Before Manchester City’s win over Wolves this week, statisticians rated their chances of winning the Premier League title as 99.9 per cent.
Fast forward two days, and City scored three late goals to edge past a stubborn Wolves side for a 21st straight win. On Wednesday, nearest ‘challengers’ Manchester United and Leicester could only draw again, setting the gap between first and second to 14 points.
After the Wolves win, Pep Guardiola insisted nothing is won in March, pointing towards the 33 points left to play for. However, if the form of City, United and Leicester continues, there’s every chance the Premier League could now be wrapped up in April.
Last week, we looked at the earliest City could realistically win the title. The earliest date mathematically remains the same, but relies on United and Leicester losing all of their next few games and City’s winning run continuing.
Now, after this week’s results, there has been movement in the earliest date City could win the title if their own winning run continues – regardless of what United and Leicester can do.
Scenario One – April 4
The earliest date City could mathematically win the title remains April 4, in just four games’ time. As mentioned, this would mean City’s current 15-game winning streak in the league stretches to 19 against United, Southampton, Fulham and Leicester. It would also require United and Leicester not to add to their current tallies, losing each of their next four games themselves.
In the unlikely event this happens, City can wrap up the title on April 4 with a draw or win over Leicester.
Scenario 2 – April 17
This is where the results this week change things for the better for City. They can’t expect United and Leicester to go on losing runs for the next month, but they can hope to extend their own unstoppable form. Up next is the derby against United, where victory would see the 14 point gap extend to 17. Beating Leicester on April 4 will also help, meaning City would be able to wrap up the title a week earlier than they were looking at before the Wolves game.
So if City continue their winning streak, including victories over United and Leicester, they could extend their current 14-point lead over United to at least 17, regardless of what happens beneath them. If the winning run continues, and assuming United also take maximum points from their other games, City would be 17 points clear with 15 remaining by beating Aston Villa on April 17 at Villa Park.
That’s two weeks earlier than the previous earliest date in this scenario due to City’s Carabao Cup final involvement on April 25.
Scenario 3 – May 1
City don’t even have to beat United in the upcoming derby. They just need to match the results happening below them. Do that, keeping the current 14-point gap, and the league could be won as soon as May 1 with a win over Crystal Palace, with four games remaining.
That assumes a draw against United in the derby, and wins in the other fixtures against Southampton, Fulham, Leicester, Leeds and Aston Villa. So this is the earliest date that the title could be won, assuming United start winning again after Sunday – but they have difficult fixtures of their own including West Ham, Spurs, Leeds and Liverpool up to and including the first weekend in May.
Whatever happens, City’s 99.9 per cent chances of winning the league don’t look likely to shrink any time soon.