Rowdie: Mathematical football prediction and betting tips

The Tightest Title Race in Years

We look to be set for a battle royale for who wins the 2021/22 English Premier League title. After the December 11 and 12 fixtures, just two points separated leaders Manchester City, Liverpool and third-place Chelsea. It looks like the tightest title race in years – but who will come out on top?

It’s a high-class battle between these three clubs. Manchester City are the defending champions, Liverpool the winners two seasons ago and current European champions Chelsea. They have created an eight-point gap to Westham in fourth.

Only once in the last four seasons has the Premier League title been won by less than 12 points. 2018/19 saw a titanic battle as Manchester City pipped Liverpool by a single point to become champions.

The big difference this year is that it’s a three-horse race. Each of the last seven EPL seasons has failed to create this situation. Not once has the third-placed side been less than 11 points behind the champions. Just once in the past four seasons has the team in third been less than 23 adrift of the top two.

Not since 2013/14, when just four points separated the top three, has there been a real three-way title battle. On that occasion, it was also City, Liverpool and Chelsea battling it out.

Manchester City are favourites in the latest Premier League title odds, with Liverpool next and Chelsea a tempting 5/1. A win will be their fourth in five seasons but only once in 2019 have City retained the Premier League title.

City are known for their long unbeaten runs. The win over Wolves on December 11 was their sixth straight Premier League victory. There is the chance in the coming weeks that the winning run can be extended and a decent lead at the top established. It’s not an easy time of the year to keep on winning matches, but City have such a strong squad; if anyone can do it, it’s them.

Liverpool are only a point behind City but twice led City at home in October, only to draw 2-2. This season has seen them back to the side they were a couple of years ago. [player 1743] is back; [player 4125] can’t stop scoring, and they are again strong at Anfield.

It’s not just City who can go on winning streaks. The home win over Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa on December 11 was the seventh successive win for the Reds. December is always an important month, but January is going to be one that Liverpool will find tough.

The month begins with a trip to Chelsea that they dare not lose. One major problem for the Reds is the Africa Cup of Nations between January 9 and February 6. That rescheduled tournament will rob them of Salah. After the Chelsea game, though, their only scheduled Premier League games in January are tough.

Chelsea haven’t won the English Premier League since the 2016/17 season. They are the European champions but need to up their game if they are to stay in the title race. Some early season performances were highly impressive, but getting wins has become harder as the season has progressed.

Player made a good start on his return to Stamford Bridge. However, then injury struck, and he’s only scored three league goals for Chelsea this season. He looks back to be fully fit now, and rediscovering his scoring touch is vital for Chelsea’s title hopes.

Their stubborn defence has struggled of late too. The 3-2 win over Leeds was the fifth successive game in which they had conceded, with eight conceded in the last three. That kind of defending doesn’t win you titles – the 3-2 defeat at West Ham was another excellent example.

January is a massive month for the Blues. They host Liverpool and travel to Manchester City in consecutive fixtures. Then it’s [team 6] away, so if they are still close to the top at the end of the month, then they really will be title contenders.

After so many processions, the Premier League needs another close title race. Each of the three teams will have busy times ahead with domestic and European games. City are the favourites but Liverpool and Chelsea both have to be feared. If it remains close, though, the real winners will be the game of football.

Finally the real tension in English Premier League till the very end?

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