|Man City -2 to win vs Brighton - 13/10 with Paddy Power||13/10||Paddy Power|
|Liverpool to win to nil vs Wolves - 5/4 with Coral||5/4||Coral|
Liverpool vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
From agony to ecstasy. Liverpool’s squad, staff and supporters could be forgiven for feeling a little downhearted when they arose from their beds on Tuesday morning. Vincent Kompany, of all people, had scored the only goal of the game at the Etihad Stadium the previous night, giving Manchester City a crucial 1-0 win against Leicester City to return to the summit of the Premier League table. Despite their incredible efforts this season, it seemed almost certain that Liverpool would end the campaign empty-handed.
They still might, of course, but that incredible 4-0 defeat of Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final clash will make the Reds believe that anything is possible. The path to silverware certainly looks clearer in Europe than it does domestically, but we can expect Jurgen Klopp’s men to give it everything they have got on the final day of the season.
If Liverpool are to overhaul City at the last possible moment, an early goal at Anfield will probably be necessary. Pep Guardiola’s side may have won each of their last 13 top-flight matches but there have been some nervy moments of late, most notably in the narrow home successes against Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester. With the ‘as it stands’ table likely to be present in the bottom corner of our screens throughout Sunday’s action, Liverpool must ensure they spend some time at the top.
Wolves have already sealed seventh spot and therefore have nothing tangible to play for, but that will not stop them being tricky opponents. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side tend to raise their game against the big boys, having taken points off City, Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United this term. They also beat Liverpool in the FA Cup and will have no fear about heading into Anfield to face a team who, regardless of their final position in the table, are already among the best in Premier League history.
Klopp’s charges may have to dig deep here, but that is second nature for a side who have demonstrated tremendous resilience in recent weeks. Back a home win to nil at Anfield.
Brighton and Hove Albion vs Manchester City
Kompany has scored some huge goals for City in the past, most notably from corner kicks against Manchester United (game 36, 2011/12) and West Ham United (game 38, 2013/14). It was possible to envisage him providing the decisive moment in a similar fashion on Monday night, but it was rather harder to imagine the no-nonsense Belgian centre-back screeching an unstoppable 30-yard strike into the top corner of Kasper Schmeichel’s net. Pick that one out, indeed.
City may not be able to match last season’s record-breaking haul of 100 points, but winning the title this year would arguably be an even more impressive achievement given Liverpool’s dogged pursuit. The defeat of Leicester made it four clean sheets on the bounce for a team who, like the second-placed Reds, have cleared every hurdle in their path during the run-in. The job is not done yet, of course, but negotiating difficult meetings with Spurs, Manchester United, Burnley and Leicester in the last few weeks leaves City within touching distance of becoming the first team to retain the Premier League crown since United in 2009.
Brighton showed admirable integrity in holding Arsenal to a 1-1 draw last weekend having already seen their Premier League status guaranteed a day earlier, but halting this City side is a task of altogether greater magnitude. Guardiola’s men have occasionally stuttered against opponents who sit deep, cede possession and pack men around their own penalty area, but Albion’s Dunk and Duffy-led rearguard will be able to hold out for only so long. Once City get their noses in front – which they will surely do sooner or later – we can expect the floodgates to open.
To that end, back an away win with a -2 handicap. This has been the highest quality title race – if not the most dramatic – in Premier League history, and there is little to suggest that either contender will slip up on the final day.