Manuel Pellegrini’s men look confident and in form going into the fourth week of the Barclays Premier League. They have scored 8 goals and conceded none in their first three matches and sit at the top of the table with a 5 point lead already on the defending Champions. They beat them 3-0 at the Etihad before travelling to the Goodison Park for a 2-0 victory.
Though the season is relatively young, we shall take a look at the 5 fixtures in the fixture list that may trouble the Blue side of Manchester before the turn of the year.
Crystal Palace (A) September 12th
The City has not had a great time with their travels to the Selhurst Park in the past. A trip to the South London has proven to be tricky for top Premier League teams and the City learnt it the hard way when they lost 2-1 to the hosts in the last season. Yaya Toure scored a late goal, but it was not enough for them as they came out of the game without a point which made their slim chances of winning the league even slimmer.
It will not be easy for them to blow through Alan Pardew’s side who are playing their brand of football and this may well prove to be a tough game for Pellegrini’s men.
Manchester United (A) October 25th
The match for which most fans in Manchester mark their calendars is the Manchester Derby. The first leg of the Derby will be played at the Old Trafford on the 25th of October. City started the corresponding fixture last season with a sublime goal from the Argentine Sergio Aguero. But United then put 4 past Hart as they broke the derby winning streak of City after 5 consecutive wins.
Aguero added a goal later in the game which was inconsequential and City who will have settled well into the season will need all his expertise this time around if they want to keep up their good start to the season.
Liverpool (H) November 21st
Pellegrini’s men have not let Liverpool get the better of them at home with four victories out of the last 5 games between the teams at the Etihad. But City lost to Liverpool at Anfield after a mediocre performance and with the unpredictability of Liverpool’s performances, Rodgers’ side will provide a stern test to the Citizens.
By November, the Premier League table will have taken shape and if these two teams are still at the top, this fixture can be a very important one for both teams.
Stoke (A) December 5th
Manchester City have failed to win six games out of the last seven meetings between these two teams at the Brittania Stadium. But the last season’s fixture yielded a 4-1 victory for City after an impressive first half performance. Stoke has never been a place that is easy to travel to and Pellegrini will be well aware of the threats that Stoke possesses.
With the latest addition of Shaqiri alongside Bojan, Stoke looks formidable and will provide a tough test to the travelling team come December.
Arsenal (A) December 19th
One of the lowest points in City’s previous season was a 2-0 loss to the Gunners at the Etihad. This after barely securing a draw at the Emirates, thanks to a last minute equalizer by Martin Demichelis. Arsenal also has a very talented squad and will surely eye the Premier League at the end of the season.
They will fight with the City for the top spot and a victory at the Emirates will give the Citizens a slight advantage over their London rivals if they are fighting at the top of the table in December.
Manchester City have been drawn with Juventus in their group stage alongside Sevilla and Borussia Monchengladbach. It is a tough group and City will have the Champions League that will not make the Premier League games any easy. It remains to be seen if they are up to the mark at least in this season and can challenge for trophies on all fronts.