Football Features

Manchester City title race run-in: fixture difficulty, head-to-head records + potential banana skins

By Will Evans | Twenty3

Published: 13:21, 11 April 2024

Serial winners Manchester City tend to hit their stride at the business end of the season — and this year is no exception.

The Citizens are unbeaten in the Premier League since mid-December, only dropping points on four occasions across 16 matches.

But there is no room for any further slip-ups in this season’s Premier League title race, with Arsenal and Liverpool both marginally ahead of Pep Guardiola’s men in the table.

Ahead of the campaign’s final seven games, we consider where the potential pitfalls lie in City’s fixture list.

Luton Town (H)

Manchester City had to come from behind in their 2-1 triumph over Luton in December, but the Hatters are a significantly weaker side away from Kenilworth Road.

No team has leaked more goals on the road than Rob Edwards’ men (38), while they have allowed an alarming 14.25 shots per 90 minutes from inside the box in away encounters.

Brighton (A)

There are plenty of stylistic similarities between City and Brighton, which should make for an intriguing match-up at the Amex Stadium.

The Citizens (618.68) and the Seagulls (572.42) have completed the most passes per 90 in England’s top flight, but they are some way apart when it comes to the form chart. Roberto De Zerbi’s unit have only won once in their last six league outings, losing three of those matches.

Nottingham Forest (A)

With Nottingham Forest mired in a scrap for survival, Manchester City may need to pay particular attention to in-form marksman Chris Wood.

No Premier League player has scored more goals per 90 than his 0.85, and he has found the net in all four of his most recent appearances.

Wolves (H)

Guardiola will want to avoid a repeat of City’s previous clash with Wolves, when the Midlands outfit pulled off a shock 2-1 victory.

The Citizens had the better of the xG battle in that match — 0.87 vs 0.47 — so must ensure they are clinical when the teams meet at the Etihad.

Fulham (A)

Fulham are infuriatingly inconsistent, but tend to raise their game against the Premier League’s big guns — taking four points off Arsenal, as well as beating Manchester United and Tottenham.

Though City will be confident of securing victory after trouncing the West Londoners 5-1 at home in September, they will need to be at their best against a team that have won 28 of their 39 points at home.

Tottenham (A)

Next month’s trip to Tottenham is the biggest potential banana skin that Manchester City face.

Guardiola’s outfit have lost five of their last 10 meetings with Spurs across all competitions and could only draw 3-3 with them on home soil in December, despite registering an xG of 2.57 to Spurs’ 0.46.

West Ham (H)

If City can get through their visit to Tottenham unscathed then you would expect them to finish the season by securing maximum points against West Ham.

The Irons could still be pushing for continental qualification, but have an atrocious record against the Citizens — failing to beat them in 16 league meetings, with their three draws in that period all coming at home.