After the international break, players have now returned to their club sides and will remain with them until the end of the season and for players of two teams in the Premier League in particular, it promises to be an enthralling battle between the two.

And not just for Premier League superiority.

Manchester City and Liverpool are embroiled in a huge race for the title with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side just one point ahead of Jurgen Klopp’s team in the battle for the Premier League.

Both are well clear of Chelsea in third, although the Londoners do have a game in hand to cut the deficit to second place to seven points, but at the moment, Thomas Tuchel’s team look a little off the pace.

Next weekend, could well see a pivotal moment in the race as Manchester City host Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium in a game that could have massive implications for the destiny of the Premier League title, but that is just one of what could well be a number of clashes between the two that will decide the outcome of some of the biggest trophies in the world over the coming months.

Bet365 Sport have already made it clear that they view this as a two-horse race for the title, with Manchester City 4/9 favourites to win the Premier League, with Liverpool 7/4 and Chelsea then the next best-priced team at 200/1.

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However, the two teams also meet in a huge FA Cup Semi Final at Wembley in just a few weeks’ time, while they have been draw on opposite sides of the draw in the Champions League, which means that they could also meet in the final of that competition, should they manage to progress through their quarter final and semi-final ties.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the three competitions and see how both these teams could have a massive say in where the top trophies will go over the next couple of months.

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Premier League Title Race

Currently, both Manchester City and Liverpool have played 29 games each in the Premier League so far. Manchester City lead the way in the table having amassed 70 points from those games, while Liverpool have 69.

However, when it comes to goal difference, Liverpool have the edge having scored more goals (75) compared to Manchester City (68), although City have conceded two fewer goals than Liverpool (18 compared to 20).

That means that the Reds have a +55 goal difference compared to City’s +50.

Both are in action this weekend against teams in the bottom three. Liverpool host Watford at Anfield in Saturday’s early kick off, while Manchester City travel to Turf Moor to take on Burnley.

However, to best appreciate each side’s chances in the title run in, we should compare the fixtures each has remaining.

Title Race Remaining Fixtures

Manchester City

  • V Burnley (A)
  • V Liverpool (H)
  • V Wolves (A)
  • V Brighton (H)
  • V Watford (H)
  • V Leeds United (A)
  • V Newcastle United (H)
  • V West Ham United (A)
  • V Aston Villa (H)

Liverpool

  • V Watford (H)
  • V Manchester City (A)
  • V Aston Villa (A)
  • V Manchester United (H)
  • V Everton (H)
  • V Newcastle United (A)
  • V Tottenham (H)
  • V Southampton (A)
  • V Wolves (H)

A quick comparison between the two reveals that Liverpool have much the tougher run in as they have five games against teams in the top half, including massive games away to City, as well as at home to fierce rivals Manchester United and Everton, plus Spurs and Wolves must also come to Anfield.

In contrast, City play four top half teams but only one against a top six opponent, and that is at home to Liverpool. The Reds will face three top six opponents in their last games.

It is these factors which likely have seen City named as the clear favourites to win the Premier League title race, but it is worth noting that Liverpool have won all their last nine Premier League games, City have won just two of their last four and include a home loss to Spurs in that run.

It’s also worth noting that City have some tough games too. They lost at Wolves away and Leeds away in recent years and they face an improving Aston Villa team on the final day that boasts ex-Liverpool star Steven Gerrard as manager plus ex-Reds Philippe Coutinho and Danny Ings in the team.

I don’t see this title race being quite as decisively in City’s favour as the bookies are suggesting and my gut feeling is that this one could go right to the wire.

However, the key game will be the clash of the two next weekend and my gut feeling is if City win or draw the game, they will win the title, if Liverpool win it, they will lift the title.

Champions League Quarter Final & Semi Finals Draw

The situation in the Champions League is far more open and it is possible that one or both of the two teams won’t make it through to the final. However, given their form in Europe this season, there is also a fair chance that they could meet in the final.

Let’s take a look at the quarter final draw, together with the semi final draw that has already been determined by UEFA. In both rounds teams play each other home and away to decide the winner.

Champions League Draw

Quarter Finals

  • Match 1 – Manchester City v Atletico Madrid
  • Match 2 – Chelsea v Real Madrid
  • Match 3 – Benfica v Liverpool
  • Match 4 – Villarreal v Bayern Munich

Semi Finals

  • Semi Final 1 – Man City or Atletico Madrid v Chelsea or Real Madrid
  • Semi Final 2- Benfica or Liverpool v Villarreal or Bayern Munich

The top half of the draw does look to be the tougher route to the final for the teams in that draw as you have both Madrid sides, as well as Manchester City and Chelsea, who contested the final last year.

As such, coming through that section does look likely to be a tough call for any team that reaches the final.

The bottom half of the draw does have arguably the two weakest teams in the competition in Villarreal and Benfica and both Bayern Munich and Liverpool should be confident of getting past these teams and into the semi finals.

Bayern would be a huge test for Liverpool over two legs, but the Reds won the last encounter between the teams (drawing 0-0 at home before winning 3-1 in Munich) and there is no doubt that this Bayern side is not as strong or invincible as others have been in the recent past.

Of the two, I think Liverpool probably have the slightly better chance of reaching the final of the two Premier League giants, but I think City are the favourites to come through their section too.

However, there is also probably a 50/50 chance that neither side make it to the final, such is the quality of opposition they could face to get there.

FA Cup Semi Finals

  • Liverpool v Manchester City – 16th April
  • Chelsea v Crystal Palace – 17th April

With both semifinals being played at Wembley, despite requests from Liverpool and Man City to move their semifinal to a more convenient stadium for fans to get to, the two giants will meet for the second time in the space of a week at Wembley.

By then, we will also know whether each team has come through their Champions League quarterfinal ties and who, if anyone, they will be facing in the semifinals if they did indeed progress.

I do think the game between the two in the Premier League, plus how each team gets on in the Champions League quarter finals prior to this game will have a significant influence on it, and if one team is very much the loser in that set of games, I’d probably have them the slight favourites to land the win here.

With a London derby between Chelsea and Crystal Palace in the second semifinal on Sunday, we could well see another Liverpool v Chelsea final (as in the Carabao Cup), or a Man City v Chelsea final (as in last season’s Champions League Final).

So as you can see, both Manchester City and Liverpool will have a significant say in where all three remaining top trophies will go over the next couple of months and we will of course be bringing you all our tips on these key games over the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that!