Race for the Title - The Closest Battle in Years

Manchester City players and staff celebrating their victory with the EPL trophy in front of jubilant fans at the Etihad Stadium, marking their triumph in the 2022-23 season.
Manchester City players and staff celebrating their victory with the EPL trophy in front of jubilant fans at the Etihad Stadium, marking their triumph in the 2022-23 season.
Matt Biggin
Matt Biggin

published 12:20, 03 March 2024

This season’s Premier League title race is shaping up to be the closest and most exciting race in years. With Liverpool, Arsenal, and Manchester City all vying for the top spot, and all seemingly refusing to lose games, this has all the makings of a blockbuster battle that looks set to go to the wire.

At FootySamba, we’re going to take a look at the three sides involved and break down their injuries, fixture list, form, and their chances of clinching the title. 

So, let’s dive in and examine this fascinating and breathless title race, and the teams involved in it.

Arsenal – can their youthful squad find the steel needed to be champions?

The Gunners have continued their great form from last season, and are looking to go one better than their second-place finish.

The in-form team in the league, with the best defence in the division, Arsenal currently sit top of the league on goal difference, having Liverpool vs Machester City end in a draw; they currently find themselves level on points with the Redsl, and 2 points ahead of City. Can Arsenal fans finally start to believe again?


Mikel Arteta’s side are the Premier League’s form team right now, with 8 straight league wins in a row, and victory in the Champions League Last 16 as well. Having already exited the FA Cup in January, following a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool, the Gunners now have two competitions left to play for.

Their next league fixture, away to Manchester City, could play a pivotal role in the trajectory of the title race. The Gunners have a wretched record at the Etihad, with just 2 wins there in all competitions in the past 15 years, the most recent being a 2-0 win in the 2014/15 season. 


The fixture list is also going to have a massive impact on the way in which the race for the title unfolds, with Arsenal facing perhaps the most challenging run-in of the three. As well as Man City (a), they also face Brighton (a), Aston Villa (H), Spurs (a), Chelsea (H), and Manchester United (a). 

Some of these might seem like straightforward wins, but this has been an unpredictable season, and there is every chance of the North Londoners dropping points in at least a couple of these games. 

There is also the matter of the Champions League, where a penalties Last 16 victory over Porto saw Arsenal reach their first Quarter Final in the competition for 14 years, where they will meet German giants Bayern Munich, and face old foe Harry Kane.

A tough Premier League fixture against Aston Villa is sandwiched between the two legs, so Arteta will need to use all his nous to navigate these fixtures. 


Jurriën Timber is still out with a knee problem, and Gabrielle Martinelli is a doubt with a gashed leg, but aside from this the Gunners have no injury concerns to worry about, and this should help them to navigate their fixture list. 


The Gunners might be sat at the top of the table, but the bookies have them as 3rd favourites to clinch the title, at odds of 11/4.

Liverpool – can they overcome injuries and fixture congestion to give Klopp his swan song?

In what will be Jurgen Klopp’s swan song, Liverpool have already captured the Carabao Cup, and will be hoping to add more trophies to the cabinet.

After a dismal season last season, where they finished in 5th place, a newly revamped Liverpool have bounced back this season, and find themselves 2nd in the table on goal difference, and with the fewest defeats in the division (2).

Can they dig deep and bring Klopp the title to see him off in style.



The Reds are also in great form, dropping points just twice in the past 9 games, a 3-1 defeat away at Arsenal, and a controversial 1-1 draw with Manchester City at Anfield. Although they tasted defeat in the FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United, they have already enjoyed success in the Carabao Cup final, and breezed through the Europa League Last 16 against Sparta Praha. 


Liverpool’s fixture list makes for slightly better viewing, as they have played more of their top 4 and top 6 rivals than either Arsenal or Manchester City.

With games against Manchester United (a), Aston Villa (a), and Spurs (H) being the defining fixtures left in their league season. The Reds will look to capitalise on the meeting between City and Arsenal on May 31st, when they face Brighton earlier in the day, with a win taking them back to the top. 

Whilst there are some other tough fixtures to navigate, such as local rivals Everton away, Klopp’s side seemingly keep finding a way to win, in spite of their injury crisis this season. 

Liverpool may be thankful for being knocked out of the FA Cup, as they can focus solely on the league now, with the Europa League being a competition they would be expected to win, provided they don’t take their eye off the ball.


With by far and away the biggest injury crisis of the three teams in the title race, Liverpool could suffer from the amount of injuries and game catching up with them.

First choice goalkeeper Alisson, who will one day surely be viewed among the top 5 Premier League goalkeepers of all-time, continues to be sidelined, whilst Ibrahima Konate is also injured.

Trent Alexander-Arnold continues his absence, as does Curtis Jone, whilst Matip, Thiago, and Diogo Jota are out for the season.

Mohamed Salah has only just returned from injury, so has Dominic Szobozlai, and Kostas Tsimikas has been back for a month. If Liverpool can avoid further injuries, and get some players back, there is a good chance they can make a late push.


Liverpool are viewed very much as second-favourites, but they remain the most unpredictable of the three sides, and according to OPTA they have a 36.24% probability of winning the league. 

Manchester City – can the champions overcome some early nerves to claim historic 4-peat?

The defending champions celebrated a treble last season, and will be looking to secure a double treble this time around! What’s more, they will be looking to claim an unprecedented four-peat, and prevent regular rivals Liverpool and new challengers Arsenal from securing another league title. 


After a blip in November and December, which saw them win just 1 of 6 league games, shipping 12 goals in the process, the champions have course corrected, winning 9 games in a row before their most recent draw at Anfield.

They have also enjoyed a strong showing in both the FA Cup and the Champions League, winning every game so far in both competitions. Pep Guardiola will hope his expensively assembled side can continue this rich vein of form and close out the season in style. 


City have a mixed bag when it comes to their remaining fixture list for the season. An FA Cup semi final against a struggling Chelsea side should see them reach yet another final, whilst they face a familiar foe in Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter final. 

In the league is where things get interesting, because after they host Arsenal in their next game, amid Erling Haaland fitness concerns, and they then host high-flying Villa, who beat them in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.

They also still have to play Spurs (a) and Brighton (a) before the season is done, and this means there could be a few twists in the tale yet.


Much like Arsenal, City find themselves with almost a clean bill of health. Only Ederson (muscle injury) and Kevin De Bruyne (groin injury) remain doubts for the Cityzens. Guardiola will need the who squad at his disposal if they are to make history this season. 


City, as they typically are, remain favourites to win an historic 4th league title in a row. They have bookies odds of 6/5, and OPTA gives Manchester City a 43.58% probability of clinching the title. 

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