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Who will win the Premier League title? Arsenal or Liverpool joint favourites based on six points

Who will win the Premier League title? Arsenal or Liverpool joint favourites based on six points

Manchester City are still deemed Premier League title favourites but the numbers suggest Arsenal and Liverpool both have more reason to relish the run-in.

The reigning champions are a point behind both the Gunners and the Reds heading into the final 10 games of the season, with each club also still involved in at least one more competition.

Manchester City remain favourites to win the title once more but a look at the fixtures gives Arsenal and Liverpool plenty of hope in terms of holding them off.

Liverpool have the ‘easiest’ remaining fixtures

Based on the average Premier League position of the remaining opponents of each club, Liverpool (10.1) have the marginal and frankly negligible upper hand over their rivals. Manchester City (9.5) and Arsenal (9.2) will hardly be conceding defeat in the race on that basis, particularly considering their game on Sunday skews those figures somewhat.

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Arsenal have home advantage

It is more interesting to drill a little deeper down into those numbers. Liverpool and Arsenal have slightly stronger home records than Manchester City – 36, 35 and 34 points respectively from a possible 42 each – and more concerningly for the champions, the calibre of teams they are yet to welcome to the Etihad is remarkably daunting.

The average position of the five teams they are yet to host is 7.6, with Luton the only team below 9th. And the Hatters have shown they will push Guardiola’s side as far as anyone.

Arsenal still have to welcome Rob Edwards’ side to the Emirates too, and the average position of their home opponents (12.2) is narrowly better than that of Liverpool’s (11.2). But Klopp and his men can still count on the biggest gimme of them all in a visit from Sheffield United.

Arsenal’s remaining home fixtures: Luton (17th), Aston Villa (4th), Chelsea (11th), Bournemouth (13th), Everton (16th)

Liverpool’s remaining home fixtures : Brighton (8th), Sheffield United (20th), Crystal Palace (14th), Spurs (5th), Wolves (9th)

Manchester City’s remaining home fixtures: Arsenal (1st), Aston Villa (4th), Luton (17th), Wolves (9th), West Ham (7th)

Manchester City have the more favourable away run

And perhaps more pertinently, Arsenal’s is rotten. If the Gunners are going to come unstuck anywhere it is most likely to be on the road: their five remaining Premier League trips all come against teams currently in the top half, and they have already dropped points at Anfield, Villa Park and St James’ Park.

Liverpool have a slightly kinder schedule but face four away games in ten days, including the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final against Atalanta and a midweek Merseyside derby. That run culminates in a wonderful piece of history: Jurgen Klopp’s final Saturday lunchtime kick-off.

Guardiola will be decidedly unthrilled to see Selhurst Park and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on his upcoming itineraries; if he has bogey teams then they are among those he struggles to pick. And the second of those trips is yet to crowbarred awkwardly somewhere into the schedule, with that last midweek mere days before the final day looking conspicuously empty.

Arsenal’s remaining away fixtures: Manchester City (3rd), Brighton (8th), Wolves (9th), Spurs (5th), Man Utd (6th)

Liverpool’s remaining away fixtures: Man Utd (6th), Fulham (12th), Everton (16th), West Ham (7th), Aston Villa (4th)

Manchester City’s remaining away fixtures: Crystal Palace (14th), Spurs (5th), Brighton (8th), Nottingham Forest (18th), Fulham (12th)

Manchester City miles behind on one test

It is an imperfect science but Arsenal and Liverpool might be pleased to learn they both dropped just seven points in this season’s corresponding fixtures against their remaining opponents.

Manchester City, meanwhile, only got 17 points from the home and away games against the teams they are yet to play. Half of their matches are reverse fixtures of games they drew or lost earlier this season, having already failed to beat Spurs and Chelsea in two attempts.

Arsenal’s reverse results: Beat Luton (4-3), Bournemouth (4-0), Everton (1-0), Manchester City (1-0), Brighton (2-0), Wolves (2-1) and Man Utd (3-1); drew with Spurs (2-2) and Chelsea (2-2); lost to Aston Villa (1-0)

Liverpool’s reverse results: Beat Sheffield United (2-0), Crystal Palace (2-1), Wolves (2-1), Fulham (4-3), Everton (2-0), West Ham (3-1) and Aston Villa (3-0); drew with Brighton (2-2) and Man Utd (2-2); lost to Spurs (2-1)

Manchester City’s reverse results: Beat Luton (2-1), West Ham (3-1), Brighton (2-1), Nottingham Forest (2-0) and Fulham (5-1); drew with Crystal Palace (2-2) and Spurs (3-3); lost to Arsenal (1-0), Aston Villa (1-0) and Wolves (2-1)

Arsenal have edge based on last season

Mikel Arteta will likely not entertain any omens based on the 2022/23 season, what with the bottling and all that, but it does offer another potential boost: Arsenal accrued 24 points against their remaining opponents from corresponding fixtures from last campaign, compared to Manchester City’s 23 and Liverpool’s 19.

Arsenal and Manchester City both won all five of their home games last season against the teams they are yet to host this campaign, while Guardiola’s side and Liverpool will need to improve on what they mustered on the road in 2022/23.

With Luton replaced by Nottingham Forest as the team who came up through the play-offs last season, and Bournemouth taking the place of the side promoted in second place – Sheffield United – it is another edge for Arsenal.

Arsenal’s corresponding results from the 2022/23 season: Beat Nottingham Forest (5-0), Aston Villa (2-1), Chelsea (3-1), Bournemouth (3-2), Everton (4-0), Brighton (4-2), Wolves (2-0) and Spurs (2-0); lost to Manchester City (4-1) and Man Utd (3-1)

Liverpool’s corresponding results from the 2022/23 season: Beat Bournemouth (9-0), Spurs (4-3), Wolves (2-0), West Ham (2-1) and Aston Villa (3-1); drew with Brighton (3-3), Crystal Palace (1-1), Fulham (2-2) and Everton (0-0); lost to Man Utd (2-1)

Manchester City’s corresponding results from the 2022/23 season: Beat Arsenal (4-1), Aston Villa (3-1), Nottingham Forest (6-0), Wolves (3-0), West Ham (3-0), Crystal Palace (1-0) and Fulham (2-1); drew with Brighton (1-1) and Nottingham Forest (1-1); lost to Spurs (1-0)

Liverpool have one last card up their sleeve

One of the closest title races in Premier League history might yet be settled by the finer details. A single point separates the three teams yet Arsenal (+46) have not only decimated the goal difference gap but opened one up in their favour over Liverpool (+39) and Manchester City (+35) through a ruthless start to the year.

It is a clear enough advantage to cancel out one final point in favour of Liverpool. The Reds have the best goal difference against their remaining opponents this season (+12) but Arsenal (+11) are close behind, with Manchester City trailing again (+7).

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