Man City Must Win Tonight To Keep The Pressure On Chelsea
Manchester City simply have to pick up three points tonight away at Stoke in order to keep the pressure on Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table.
Manchester City’s title hopes have already been written off once this season.
When Chelsea raced to a six-point lead at the top of the table after 14 unbeaten Premier League games, many gambling fans with the likes of betfair and others thought that the title race was over. There was even talk amongst pundits and fans of Chelsea doing the quadruple.
Unable to Take Advantage
Defeats to Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, however, gave Chelsea’s chasing pack a sniff of an opening at the top of the table. Unfortunately for Manchester City fans, the Etihad club were unable to take advantage of Chelsea’s misfortune. Now, after 24 games, they find themselves seven points behind their rivals. Failure to take three points from Stoke City tonight could be the end of their title challenge and could lead to a lot of unhappy punters in the North West of England.
Of all the trips to be making when a win is desperately needed, Stoke City will be low down Manuel Pellegrini’s list of preferences. Mark Hughes’ men are unbeaten at the Britannia since December, and recorded an impressive 3-1 victory over QPR in their last home game. Hughes’ side have beaten Arsenal 3-2 at home this season and have also held Manchester United to a 1-1 draw. Pellegrini will also be wary of the fact that his side have already lost to the Potters once in the league this season and that Stoke City fans like nothing more than taking a big scalp. Even without the injured Ryan Shawcross, Stoke will prove to be worthy opponents.
City go in to the game having dropped two points at home to Hull City at the weekend and are now without a Premier League win since January 1st. Against Hull, Pellegrini’s men relied on a late James Milner equaliser to spare their blushes but he will know that they can’t count on such good fortune every week. Having failed to score more than once in any of their last five games, it is clear that Pellegrini needs his front men to start finding the back of the net.
New Arrival too Late
New arrival Wilfried Bony will certainly add to Sergio Aguero’s threat up front, and Yaya Toure will weigh in with his share of the goals in the coming weeks. But neither man will be available to face Stoke after helping the Ivory Coast to Africa Cup of Nations glory at the weekend. City need the rest of their squad to step up to the mark and deliver the creativity needed to break Stoke down. If City can’t find a way past Hughes’ men then their title dreams might just be over already.
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