By Craig Kemp
Last Updated: 1st May 2019
With two gameweeks of the Premier League season remaining, the rivalry between Manchester City and Liverpool extends beyond which of the pair will be crowned champions.
Pep Guardiola’s men are priced up as the 1/5 favourites in the outright betting, as they have a one-point cushion, a slightly superior goal difference and remaining fixtures against Leicester at home and then Brighton away.
Liverpool are the 5/2 underdogs and they realistically must triumph away at Newcastle and at Anfield on the final day against Wolves to have any chance of preventing City becoming the first team in a decade to successfully defend their Premier League crown.
The second wave of the rivalry relates to who will end the campaign as the division’s top scorer. It now seems to be a three-way tussle between Reds pair Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, alongside Man City’s Sergio Aguero.
Salah currently leads the way with 21 goals, one ahead of his two nearest pursuers. As a result, the Egyptian heads the Premier League top goalscorer odds at 6/5, with Aguero 2/1 and Mane 3/1.
Here are a hat-trick of areas to help you identify who is most likely to scoop top-scorer honours.
Looking back across each of the forwards’ last six fixtures, it’s the Liverpool pair who lead the way for goals, both scoring four times to Aguero’s two.
Salah is much more likely to maintain his current scoring pace, based on a number of attacking statistics.
His 29 goal attempts are the most of the three in this period (next best 20), he’s had more shots in the box (20), more penalty-area touches (58, next best 42) and he’s having a chance every 18.5 minutes.
Advantage – Salah
Newcastle at St James’ Park has proved a tricky away trip in recent months. In their last six home matches, the Toon have given up just 52 attempts on goal. Only Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea can better this record.
What’s more, only 13 of these efforts were on target.
In contrast, Brighton’s recent form has been among the worst in the division of late and of the four teams Liverpool or Man City still have to play, they seem the most likely to concede a hatful.
This could be especially true if Cardiff fail to win at home to Crystal Palace in gameweek 37, which is a result that would confirm Brighton’s Premier League survival ahead of facing Man City on the final day.
In terms of the title-chasers’ respective remaining home fixtures, there’s little between Leicester and Wolves in terms of their defensive numbers and what they still have to play for.
Advantage – Aguero
Form against remaining opposition
Leicester’s visit to the Etihad last season remains a memorable one for Aguero, as he netted four goals in the Citizens’ 5-1 success. The Argentine striker has also already scored in the reverse league fixture against Brighton.
Salah has also scored against both Newcastle and Wolves previously this season, with Mane failing to find the target in either game.
Advantage – Aguero
The rare bit of good news for Mane is that in the result of a tie, the top goalscorer award is shared, unlike the World Cup when the player with the most assists would scoop the accolade.
Mane only has one assist this term, whereas Aguero and Salah both have eight.