EPL Table Week 38: Latest Outlook Before Final Matchday of Premier League Season

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2014

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07:  Edin Dzeko of Manchester City celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at Etihad Stadium on May 7, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

It has been one of the most exciting title races in Premier League history as the sleeping giant of Liverpool awoke in 2013-14 to battle the oil-rich clubs of Manchester City and Chelsea. 

The Merseyside team, who failed to qualify for Europe last season, have completely reversed their fortunes this year and taken Manuel Pellegrini's and Jose Mourinho's clubs all the way down to the wire.

With one game left to play, Liverpool could still snatch a dramatic late victory and win their first league championship since 1990.

But they are relying on former old boy, their club-record signing Andy Carroll, and his West Ham team-mates to do them a huge favour by going to the Etihad and beating City. 

A victory at Anfield would then give Brendan Rodgers the prize his team have chased so hard all year long.

City need just a point against the East London side to tie up their second Premier League title in three seasons. Here is the current Premier League table, per BBC Sport:

Premier League Table After Week 37
1Man City3726566383
7Man Utd37196122163
11Crystal Palace3711519-1544
12West Ham3711719-94
15Aston Villa3710819-1938
17West Brom3771515-1536
BBC Sport

Manchester City v West Ham

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 03:  Manchester City Manager Manuel Pellegrini gives orders to Samir Nasri  during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park on May 3, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Laurence Gr
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It has been a very good first season for City's new manager Pellegrini with the club's established players not letting him down at any point this year.

An unlucky draw in the Champions League saw the team face stiff opposition in Barcelona in the first knockout stage, and their swift exit was sealed by the Catalan mainstays. 

But City have chipped away at the Premier League title all season long, rarely leading the race but always being in touch.

A defeat at Anfield seemed to seal their fate in mid-April and end their title efforts, with a supercharged Liverpool team racing toward the finish line.

But as Rodgers' team faltered, City stayed consistent. They have now hit 100 goals in the Premier League alone and are deservedly on the verge of the title.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Manchester City fans fly a flag for Manuel Pellegrini, manager of Manchester City during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at Etihad Stadium on May 7, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Pho
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Jonathan Wilson of The Guardian gave Pellegrini all of the credit for City's success this year, rather than bemoan Liverpool's collapse in form and luck. 

He wrote:

And if there has been an element of fortune about this championship, if it does feel it has been won as much by slips from César Azpilicueta and Steven Gerrard – and by the non-stop running of Yannick Bolasie and the unexpected cool finishing of Dwight Gayle – as by the quick feet of David Silva and the precision and languid power of Yaya Touré, then Pellegrini may see it as recompense for 2009-10 when he led Real Madrid to a record points tally, despite an impossible political situation within the club, but lost the Spanish title by default because Barcelona were going through a phase of ludicrous excellence.

West Ham have expectantly finished in mid-table and have had a strong second half to their campaign, but four losses in their last five games has seen their immediate form crash, per PremierLeague.com.

Carroll remains the main threat to Pellegrini's title hopes now, and if City can control him it should be a predictable day at the office for the Sky Blues on Sunday.

The Premier League trophy is going to once again reside in Manchester unless lady luck packs her bags and runs from the Etihad, down the M62, toward Anfield. 

Liverpool v Newcastle

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  Steven Gerrard of Liverpool celebrates scoring the second goal by kissing the steadicam during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 16, 2014 in Manchester, Engl
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The street parties have been arranged for weeks as it seemed that Liverpool were to end their title curse and once again be crowned champions of England. 

It has been a generation of hurt for those that stand on the Kop as they have watched year after year of Premier League failure, thankfully supplemented by Champions League and domestic cup success.

But it is the league title that Liverpool obsess over, and despite the fact that no one was giving them a hope of being near to the championship in 2014, they have mounted a fierce challenge with one of the most scintillating attacks in world football.

CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 22:  Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool celebrates with team mate Luis Suarez after scoring his team's fifth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Cardiff City and Liverpool at Cardiff City Stadium on March 22, 2014 in Ca
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge will be looking to carry on their fine partnership against Newcastle, who are currently experiencing a dose of relegation form. 

The Anfield club knows that a cricket score could give them the title, but what is more likely is that a win by West Ham in Manchester will open the door to a Merseyside triumph. 

It seems undoubted that Liverpool will dismantle Newcastle on Sunday in what should have been a title procession for the club.

However, strange things do indeed happen in the beautiful game, and Rodgers may still yet become the manager of the champions come the end of the weekend.

Cardiff v Chelsea

COBHAM, ENGLAND - MAY 02:  Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho talks to the press at the Chelsea Training Ground on May 2, 2014 in Cobham, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

How different this match might have been if Wales' capital city club had managed to stay alive in the Premier League, and if Jose Mourinho's team had stayed competitive in the race until the final hurdle was jumped.

However, Chelsea opted to put all of their eggs in the Champions League basket, and as a result have come out with a strange-tasting omelette for their efforts.

Chelsea lie in third place and are likely to finish there, and it is a position they deserve. Despite capturing victories home and away against City and Liverpool, they have not performed to a consistently high standard all season long. 

Their 79 Premier League points might reflect a different story of success, but Mourinho's men have not played good football consistently. 

However, their bus parking has been magnificent. 

Next season, Chelsea will no doubt have the top-level striker that they crave and desire, which might be enough to push them through the performance barrier to win the Premier League again.

But for now Mourinho will have to look north once more, and spectate, as the title is lifted in more worthy places. 


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