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Title race: Who has the toughest remaining fixtures?

By Layton Ryan-Parson 28 Feb 2024
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We assess the schedules for the three contenders over the final 12 Matchweeks

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This season's title race looks set to be one of the most thrilling in recent years as only two points separate Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal.

The title race

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
1 Arsenal ARS 33 +51 74
2 Liverpool LIV 33 +43 74
3 Man City MCI 32 +44 73
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For only the second time in Premier League history, three teams have at least 58 points after 26 matches.

The only other campaign when that happened was 2018/19, when the title race went down to the wire as Man City finished with 98 points, just one point ahead of Liverpool.

Following the weekend's action, Pep Guardiola's side remain on the coattails of the Reds, just one point behind thanks to Phil Foden's winner at AFC Bournemouth.

The pressure was then shifted towards Arsenal, but their 4-1 demolition of Newcastle United took the Gunners to 58 points and showed that they too are ready for another title challenge.

Which team have the toughest fixtures?

We have had a look through the top three teams' remaining matches and determined who has the hardest task based on how many Premier League points their opponents currently have.   

The team with the hardest set of fixtures are defending champions Man City. Their opponents over the rest of the season currently have an average of 40.1 points, which is 3.4 points more than the average points of Liverpool's opponents.

Arsenal have the least challenging set of opponents, who average 35.4 points, 1.3 points fewer than Liverpool's. 

Remaining opponents
Club Liverpool Man City Arsenal
MW27 NFO (A) MUN (H) SHU (A)
MW28 MCI (H) LIV (A) BRE (H)
MW29 EVE (A)* BHA (A)* CHE (H)*
MW30 BHA (H) ARS (H) MCI (A)
MW31 SHU (H) AVL (H) LUT (H)
MW32 MUN (A) CRY (A) BHA (A)
MW33 CRY (H) LUT (H) AVL (H)
MW34** FUL (A) TOT (A) WOL (A)
MW35 WHU (A) NFO (A) TOT (A)
MW36 TOT (H) WOL (H) BOU (H)
MW37 AVL (A) FUL (A) MUN (A)
MW38 WOL (H) WHU (H) EVE (H)
Ave. points 36.7pts 40.1pts 35.4pts

*Matches will be postponed due to club's involvement in FA Cup quarter-finals
**Matches may be postponed by clubs' involvement in FA Cup semi-finals

Man City are now heading into a particularly challenging run of four successive matches against teams who currently sit in the top seven: Manchester United (H), Liverpool (A), Arsenal (H) and Aston Villa (H).

Their trip to Brighton & Hove Albion in Matchweek 29 will be postponed because City will be playing in the FA Cup quarter-finals instead that weekend. Indeed, all three title rivals' Premier League fixtures that weekend will be postponed due to the FA Cup.

Man City's results in the four reverse fixtures against Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal and Villa this season have been mixed: one win, a draw and two defeats. But if they can negotiate these matches successfully, they will be in a good position to claim an unprecedented fourth title in a row. 

When are the head-to-heads?

There are two remaining head-to-heads between the title rivals, and they are coming soon!

Man City visit Liverpool on Sunday 10 March and Pep Guardiola's side host Arsenal on Sunday 31 March.

Who else could have a big say in the race?

There are five teams who face all three title rivals and have the potential to kill off their title hopes. Villa, Brighton, Man Utd, Spurs and Wolverhampton Wanderers are the quintet, and each have already taken points off the top three teams this season.

Villa have beaten both Man City and Arsenal at home; Brighton drew 2-2 with Liverpool at the Amex Stadium; Man Utd held Liverpool at Anfield; Spurs beat Liverpool at home, while Wolves won 2-1 at home to City.  

Will FA Cup influence title race?

None of the three title contenders will play Premier League fixtures in Matchweek 29, on the weekend of 16-17 March, because Liverpool and Man City will be playing in the FA Cup quarter-finals instead, and Arsenal's scheduled opponents Chelsea are also in cup action. 

FA Cup quarter-final ties

Man City v Newcastle
Chelsea v Leicester
Wolves v Coventry
Man Utd v Liverpool

If any of the title rivals or their scheduled Matchweek 34 opponents progress even further to the FA Cup semi-finals, that will lead to more Premier League matches having to be moved.

The new dates for any postponed fixtures will also be affected by the three rivals' continued presence in UEFA competitions. So, it may allow one team to build a lead because they initially play an extra league match, while the others will be left to play catch-up and manage fixture congestion towards the end of the season. 

One thing is certain: the final matches will take place simultaneously on Sunday 19 May.

Should the title race go down to the wire on that final day of the 2023/24 campaign, the three title rivals are all at home, with Liverpool hosting Wolves, while City are at home to West Ham United and Arsenal entertain Everton.

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