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Premier League

Manchester City can effectively secure the English Premier League if they claim victory over West Ham at London Stadium this Sunday.

Kevin De Bruyne produced a four-goal masterclass as Manchester City thrashed Wolves 5-1 on Wednesday, powering the Sky Blues three points clear of Liverpool once again.


Crucially, City’s second goal-scoring spree in four days – which was coupled with the 5-0 rout of Newcastle on Sunday – has given them an important seven-goal advantage over Liverpool in the goal difference column.


If City can win at West Ham on Sunday, they will climb six points clear of Liverpool before Jurgen Klopp’s quadruple-chasing team next play in the league at Southampton on Tuesday.

With just two games remaining in the season, Pep Guardiola’s team have a chance to move to 92 log points with victory this weekend. That is the maximum number of points the Reds can reach, but the goal-difference advantage means City could essentially secure the title before their season finale against Aston Villa on 22 May.

What makes the latest victories even more impressive for City is the fact that the club is currently without injured defenders Ruben Dias, John Stones and Kyle Walker, while Aymeric Laporte also limped off in the second half at Molineux.

Guardiola’s powerhouse team have now won five successive league games, scoring 22 times and conceding only twice.

“If we win these games we will be champions. Now recover the players and the next final for us is against West Ham,” Guardiola said.

Technically, City need four points from their final two games to be sure of the trophy, but there is little doubt that the champagne can already be put on ice.

Indeed, West Ham should also be put on high alert after De Bruyne’s four-goal heroics, which sent a clear message about his ambitions just after City confirmed the blockbuster signing of Norwegian striker Erling Haaland.

De Bruyne has now scored 19 goals in all competitions, his best return for a single season, and since the beginning of March he’s found the net 11 times to help City close in on a fourth title in five years.

“What can I say?” said Guardiola when asked about De Bruyne’s performance. “I am very pleased for him, scoring four goals in the decisive part of the league. I’m so pleased for the performance and the result and the goals.

“We could have scored much, much more. It was a brilliant performance from all the players. All of them. Important victory. We need four more points to be champions and we will try and reach the first three on Sunday.

“It was important to arrive in the last two games with it in our hands. We still have a job to do, Liverpool is going to do the six points, 100%, so we have to do our four.”

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