Friday, October 19, 2018

Surely Manchester City have already sealed the title

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 14 Apr 2018

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has claimed that he believes that rivals Manchester United could still win the title this season.

The Citizens head into this weekend’s set of fixtures 13 points clear at the top of the table with just six games left to play. Guardiola’s side, of course, spurned the chance to seal the title at home against arch-rivals United by throwing away a two-goal lead at half-time to lose 3-2.

Asked if City could slip-up Guardiola told Sky Sports: “Of course it can happen, I assure you. Real Madrid, many years ago, lose six games in a row and didn’t win the league. Of course it can happen, no doubts about that. The players know that, I don’t need to tell them”.

Slight doubts have set in at City

A midweek 2-1 defeat by Liverpool in the Champions League meant that the Citizens have now suffered three straight defeats in all competitions.

City have been top for most of the season and there has been little doubt that the Citizens would win the title for the majority of the campaign. The leaders have played with such dominance and confidence, that the players just had such a sense of belief heading into every game.

The defeats against Liverpool and Manchester United have outsiders asking questions about whether City are as good as they have appeared to be for the majority of the campaign.

Whether those within the dressing room are feeling the same way remains to be seen. However, most teams would feel slightly deflated after such high profile and costly defeats.

City are by far the best team in the Premier League

It would be hard to claim that Manchester City have not been the best team in the Premier League. The Citizens have played breathtaking football this season, the likes it could be argued that the English top-flight has ever seen.

In fact, some have claimed that the current City team is the best that the English top-flight has ever seen. The likes of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero have been outstanding for the men from Manchester.

All the players at the club seem to have bought into Guardiola’s football philosophy. It has all come together, a top coach with very good players and City has dominated the English top-flight.

On their day, Manchester City could probably beat any team in Europe they are that good. Even City’s vulnerable defence from last season seems to have improved, as they have the best defensive record in the league. A big factor in that is that the Citizens have possession of the ball most of the time.

It is the amount of productive possession that makes City such a special team. Some teams have possession but do not do much with it or it is possession without an end product.

City’s controlled possession means that in the majority of games, they look completely in control. It seems highly unlikely that their confidence will be dented too much.

A difficult game against Tottenham

Manchester City have faced some big challenges of late. However, a trip to in-form Tottenham on Saturday night is a challenging one. The Citizens are still favourites to beat Spurs at odds of 13/8, despite their recent losing run.

The visitor’s position in the table and the fact that they have won five of their last six league games is a big factor in the Guardiola’s side being the favourites.

Although the City’s players would only be human if their confidence dropped in the next few games, the Citizens still have top players in their team. They have not become bad players or even just normal players overnight.

Manchester City are still a special team. They look unlikely to seal the Premier League title this weekend. However, it would be one of the biggest surprises in recent top-flight history if the Citizens now failed to clinch the title.

Is there any chance of Manchester City slipping up in the title race?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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