The Premier League 2020/21 fixtures have landed and, as always, there are some mouth-watering clashes to look forward to. So we’ve picked out five of the tastiest battles that could decide the Premier League title race in the 2020/21 season.
5 games that could decide the Premier League title race
Liverpool Vs Tottenham (16th December)
Current holders Liverpool are definitely going to be in the Premier League title race come May. Tottenham? Perhaps less likely but if you think Jose Mourinho isn’t aiming for top spot then you’ve severely underestimated the Portuguese’s winning mentality.
As a standalone fixture, this won’t decide where the Premier League crown ends up but it will be a hefty measuring stick for how Liverpool are progressing in the campaign. For Spurs, their dreams of a first league title in 60 years might be over by kick off with the fixtures leading into this match arguably the most difficult run any team faces.
For anyone not aware, that’s a streak that begins with a home game against Man City followed by a trip to Stamford Bridge, a North London derby and an away day at Crystal Palace. Then it is off to Anfield.
If Mourinho masterminds a decent points haul from the four matches leading into the Liverpool game then Spurs could lay down a marker as serious contenders. As a fixture that could impact the title race, regardless of what the situation is for Spurs, there will be an intriguing contrast of styles and Jurgen Klopp’s men will need to find a way to win – something he’s managed five times in 11 attempts against Mourinho.
Arsenal Vs Manchester City (20th February)
Arsenal fit into the same category as their neighbours, Tottenham, in regards to the Premier League crown. It’s unlikely to be theirs.
They’ll surely be a much stronger side than last season though and a top four finish will be the minimum expectation for the Gunners. They have a squad blessed with quality, exciting youngsters and a manager with a plan in Mikel Arteta. If they get some momentum then anything can happen but they are more likely to have their say on the Premier League winners in another way. That’s where this fixture comes into play.
Arteta spent over three years learning his craft under his compatriot Pep Guardiola at the Eithad. They’ve only sat in opposing dugouts once and it was the student who came out on top with most pundits feeling he tactically out-thought his old master with the game ended up a 2-0 win for Arsenal.
It was the first time in eight games that City hadn’t turned Arsenal over though, with Man City holding a 20-2 aggregate lead in the prior seven. Maybe Guardiola shouldn’t lose too much sleep over the prospect of facing Arteta again. Then again, Arsenal will hope to be a different beast under their former skipper. It’s certainly a game you won’t want to miss.
Manchester City Vs Manchester United (6th March)
The bookmakers firmly believe that the blue half of Manchester are still streets ahead of their rivals when it comes to the Premier League title race. United will be quietly confident they can close the gap though and this fixture might help them do it.
On paper City win this game. History, however, shows us that it could well be one of the fixtures to define the title race with United having won four of their last six visits to their rivals. City meanwhile have managed just a solitary win.
City have strengthened this close season with the addition of Nathan Ake – a player Ole Gunner Solskjaer was keen on – whilst United’s window has been centred around their pursuit of ex-City youth star Jadon Sancho. Come game day, there is bound to be a few sub-plots at play but the main reason you’ll want to tune in is a likely 90 minutes of scintillating football.
Chelsea Vs Liverpool (19th September)
This is the earliest fixture to feature in our list of five matches that could impact the Premier League title race. Why is it here? Well, Chelsea have had an impressive transfer window with Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner joining whilst continued links to Bayer Leverkusen ace Kai Havertz are enough to get Blues fans salivating. What better way to measure your attack as title winning potential than to take on a Liverpool team that boast one of the best forward lines in world football?
Where the Reds are concerned, they might benefit from facing Frank Lampard’s new and improved Chelsea team early doors. They will be significantly more dangerous than last season but things take time to gel and any defensive reinforcements that might arrive won’t have long to bed in. Klopp’s team on the other hand are as settled as you could wish. Not convinced to tune in? Last time these two met they shared eight goals in a 5-3 Liverpool win.
Manchester City Vs Liverpool (7th November)
Of all the matches that could impact the Premier League title race, this is of course number one. These two have been comfortably the best sides in the Premier League over the past few seasons. There is little to suggest that will change in 2020/21 either and it would be a brave person who bets against the title race being a two horse race. It’s also quite feasible that both arrive on November 7th with 100% records still intact, although they do both have a banana skin or two along the way. That would certainly bring added intrigue to the match. Not that it’s really needed mind.
Since Guardiola took charge of City, these two have locked horns 11 times (eight Premier League fixtures, two Champions League ties and a Community Shield). The record stands as Man City four wins versus five for the Reds with the remaining two drawn. We’ve also seen 34 goals – an average of just over three per game – along with 48 cards, one of which was red. Whether this game lives up to those of the past remains to be seen but two great managers, two superb footballing sides and the prize of three points is an afternoon of football we can’t wait to watch.
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