Thursday 6th December 2018
Terry Newton – UCFB Multimedia and Business Student 2018
After Manchester City’s hard-fought victory away at Watford, they remain top of the Premier League with 41 points out of a possible 45. A record that if maintained, would break their own points record set last season as the centurions. Nobody expects them to go unbeaten but with Arsenal having done it in 2003/04, can this side not only emulate but surpass them?
For City to be unbeatable, they must avoid defeats at some of the toughest grounds in England. One key fixture approaching is December’s away match at Chelsea where Maurizio Sarri has lost only 1 game this season. January sees Liverpool visit the Etihad in what could be a season defining match for both sides. Liverpool, the only side keeping up with City in the title race, means that getting the 3 points in this game could even decide where the title is heading in May. Finally, if any game can rattle Pep’s all conquering juggernaut then it’s the Manchester derby. United beat City at the Etihad last season and this game taking place at Old Trafford, the odds will be stacked against City.
City have to contend with challenging on all fronts this season. The Champions League remains a priority for their owners, while competing in the FA and Carabao Cups help fill City’s calendar. City haven’t won the FA Cup since 2011 and would like to get their hands on it once again. They would also like to retain the Carabao Cup they won last season. No team has done that since Man Utd in 2009 and 2010. The Champions League has proven to be City’s biggest challenge this season, in fact city’s only defeat so far was to Lyon in the group stage. With this many fixtures to play outside of the Premier League, keeping everyone fit could be a problem.
Injuries have proven to be an issue for City this season. Kevin De Bruyne has been injured for most of the season so far, while Benjamin Mendy has again picked up a long-term injury. Also, back up goalkeeper Claudio Bravo is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon. The injury list leaves the door open for potential signings in January. Aymeric Laporte was signed under similar circumstances last season so you can’t rule it out.
Manchester City continue to improve on what was already a highly successful season last year and are picking up more wins and plaudits along the way. This looks like their best chance to match that Arsenal team from 2004. But if they become invincible then surely, they will go down as the best team in Premier League history.