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Football Glossary: Two-horse race

In this football language post for learners of English, we look at the phrase ‘two-horse race‘. You can read a transcript for this expression below, while you can also check out our glossary of footballing phrases here and visit our site to access all our previous posts and podcasts. If you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at

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(a) Two-horse race

A close or tight battle between two teams for the title (three teams would be a three-horse race, and so on). If we hear this phrase it means that pundits and fans are not sure which of the two (or three) teams will win the title.

  • Example: The 2011-12 Premier League title was a two-horse race between Manchester United and eventual winners Manchester City.
  • Example: The 2012-13 season in Portugal is a two-horse race between Porto and Benfica.

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