottenham. Prior to their recent draw against Spurs, Liverpool had won a dozen straight home league matches.

So, they are understandably expected to uphold their end, especially when Wolves will make the visit to Anfield in terrible form. But will a win be enough, or will City render it meaningless with three points of their own?

Will there be any twists, turns, and drama in this season’s Premier League title race over the next eight days? Or will Manchester City clinch another top-flight title without any real fuss?

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