Will City make a hat-trick of titles by disappointing Arsenal? The countdown has begun for this season’s games in Europe’s top leagues. A much clearer title race comes at the end of a long league season. The English Premier League, the world’s most popular football league, is currently fighting for the title between two teams. It can be said that one of the top two teams, Arsenal and Manchester City, is the league champion this year.
Almost all teams have played at least 30 matches in the 38-match season of the Premier League. Only Brighton and Liverpool have played 29 matches. The top two Arsenal and Manchester City have played 31 and 30 matches respectively. Arsenal have 74 points in 31 matches with 23 wins and 5 draws. On the other hand, City has collected 70 points in 30 matches with 22 wins and 4 draws.
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Third-placed Manchester United are well behind in the title race with 59 points from 30 matches. United are 11 points behind second-placed Manchester City. It is impossible to close this gap of 11 points in 8 games. So it can be said that Arsenal or City will win this year’s league title
Arsenal have been in great form since the start of this season. They have made the top place their own property. But the Gunners are not relieved. Because the Citizens, despite having some momentum to find a rhythm at the start, are unchallenged at the most important time of the season. Arsenal are chasing one after another. Under pressure, the Gunners have lost points in the last two matches and made the title equation difficult.
Mikel Arteta’s young Gunners brigade are at the top of the points table, but many consider Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City as favorites to win the title. City, who have won the title of the last two seasons, have a chance of a hat-trick. On the other hand, Arsenal have a chance to lift the league title again after the 2003-04 season. Arsene Wenger’s ‘The Invincibles’ side did not lose a single match on their way to winning the Seva Liga. No one else has ever done such a feat before or since.
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Arsenal was advancing at a great pace to win 20 years of titles. The youth-oriented team of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard have provided magical football throughout the season. At one point, it was even ahead of second-placed Manchester City. But the team lost its way in the last quarter of the season. They had to draw in two consecutive matches with a lead of 2 goals. After Liverpool, Arteta’s team fell behind in the title race with a draw against Aston Villa.
Compared to the opponents of Arsenal’s next matches in the league, City are getting an easier opponent. So the Gunners can end their title dreams with a bang.
Arsenal’s opponents in the remaining seven games in the league are Southampton, Man City, Chelsea, Newcastle, Brighton, Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton. The match against title contenders Man City is again at their home ground. Apart from this tough match, the match against fourth placed Newcastle United will also be played at the opponent’s ground. In addition, seventh-placed Brighton and Chelsea, who have lost their way this season, can also pose a tough challenge. The pressure is even greater for Chelsea, who lead by 4 points with a game in hand, due to a lack of squad depth. Mikel Arteta will need to be quick to find replacements if a key player is injured or out of form at this crucial time of the season. And there is the fatigue of playing consecutive matches.
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On the other hand, City have matches against Brighton, Arsenal, Fulham, West Ham, Leeds United, Everton, Chelsea and Brentford. City’s eight opponents have four teams in the top ten. But while Arsenal have to contend with two teams in the top four, City have to contend with one team. And with Guardiola’s team in such fiery form at the moment, it would be too much to think of them dropping points. The depth of City’s squad is also their strength. And Holland’s superhuman goalscoring ability could be the X factor for City. There is no one in the Premier League at the moment who can score goals with him.
But football is a game of uncertainty. Be it statistics or recent form, the result will depend on how the team performs on a given day. Those who can defeat the opponent in the field game, will be seen to cheer with the title at the end of the day.