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Premier League: Is the title race back on?

It didn't seem likely a few weeks ago, but Manchester City now may face serious competition for the Premier League title with the gap to Liverpool now standing at only six points.

City faced Tottenham at home in the Saturday tea-time kick-off but the north London side completed the double over them with a stunning 3-2 win.

Harry Kane, courted by Pep Guardiola for virtually the whole summer, was the star of the show and it was his injury-time header that put a spanner in the City works.

The gap is now six points and crucially, Liverpool have to play at the Etihad in April while they have a game in hand.

Guardiola's side can be backed to retain their crown at 2/9 while Liverpool are priced at 10/3 to take it back after winning in 2020.

City made to pay for slack defending

On the face of it, Manchester City's form has been brilliant since early November when they secured an easy triumph against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Thye have won 14 of their last 16 top flight games with dropped points coming against Spurs and Southampton a few weeks ago when they could only manage a 1-1 draw.

Defensively, they have generally been sound but conceding three goals in a game may worry the perfectionist Guardiola.

Given he has so many options to play with, it is no wonder he likes to chop and change but with the defence altering from week to week it is slightly harder to build any consistency.

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Liverpool ride through AFCON storm

Before the Africa Cup of Nations, Liverpool drew 2-2 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in a result which left them 11 points adrift of City.

If that wasn't bad enough, they were preparing to lose star attackers Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah for up to a month to play in the Africa Cup of Nations duty (where they ultimately went the distance and faced off in the final).

However, the Reds didn't let that distract them at all and they have won five Premier League games back to back since that Chelsea draw.

Squad players have stepped up - Diogo Jota has proved again why he was such a bargain from Wolves while new arrival Luis Diaz appears to have settled very quickly.

Liverpool facing a month of action without their two biggest attacking threats was bound to be a challenge but they have breezed through it and shown their title credentials in the process.

What now for both teams?

The duo meet at the Etihad on 9th April though many challenges have to be navigated between now and then.

This week Liverpool face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final and that result is sure to have a psychological impact whichever way it goes.

The Reds face six Premier League games between now and the City game with four of them coming at Anfield, though they do face tough-looking fixtures against West Ham, Arsenal and Manchester United.

Meanwhile, City's fixture list is far kinder as they face teams near the bottom of the table while they can afford to play a second-string XI in their Champions League second leg tie with Sporting Lisbon.

While the destiny of the Premier League title is certainly in City's hands, Liverpool have sprung into life at just the right time - it would be unwise to rule them out just yet.

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