Seemingly unafraid of slipping into cliché mode, Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson insisted this week that the Reds have got to take each game as it comes and that the weekend’s colossal showdown with Manchester City isn’t necessarily a title-decider but with only five matches of the campaign remaining, for Brendan Rodgers’s troops anyway, it’s hard not to feel that Sunday’s winner will go on to be crowned champions.
Aided by home advantage, Liverpool are bet365’s 7/5 favourites to rack up a tenth win on the bounce and edge closer to their first top flight crown since 1990 while Manuel Pellegrini’s men are 2/1 at BetVictor to collect a crucial three points at Anfield, where Ladbrokes post 13/5 against it finishing all square.
Three of the last four league and cup meetings between the pair have finished two-each, a result that’s available at a high of just 12/1 (BetVictor) on this occasion and Paddy Power price any score draw at 16/5. However, Rodgers’s charges have won 14 of their 16 matches on their own turf and given their momentum at present, they might just edge a close encounter.
Winner.com offer 9/1 about them registering a 2-1 success, bet365 rate the Reds at 10/3 to come out on top by a one-goal margin and it’s 14/5 at Ladbrokes for the hosts to prevail in a contest that sees both teams find the net.
Luis Suarez meanwhile, has struck six times in six outings so he’ll be well backed at 5/1 (William Hill) to break the deadlock and simultaneously reach the magical 30-goal mark for the season.
A City triumph would present Chelsea with the opportunity to reclaim top spot in Sunday’s second match. The Blues are 7/10 at Skybet to emerge victorious at Swansea and they deserve their favourites tag against a team that has managed just one win in eight league outings.
Nevertheless, the Swans are the top flight’s joint fifth-highest home scorers so it looks like a fixture in which both teams will find the net (5/6, Stan James), an outcome that can be combined with an away victory at 14/5 with BetVictor.
Having hammered Arsenal last time out, Everton can take advantage of the fact that the Gunners are in FA Cup action and strike another blow in the battle for a Champions League place by landing a seventh straight win at rock-bottom Sunderland. The Toffees are 4/5 at Stan James to move into fourth by overcoming their beleaguered and 14/5 (betway) to prevail but also concede.
At Selhurst Park, bet365 go 11/10 about Crystal Palace virtually guaranteeing survival by seeing off Aston Villa, Fulham are also 11/10 (Stan James) to boost their own chances of staying up as they take on Norwich and Paddy Power quote Tottenham at 11/8 to ensure West Brom remain in trouble by defeating the Baggies at the Hawthorns.
Liverpool to beat Man City by one – 10/3 (bet365)
Chelsea and Southampton double – 17/10 (BetVictor)
Everton to beat Sunderland and both teams to score – 14/5 (betway)
Crystal Palace, Fulham and Stoke treble – 9/1 (Ladbrokes)