Unless Liverpool gain ten goals on Manchester City over their final two Premier League fixtures, they need Manuel Pellegrini’s men to spill points at home to either Aston Villa or West Ham to finish first.
The odds suggest that the Merseysiders shouldn’t be too optimistic of a favour, with their 7/2 league winner price a fair bit chunkier than the Citizens’ frontrunner tag of 2/9.
However, there are several reasons to suspect that any new bwin.com customers investing their £30 free bet on the Reds claiming their first Premier League title will be rewarded with a £90 bounty.
For starters, Manchester City have struggled at home on the last two final days, requiring two injury-time strikes to overcome QPR 3-2 in 2011/12 when in this kind of position, and losing 2-3 to a Norwich side that seemed similarly un-incentivised last term.
Neither Aston Villa nor West Ham will be fighting for survival having secured their spots in next season’s Premier League, but that lack of pressure could aid both as it did the Canaries a year ago.
Additionally, with speculation surrounding both Paul Lambert and Sam Allardyce’s futures at their clubs, a memorable victory heading into the summer has the potential to boost their prospects.
Aston Villa are 21/4 on the double chance and are the easier of the claret-and-blue destiny deciders to make a case for because they beat the 2011/12 champions at Villa Park earlier in this campaign.
They have also knocked off Chelsea and earned some high-profile results on the road, winning at Arsenal and holding Liverpool, who have won 15 of their 18 Anfield league encounters in 2013/14.
West Ham are 12/1 to triumph at the Etihad Stadium on the final day, having been defeated in all three meetings since Pellegrini’s arrival and given up 12 goals in the process.
The plus points for Liverpool fans cheering on the Irons are that they did a number on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in January – before it became a more regular event – to achieve a 0-0 draw and are on a high after again vanquishing rivals Tottenham.
Most intriguingly though, they have only lost their farewell match once in 12 years, and that was when they had already been relegated and entered matchday 38 with a caretaker boss and shadow squad in 2010/11.
They have won two of their last three season-closers, and drew with Manchester City to sign off 2009/10.