Charlie Christie: Title race is hotting up in Scotland and England
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Whilst there are still a lot of unpredictable games to go, the title race both north and south of the border looks as if it may go down to the wire this season.
Arsenal’s home win against Liverpool, coupled with Manchester City’s win on Monday meant that just two points separates the top three sides although City do have a game in hand on their nearest challengers.
For me Manchester City look the best equipped to come out on top and win a record breaking fourth consecutive title - their sixth in the past decade.
With Erling Haaland back from injury, Phil Foden playing some career best football and the influential Kevin de Bruyne returning their forward threat is back to its sublime best at just the right time.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal impressed in that win last Sunday, but they do not have the same depth to their squad as City and they still must visit the Etihad Stadium late in March and that may well be a game they need to win but certainly cannot afford to lose.
Liverpool also have a crucial fixture in March when they welcome Pep Guardiola’s team to Anfield on
Sunday and Jurgen Klopp will look at this as a must win match if he is to call time on his Liverpool career with a second Premier League triumph.
Up north, Rangers look, for the first time in a long time, to have recruited better than Celtic. After just one title win in the past 12 years the fan base in Govan sense that they may just have the edge going into the final third of the season.
Celtic have certainly not looked the well-oiled machine that we have become accustomed to and their midweek win at Easter Road displayed some of their frailties as it took a last-minute penalty for them to secure those vital three points.
The penultimate fixture prior to the league split will see Celtic travel to Ibrox and that promises to be a crucial game. Rangers have decent depth to their current squad, but they will be aware that their recent record against Celtic is not good, and they need to correct that if they are to have any title hopes.
Celtic fans will be hoping that several of their currently injured players have returned for that match.
Cameron Carter-Vickers, Rio Hatate and Greg Taylor are influential players who undoubtedly make a difference to the team both energy-wise and physically and those are attributes that can’t be underestimated going into that vital derby.
The final meeting of the country’s big two will then take place post-split at Celtic Park and that may well be the fixture that determines the title.