The Premier League title race this season has been contested by two teams, with the remainder of the pack being left in their dust. Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea have been forced to battle it out for spots in the Champions League (aka the top four battle), whereas Manchester City and Liverpool have made them look like amateurs.
It’s been quite the contest up to this point, and with just a few games remaining in the season, it feels like things are only going to keep ramping up from here. The pendulum has swung backwards and forwards in a million different ways, and this past weekend, the Reds were able to seize control once again as they scored late in the game to edge their way past Newcastle. They returned to the top of the Premier League table as a result, which leaves us waiting to see whether or not Manchester City can ‘return serve’ so to speak in their game against Leicester City tonight.
Can they do it?
As reported by Liverpool Echo and Manchester Evening News, manager Pep Guardiola seems to have taken a pretty interesting approach towards the end of the title race. As opposed to staying quiet, calm and focused on the task at hand, he’s been more than happy to reflect on proceedings.
We are in the semi-final, one second later we are out. Two and a half days [later], 12.30 on Saturday – thank you Premier League – they played there and it’s so tough, with incredible sunshine and humidity, it was a tough day against an incredible team in Tottenham. Then after going to Old Trafford and Burnley, where everyone thought we’d drop points. We didn’t drop points. That is not the manager or the staff. That’s the personality of the players.
There are so many different ways you can take this and so many different ways you can choose to interpret it, but at the end of the day, the key ‘point’ here is that Pep’s men are onto something special. That much has been unbelievably clear for quite some time now, and all they have to do is start to piece it all together. They have the equivalent of three cup finals coming up against Leicester, Brighton & Watford (with the last one actually being the FA Cup final) but they can’t afford to get ahead of themselves. Not in this league.
The Vardy dilemma
We’ve all heard the talk about how Jamie Vardy is going to be the key man to watch in this encounter tonight, and it’s hard to disagree with that sentiment. He’s one of the deadliest strikers in the Premier League, especially when playing against the top six, and he’s going to be up for the challenge of derailing City’s charge to the title.
Why? Well one of the reasons is probably down to Brendan Rodgers, who would’ve made it crystal clear to his players that he wants to do everything in his power to help out his old club.
Will City be able to overcome these odds? They’ve done it before, and it seems like they should be able to do it again.