Manchester City and Liverpool enter the EPL's final weekend hoping to win the title.
With one hand firmly placed on this season’s EPL title, Manchester City enter the final day knowing a draw against West Ham will guarantee them their second domestic title in three years.
Two weeks ago, the title looked like it was headed for Anfield when Liverpool topped the table, six points ahead of Manchester City, who had a game in hand. But a 2-0 loss at home to Chelsea backed up by a calamitous draw at Crystal Palace (a match they led 3-0 with 11 minutes to go) proved disastrous for the Reds and now the title looks certain to head to the Etihad.
Standing between Manchester City and their fourth domestic title is West Ham, a team that has been fixed firmly in the middle of the table for a majority of the season. The last time these teams met at Upton Park, City triumphed convincingly 3-1. Edin Dzeko scored in that game, and has been somewhat of a revelation since replacing injured striker Sergio Aguero. The Bosnian has notched five goals in his last three matches for the Sky Blues, including a brace in City’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa midweek.
Liverpool must overcome Newcastle at Anfield on Monday morning (AEST) if they are any hope of winning their first title in 24 years. The Reds will hope nerves get the better of City, a team that has struggled to win in the final round. Fresh in their minds will be the fixture in 2012 when City needed two injury time goals to defeat QPR at Etihad and break the hearts of cross-town rivals Manchester United. Norwich got the better of City in last season’s final game, but this weekend’s match carries much more significance and Manuel Pellegrini’s men will be eager to shut it out.
Usually match day 38 spells D-day for a couple of relegation threatened clubs and they are just as entertaining to watch as teams fighting for the title. However, Sunderland’s win over West Brom on Thursday guaranteed them survival, meaning Norwich will join Cardiff City and Fulham in the plunge back down to the Championship. So out of the 10 matches that all kick off at midnight on Sunday (AEST), there are really only two matches, at Anfield and the Etihad, that have any significance. Liverpool will look to finish their impressive season on a high, but City should have too much class for West Ham and reclaim the title from cross-city rival Manchester United and silence the Red’s faithful.
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