Manchester City vs. Liverpool: Loss to Reds Would End City's Hope of EPL Title

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIIFebruary 3, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Carlos Tevez of Manchester City is subbed for Sergio Aguero during the Barlcays Premier League match between Manchester City and Fulham at the Etihad Stadium on January 19, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Manchester City aren't strangers to having their backs against the wall late in the season, but this time they are on the verge of falling too far behind Manchester United to win the league title.

Down 10 points with 14 games to go, City can't afford to lose to Liverpool on Sunday. The team was able to mount an eight-point comeback late last year, but the odds of coming back from down 10 points so late would be very thin.

United have a very favorable schedule coming up, and they probably won't be leaving too many points on the table. For City to make up 10 points would take a near-miracle.

However, when you ask if City can make up seven points, that becomes much more reasonable.

United could easily draw twice, and if City were to beat United that would already leave seven points for the taking.

By keeping the deficit in single-digits you give your team a different mentality. Single-digits is manageable (especially for City), but once you hit 10 points you're in trouble.

City absolutely cannot afford a loss against Liverpool, and even a draw could be disastrous.

But it all starts against the Reds.

In their last three meetings, the two teams have had two draws, with Liverpool winning the other meeting, 1-0. These two teams have had draws in five of their last eight meetings, and a single point wouldn't do much to help City.

However, there is still hope for the Blues.

Liverpool have won only three of their 12 road games this season, and the team has yet to beat a team in the top 10 of the EPL in league play.

To go into Etihad Stadium and come away with a win is very difficult for anyone, and with Man City in desperate need of a win, the Reds will be trying to come away with a draw.

Let's say that City comes out in this match and wins. Where do they go from there?

The team would host Leeds United before Chelsea comes to town, posing a huge threat. City are home against Chelsea, but you can never take a game like that lightly.

However, if Manchester City find a way to beat both Liverpool and Chelsea, they would be in good position to control their own fate. By getting through these next three games unscathed, the Citizens could make up ground and put themselves in a good position to mount a comeback.

The most important game for the team is easily the one against Manchester United on April 6, however.

City will have to go on the road to play against United, and that game will likely decide which team is in the driver's seat for the EPL title.

City are going to have to focus on the here and now before they get that far, however, and without a win against Liverpool on Sunday this is all moot.