In a title race as exciting as that of Liverpool and Manchester City, even the smallest advantages must be nurtured.
As any supporter knows, the 2019 battle between the pair ended in an 11mm goal line that decided the destiny of the Premier League trophy.
And so the fine margins cannot be ignored in the seven-game shootout set up by Sunday’s 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium.
Luckily for the Reds, one look at the schedule for the rest of the season shows that a small factor has already fallen in their favour.
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This potential helping hand comes in the form of a playlist in which Jürgen Klopp’s men will play for City three times over the next four weeks.
The games against Manchester United, Newcastle and Tottenham are scheduled before Manchester City take on Brighton, Leeds and Newcastle respectively.
Only in next Sunday’s Merseyside derby will Liverpool play after Pep Guardiola’s men, who await a seemingly easy duel with Watford.
In addition, the Reds are also likely to play for City during the midweek round of matches against Aston Villa on Tuesday, May 10.
The reigning champions already have a game scheduled for the Sunday before, so it would make sense for their postponed trip to Wolves to take place on Wednesday, May 11 – again, after their rivals.
Of course, even more disruption awaits the squad that reach the FA Cup final on May 15, when Liverpool will travel to Southampton and Manchester City must be at West Ham.
But that inconvenience would certainly be considered minor, as it would also come with the guarantee of a trip to Wembley with silverware at stake.
And especially for Liverpool, it would still mean kicking off for City in four of the seven remaining Premier League games, with the last game scheduled for the traditional simultaneous start.
Interestingly, there wasn’t much of an advantage with seven games to go in 2019, largely because Manchester City didn’t level up until late in the day thanks to the win at Old Trafford.
This time, however, Klopp is hoping that the additional pressure exerted by the continued relinquishment of the lead will lead to a different outcome at the end of May.