Manchester City remain favourites to win the Premier League title, despite a run of form that has yielded just one win from their last five.
Despite this sequence of dropped points, it is hard not to be impressed by the way Pep Guardiola has affected City’s style and mentality within a few months.
As expected, there are a few voices within English football that remain sceptical about his abilities and these will doubtless resurface over the Christmas period.
The rigours of festive football are certainly a new challenge for Guardiola, and any dropped points will jumped upon as proof that he hasn’t adapted or that the Premier League is ‘harder than he thinks’.
There are plenty who want to see him fail, so the period between now and New Year is crucial for City.
We suggested three games that look pivotal.