PL title challenger accumulator: Can City gain ground on title rivals?

The Premier League title race took another dramatic turn last weekend as Arsenal defeated Liverpool 3-1 with an outstanding performance. There are no direct clashes between the top three this weekend, but there are still three crucial fixtures to play. 

PL title challenger accumulator – Our predictions

Arsenal made it clear they will not be going anywhere in this title race with their defeat of Liverpool last Sunday, but the Gunners face a tricky away trip to a side who have already beaten them twice this season in West Ham. Manchester City and Liverpool, meanwhile, have easier home assignments.

Let’s take a look at the games the competitors have to play and create a cracking PL title challenger accumulator.

Phil Foden holds the match ball and is congratulated by Kevin de Bruyne. Foden is key in our PL title challenger accumulator
Phil Foden was the hero last time out against Brentford – Photo by Icon Sport

Manchester City vs Everton

Though Arsenal were victorious on the pitch on Sunday, arguably the biggest winners from Liverpool’s defeat were Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side’s odds at winning the Premier League were slashed dramatically, as, should they win their game in hand, they could lead the league by two points.

City almost threw away this chance at Brentford. But Phil Foden, who is enjoying the best season of his glittering career to date this campaign, netted a hat-trick to turn things around.

The Sky-Blues will face a stubborn opponent in Everton in Saturday’s early kickoff. They had to come from behind to beat the Toffees in the reverse fixture. 

The Blues will be disciplined defensively, threaten from set-plays and be physically imposing. But Guardiola’s men look to have hit that second half of the season top gear they inevitably seem to find each year. Expect City to win out here.

Our prediction: Correct score – Manchester City 2-0 Everton @13/2 (7.50)

Jurgen Klopp and his captain Virgil van Dijk will be hoping to bounce back after disappointment at Arsenal – Photo by Icon Sport

Liverpool vs Burnley

After defeat at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, Liverpool will be desperate to bounce back and not allow the loss to disrupt their momentum. 

Jurgen Klopp could not have picked a kinder opponent. Burnley have struggled to lay a glove on Liverpool in recent years, and have lost 11 of their last 15 encounters with the Reds.

Liverpool ran out comfortable 2-0 winners against Turf Moor earlier this season. The Clarets will likely have an even tougher assignment at Anfield. Liverpool have won nine of their 11 league games at their famous home this season, only sharing the points with Arsenal and Manchester United.

Klopp’s side are a resilient bunch, and will have the vociferous Anfield crowd roaring them on against a poor Burnley side. Things could get ugly for the Clarets.

Our prediction: Correct score – Liverpool 4-0 Burnley @10/1 (11.0)

West Ham will look to keep Arsenal's key creatives under wraps once again – Photo by Icon Sport

West Ham vs Arsenal

Mikel Arteta will be hoping the third time will be the charm against his old boss David Moyes. The Hammers have been Arsenal’s Achilles' heel this season, beating them 3-1 in the Carabao Cup, then curtailing the Gunners’ Christmas celebrations with a 2-0 win at Emirates Stadium on 28th December.

The league game was of particular frustration to Arsenal, as despite racking up 2.77 expected goals, the Gunners simply could not put the ball in the back of the net. Contrastingly, West Ham have been incredibly clinical, scoring five goals from a non-penalty expected goals tally of 1.05.

But Arsenal cannot afford to be so profligate again. The pressure will be on, playing last of the title-chasers. The east London outfit will look to frustrate their northern neighbours with another fiendish deep block, denying space to Arsenal’s creative players. 

As such, we’re predicting this one will be a slow burn. West Ham will keep Arteta’s men at bay for the first half, but we’re still backing the Gunners to win out in the end, as they have looked far more potent in front of goal since their mid-season break to Dubai. Arsenal have scored ten goals in the three games since.

Our prediction: HT/FT – Draw/Arsenal @15/4

If used in a treble accumulator, the odds for all of the above are 975/4.

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William Evans

William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.