If you can believe it, the final Premier League matchweek of 2021 is here.
Across the two campaigns fans have been treated to a total of 42 matchweeks, with Manchester City finishing top of the Premier League in May and also guaranteed to lead into the New Year.
Although a lot of teams do have games in hand, we’re officially at the halfway stage of the 2021/22 Premier League season and Man City are sitting six points clear at the top of the table. After the worst possible start to the campaign, losing 1-0 to Tottenham, Man City have turned on the style to gain 47 points from a possible 54 in their following 18 matches.
It’s been the story of Man City’s year, with Pep Guardiola’s side dominating the Premier League in 2021. They have scored 112 goals so far this year in the league, 31 more than any other team. No English top-flight side has scored more goals in a single calendar since 1960 when Wolves managed 113 and Tottenham scored 114, so Man City will be looking to break that mini-record in their final match.
Despite Man City’s high scoring tally, there hasn’t been one standout top scorer. Ilkay Gundogan leads the way for Man City in 2021 with 15 goals from midfield, two clear of Raheem Sterling. They are joined in scoring 10+ by Phil Foden (11) and Riyad Mahrez, with the latter reaching the 10-goal mark in Man City’s thrilling 6-3 win over Leicester City at the weekend. Sitting just below on nine are the trio of Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and Bernardo Silva.
As a team, Man City have also scored more Big Chances than any other team in the Premier League this season with 62. Sterling comes out on top for Man City with 12, one ahead of Gundogan.
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Man City have also been phenomenal in defence, with only Chelsea (31) conceding fewer goals than their 32 amongst teams to have been in the Premier League in both the 2020/21 and 2021/22 campaigns. Man City have, however, kept the most clean sheets with 23.
The Citizens have won their past nine in the league and will be hopeful of making it 10 when they travel to face Brentford on Wednesday night.
“We want to keep that run going,” Sterling said. “I think it’s nine games in the Premier League now, we want to keep it going.
“It’s game after game, that mentality, we keep doing it and we need to keep getting them wins.
“It’s been a decent start so far, we need to keep the focus and go into the new year with the same mentality.
“We need to keep going and that’s all we can do.”
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Unlike Man City, Brentford started the 2021/22 campaign with a win, beating Arsenal 2-0 at home and currently look fairly comfortable in 13th – nine points clear of the relegation zone.
Also this gameweek, Liverpool and Chelsea will be looking to stay close to Man City with games against Leicester and Brighton respectively. The two sides are currently level on points with Liverpool second and Chelsea third, but the Reds do have a game in hand on Thomas Tuchel’s side and Man City above them.
West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur also travel to Watford and Southampton respectively in the fight for the top four, while relegation-threatened Norwich City face Crystal Palace.
The final two games of 2021 come on Thursday, with Everton hosting Newcastle United and Manchester United hosting Burnley
Tuesday 28 December
Crystal Palace vs Norwich (3pm UK time)
Southampton vs Tottenham (3pm UK time)
Watford vs West Ham (3pm UK time)
Leicester vs Liverpool (8pm UK time)
Wednesday 29 December
Chelsea vs Brighton (7:30pm UK time)
Brentford vs Man City (8:15pm UK time)
Thursday 30 December
Everton vs Newcastle (7:30pm UK time)
Man Utd vs Burnley (8:15pm UK time)