It could be the day which will be decisive in determining where the trophy will eventually head
The leadership of the Premier League changed hands once again last weekend as Liverpool leapfrogged Manchester City with a win at Fulham.
The Reds scraped to a 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage and are now on 76 points, two ahead of the Citizens but Liverpool have played one more game as City were in FA Cup action on Saturday, beating Swansea 3-2 in dramatic style.
It’s a race that will probably not be over until the final day on May 12 as both sides do not show signs of dropping many points.
However, Sunday April 14 may well be the day where the race for the title reaches its most important point and here’s why.
Both sides play on the same afternoon with City facing a tricky test against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, while Liverpool take on Chelsea, who are chasing a Champions League spot, at Anfield.
In fact, when City and Liverpool were last against each other for the title in the 2013/14 season, the pendulum swung back in the Citizens’ favour when the Reds were beaten 2-0 at home to Chelsea on April 27, the game where the infamous ‘Gerrard slip’ let Demba Ba in to give the Blues the lead.
City then travelled to an in-form Palace and got the job done with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Edin Dzeko and Yaya Toure.
And Manuel Pellegrini’s City side never looked back as they went on to win their second Premier League crown.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s next fixture saw them blow a 3-0 lead at Palace to draw 3-3 and Kopite hearts were broken once more.
But April 14 is not pivotal in determining where the trophy is headed for only symbolic reasons.
Pep Guardiola’s men have two seemingly routine league matches of Fulham away (March 30) and Cardiff at home (April 3) before April 14.
And Jurgen Klopp’s side also have two before the Chelsea game as they face Tottenham (March 31) at home and then Southampton (April 5) at St Mary’s.
Assuming both City and Liverpool win their respective matches then the Reds will still lead by two points.
It will still be in City’s hands but April could see fatigue set in as they have an FA Cup semi-final as well as a tough trip to Tottenham in the Champions League quarter-finals before the Palace game.
A more fresh Liverpool, who were drawn against a not too threatening Porto side in Europe, will be waiting to pounce and could find themselves up to five points clear with four games left if City get beaten by Palace.
The Citizens will have a game in hand but the race will crucially be back in the Reds’ hands.
However, if Liverpool fail to win both of the games against Spurs and Saints, and City can do the business against Fulham and Cardiff, who are both in the relegation zone, the race will firmly be in Manchester club’s hands.
This isn’t City’s first rodeo either, who have more experience in this situation, even if their last league title was more a coronation to victory than an actual fight for the Premier League.
If Liverpool lose one of the games before April 14th and City beat Fulham and Cardiff, the reigning champions could be up to four points clear at the top after the defining weekend.
You may as well start carving City’s name on the trophy if that happens as they’ll have the cushion and a game in hand on their title rivals.