Premier League Match Reviews
Premier League Match Reviews
A comfortable 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur made it 15 wins in a row for Manchester City. Coupled with other results it means they are seven points clear at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand.
So given their incredible form, is it fair to say that the Premier League title race is over? Here are 4 important factors to consider before crowning City as champions:
- Upcoming fixtures
City’s next four fixtures are all against teams in the top half of the table. They face tough trips to Everton and Arsenal, as well as home fixtures with West Ham and Manchester United. Arsenal are stuck in midtable, but still capable of big performances. Everton and West Ham are in the hunt for European places, whilst the Manchester derby is always an unpredictable fixture.
Get through those four games unbeaten and it will be virtually impossible for anyone to stop them. But a couple of defeats and suddenly the title race could be wide open.
- Fixture congestion
City are still in four competitions and that means a lot of games left to play. On top of the league schedule, they face two encounters with Borussia Monchengladbach, an FA cUp quarter final at Goodison and the League Cup final against Tottenham. Plus of course, progress in Europe and/or the FA Cup will lead to even more fixtures. Even with City’s large squad, that represents a very still challenge.
- Player form
This is where it’s really hard to see City slipping. Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero have both missed significant time, but City haven’t missed a beat in attack. Ilkay Gundogan is thriving in his more advanced role, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva are providing energy, skill and creativity in wide areas, plus the likes of Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez are giving excellent support.
In defence, Ruben Dias and John Stones have formed a formidable partnership. Joao Cancelo has made the right back slot his own, Ederson is as reliable as ever and Rodri has excelled in the defensive midfielder role. If City are to lose games, it’s going to take other teams to seriously raise their game in the upcoming weeks.
- The contenders
Consistency has been in short supply amongst City’s title rivals. Champions Liverpool looked the most likely contenders in the first half of the season, but they’ve fallen apart in recent weeks and could now miss out on the top four. Manchester United briefly topped the Premier League, but look some way short of being genuine challenges. Leicester City have probably been the most solid of the chasing pack, but patchy home form has seen them fail to mount a serious challenge. It’s tough to see any of the challenges finding the form to get close to City.
City have to stop winning at some point, and the fixture list suggests it will be sooner rather than later. The problem is that it’s likely to be no more than a small stumble and status quo will quickly be restored. It’s also very hard to see one of the chasing pack going on a long winning run. As such, whilst there are still 15 games left to play, it seems almost unthinkable that Manchester City won’t be crowned Premier League champions.