Is that it? Have Liverpool blinked first? Will Manchester City win back to back titles? Not quite yet but it does feel like it. Yet again we have seen a titanic battle play out between Manchester City and Liverpool, easily the two best teams in the Premier League and it is advantage Manchester City.
In truth the advantage has always been with City but Liverpool had closed the gap to just one point in recent weeks and the league really could have gone either way, just one slip up was needed. But that banana skin moment happened for Liverpool at the weekend as they played Tottenham at home, a Tottenham side chasing 4th place. The Londoners seemed relaxed and enjoyed perhaps more of the game than they thought they would and took the lead from a Heung Min-Son goal but Luis Diaz equalised later in the game and Liverpool dropped only their 8th point at home this season. They finished the game still unbeaten at home but it felt like a loss, they knew City would beat Newcastle the following day at home and they due fully did beating the Magpies 5-0 without really going into second gear.
There are 3 games left each for City and Liverpool and City has a 3 point advantage, but that's really four points as they have a +4 goal difference on Liverpool. Liverpool will play Aston Villa in midweek away from home then Southampton away and Wolves at home. All of those games are winnable for Jurgen Klopp's side but they also have to play an FA Cup final in between those games against Chelsea. Four intense games in 12 days seems a lot and the league title feels like it will slip through their hands this season. But let's take a look at City's remaining fixtures. They have to play their next two games away from home against Wolves and West Ham and then finish the season with a home match against Aston Villa. Again that is all opponents you would expect City to beat although playing the Hammers away from home could be slightly tricky. But perhaps the latest prices on the title says it all….
To win the Premier League: Manchester City 1.05, Liverpool 7.00
At the other end of the league it was win, win, win for Everton. Not only did they go to Leicester and beat them 2-1 they also saw two direct rivals in Burnley and Leeds lose and all of a sudden after being dumped in the relegation places Everton are now in 16th place. Of course the Toffees are not out of the woods yet but the weekend was a real positive for them and they also have a game in hand over Burnley and Leeds. To put the icing on the cake for Frank Lampard's side new signing Vitaily Mykolenko scored a stunning volley that could well be short listed for goal of the season. Everton play their game in hand against Watford this week, they are away from home and that victory over Leicester was Everton's first away victory since August! Watford have been relegated this past weekend and also have the worst home record in the league -Survival is in the Toffees hands.
To be relegated: Leeds 2.00, Burnley 2.10, Everton 11.00
Arsenal look set to finish in 4th place and claim the final Champions League position as they have gone 4 points clear of Tottenham but the two sides meet in midweek in what should be an electric game of football. However the pressure will be on Tottenham more to win and even if they do they can't go past the Gunners. Arsenal could in fact end up finishing in 3rd place as the brakes seem to have been triggered on Chelsea's season. Perhaps now the Blues are thinking of their FA Cup final this Saturday, but they would want another win between now and the end of the season just to be sure of Champions League football next season.
Top 4 finish: Chelsea, 1.00, Arsenal 1.30, Tottenham 3.25
Finally this weekend we see the 141st FA Cup final to be played between Liverpool and Chelsea. 2022 marks the 150th anniversary of the cup and the final will see two top teams participating in it. For now Liverpool are still going for the quadruple, although that looks likely to be knocked down to 'just a treble' and when you look at the two teams form coming into this game you would have to say that Liverpool are the favourites. However the much seasoned football fan will understand that this should be a very close game and who can forget the 0-0 draws between the sides when Chelsea became a force in the mid 2000s.
Liverpool have won the FA Cup 7 times but their last win was in 2006.
Chelsea have won the FA Cup 8 times and have won it five times in the last 14 years.
The teams have played each other 191 times. Liverpool have the most wins with 83, Chelsea has 65 wins and there has been 43 draws.
The teams first played each other in the FA Cup in 1932 and Chelsea won 2-0.
The clubs have played 10 times in the FA Cup and Chelsea have seven wins.
It is 10 years since the teams met each other in the final of the FA Cup. Back in 2012 Chelsea came out victorious winning 2-1.
They last played each other in an FA Cup match in 2020 with Chelsea winning 2-0.
Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku and Liverpool's Takumi Minamino are in line to become the top goalscorers of this edition of the FA Cup. Both players have scored 3 goals and need just one to finish equal top or two to finish on top.
FA Cup winner: Liverpool 1.50, Chelsea 2.25