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Dublin: 0°C Thursday 6 May 2021
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Crystal Ball Gazing - Who's going to win the Premier League this season?

Our writers figure out who will be crowned champions – Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester City?

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Chelsea v Liverpool - Stamford Bridge John Terry and Luis Suarez. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

AND THEN THERE were three.

Arsenal’s title chances look to have evaporated after last Saturday’s loss to Chelsea and their midweek draw against Swansea.

Which leaves Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City in the hunt to be crowned Premier League champions for this season.

We asked our writers to gaze into the crystal ball and look at the run-in that each side faces to figure out who is going to be celebrating in May.

Paul Fennessy

CHELSEA – 88 points

Mar 29th: Crystal Palace (a) – Win; Apr 5th: Stoke (h) – Win; Apr 13th: Swansea (a) – Win; Apr 20th: Sunderland (h) – Win; Apr 27th: Liverpool (a) – Draw; May 3rd: Norwich (h) – Win; May 11th: Cardiff (a) – Win.

MAN CITY – 91 points

Mar 29th: Arsenal (a) – Win; Apr 5th: Southampton (h) – Win; Apr 13th: Liverpool (a) – Draw; Apr 16th: Sunderland (h) – Win; Apr 21st: West Brom (h) – Win; Apr 27th: Crystal Palace (a) – Win; May 3rd: Everton (a) – Win; May 7th: Aston Villa (h) – Win; May 11th: West Ham (h) – Win.

LIVERPOOL – 85 points

Mar 30th: Spurs (h) – Win; Apr 6th: West Ham (a) - Win; Apr 13th: Man City (h) – Draw; Apr 20th: Norwich (a) – Win; Apr 27th: Chelsea (h) – Draw; May 3rd: Crystal Palace (a) – Win; May 11th: Newcastle (h) – Win.

It’s already been one of the best Premier League title races ever, and the next few weeks should be fascinating to watch unfold. Chelsea undoubtedly have the easiest run-in, though City have those all-important two games in hand. Liverpool also have an advantage in that they get to play both their big games (against City and Chelsea) at Anfield – where they have only dropped points twice all season.

I tipped City back at the start of the year, so I’ll stick with them. Of the three, they have undoubtedly the most talented squad. Some question marks remain over the temperament of certain players in Manuel Pellegrini’s side, but the big characters like Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho should ultimately pull them through.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Manchester City - Old Trafford Vincent Kompany. Source: Richard Sellers

Niall Kelly

CHELSEA – 85 points

Mar 29th: Crystal Palace (a) – Win; Apr 5th: Stoke (h) – Draw; Apr 13th: Swansea (a) – Win; Apr 20th: Sunderland (h) – Win; Apr 27th: Liverpool (a) – Loss; May 3rd: Norwich (h) – Win; May 11th: Cardiff (a) – Win.

MAN CITY – 87 points (win on scoring difference)

Mar 29th: Arsenal (a) – Draw; Apr 5th: Southampton (h) – Win; Apr 13th: Liverpool (a) – Draw; Apr 16th: Sunderland (h) – Win; Apr 21st: West Brom (h) – Win; Apr 27th: Crystal Palace (a) – Win; May 3rd: Everton (a) – Draw; May 7th: Aston Villa (h) – Win; May 11th: West Ham (h) – Win.

LIVERPOOL – 87 points

Mar 30th: Spurs (h) – Win; Apr 6th: West Ham (a) - Win; Apr 13th: Man City (h) – Draw; Apr 20th: Norwich (a) – Win; Apr 27th: Chelsea (h) – Win; May 3rd: Crystal Palace (a) – Win; May 11th: Newcastle (h) – Win.

There are always a few unexpected twists and turns in the title race and, even though the three contenders could realistically go unbeaten from now until the end of the season, there will surely be one shock that nobody saw coming.

In the end, I think it’s set up to go right down to the wire on a final day of Sky Sports split screens and frantic goal difference calculations. City will win it… but only just.

Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Patrick McCarry

CHELSEA – 86 points

Mar 29th: Crystal Palace (a) – Win; Apr 5th: Stoke (h) – Win; Apr 13th: Swansea (a) – Draw; Apr 20th: Sunderland (h) – Win; Apr 27th: Liverpool (a) – Draw; May 3rd: Norwich (h) – Win; May 11th: Cardiff (a) – Win.

MAN CITY – 88 points

Mar 29th: Arsenal (a) – Win; Apr 5th: Southampton (h) – Win; Apr 13th: Liverpool (a) – Draw; Apr 16th: Sunderland (h) – Win; Apr 21st: West Brom (h) – Win; Apr 27th: Crystal Palace (a) – Win; May 3rd: Everton (a) – Loss; May 7th: Aston Villa (h) – Win
May 11th: West Ham (h) – Win.

LIVERPOOL – 85 points

Mar 30th: Spurs (h) – Win; Apr 6th: West Ham (a) - Win; Apr 13th: Man City (h) – Draw; Apr 20th: Norwich (a) – Win; Apr 27th: Chelsea (h) – Draw; May 3rd: Crystal Palace (a) – Win; May 11th: Newcastle (h) – Win.

The league is going to Eastlands for the second time in three seasons but I reckon it will go down to the final game of the season. Liverpool could yet blow the race wide open by winning either of their home games with City of Chelsea but I expect Pellegrini’s men to kick off their run-in with a win over Arsenal and accumulate points from there.

Their squad is deeper than their rivals and, with Vincent Kompany on the scene, they should keep enough clean sheets to allow Silva, Negredo & co to win some matches.

Yaya Toure and David Silva. Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Fintan O’Toole

CHELSEA – 86 points

Mar 29th: Crystal Palace (a) – Win; Apr 5th: Stoke (h) – Draw; Apr 13th: Swansea (a) – Win; Apr 20th: Sunderland (h) – Win; Apr 27th: Liverpool (a) – Draw; May 3rd: Norwich (h) – Win; May 11th: Cardiff (a) – Win.

MAN CITY – 89 points

Mar 29th: Arsenal (a) – Win; Apr 5th: Southampton (h) – Win; Apr 13th: Liverpool (a) – Draw; Apr 16th: Sunderland (h) – Win; Apr 21st: West Brom (h) – Win; Apr 27th: Crystal Palace (a) – Win; May 3rd: Everton (a) – Draw; May 7th: Aston Villa (h) – Win; May 11th: West Ham (h) – Win.

LIVERPOOL – 85 points

Mar 30th: Spurs (h) – Win; Apr 6th: West Ham (a) - Win; Apr 13th: Man City (h) – Draw; Apr 20th: Norwich (a) – Win; Apr 27th: Chelsea (h) – Draw; May 3rd: Crystal Palace (a) – Win; May 11th: Newcastle (h) – Win.

Chelsea are top of the table, Man City have the benefit of games in hand while Liverpool’s current form is electric. The three title challengers all have grounds for optimism and the margins are likely to be wafer-thin at the finish. But Man City look strongest and are free from the distractions of Europe. Pass their major tests at the Emirates, Anfield and Goodison, and they’ll win.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Liverpool v Fulham - Anfield Steven Gerrard with Brendan Rodgers. Source: Richard Sellers

Steve O’Rourke

CHELSEA – 83 points

Mar 29th: Crystal Palace (a) – Draw; Apr 5th: Stoke (h) – Draw; Apr 13th: Swansea (a) – Win; Apr 20th: Sunderland (h) – Win; Apr 27th: Liverpool (a) – Loss; May 3rd: Norwich (h) – Win; May 11th: Cardiff (a) – Win.

MAN CITY – 86 points

Mar 29th: Arsenal (a) – Win; Apr 5th: Southampton (h) – Win; Apr 13th: Liverpool (a) – Draw; Apr 16th: Sunderland (h) – Win; Apr 21st: West Brom (h) – Win; Apr 27th: Crystal Palace (a) – Win; May 3rd: Everton (a) – Loss; May 7th: Aston Villa (h) – Win; May 11th: West Ham (h) – Draw.

LIVERPOOL – 85 points

Mar 30th: Spurs (h) – Win; Apr 6th: West Ham (a) - Win; Apr 13th: Man City (h) – Draw; Apr 20th: Norwich (a) – Win; Apr 27th: Chelsea (h) – Win; May 3rd: Crystal Palace (a) – Win; May 11th: Newcastle (h) – Draw.

I don’t know why but I can’t shake the feeling that Liverpool are going to have the Premier League title within their grasp only to bottle it on the final day of the season. There’s very little to support this other than a 2-2 with Aston Villa back in January at Anfield and a same scoreline when they played Newcastle away in October.

City’s near capitulation against QPR a couple of seasons back will play on their minds on the final day but they’ll have just enough. Chelsea’s loss to Liverpool on April 27th will end their title challenge.

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