Another tumultuous weekend of Premier League activity saw the title picture repainted once more.
The well-covered canvas now features Manchester City, who will almost certainly win a second crown of the decade at odds of 83/100 if they pocket maximum points in their remaining three games, in a position of prominence.
Liverpool’s inability to find a way past the two buses Chelsea parked in front of their goal has seen them shunted out to 6/5, with the Blues outsiders at 14/1.
Should the sides currently placed first and third put in flawless performances between now and the campaign’s closure, City will be crowned champions in identical circumstances as the 2011/12 vintage where they won the league on goal difference.
Odds of 13/5 say that Man City will be top of the pile when the music stops in May and their points tally will not be the determining factor.
This is a massive price in comparison to the meagre 1/4 that says the Citizens will win the title based on superior tallies to what the Reds and Blues muster.
Disregarding Chelsea (who need both sides to slip up to have a chance) for the moment, a brief glance at the hands the fixture generator has dealt the two teams deemed most likely to triumph suggests goal difference could well be what it comes down to.
If you’re of the belief that Manuel Pellegrini’s men will hoist the top prize in the English game then, obviously, you expect them to pick up three victories from games with Everton, Aston Villa and West Ham.
Assuming they do – though success in their forthcoming Goodison Park sojourn is by no means nailed on – their goal difference of 58 (eight better than Liverpool’s 50) will stand at 61 or higher.
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace and Newcastle are the final two adversaries scheduled to face the Merseysiders.
Brendan Rodgers’ men must be fancied to see of both of these inferior foes, which will see them finish level on points with Man City.
To conclude the season on a loftier perch than their sky blue pursuers the Reds will need to ripple the net an unfeasible 12 times in the minimum.
Regardless of how many goals they score, Liverpool will take Chelsea out of the equation with two more wins, which means that if one plans on siding with City for title success, they’d be best off backing them to win it on goal difference, or get behind one of the less-fancied parties.