After their humiliating defeat against Everton, the biggest league loss that Pep Guardiola has suffered in his managerial career, Manchester City’s title challenge is all but over. They are currently 10 points behind league leaders Chelsea in 5th place and they host high-flying Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend. Here are three reasons why the Citizens will struggle to finish in the top four this season…
Manchester City have lost two of their last five games, both away matches against Merseyside clubs Everton and Liverpool. Pep Guardiola’s side were thoroughly and deservedly beaten by Everton last weekend. Despite having 71% possession, Man City did not make it count while Everton scored their four goals from four shots on target. An eighth minute header from Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum was enough to give the Reds three points when the sides met. The Citizens have lost to three of the current top four with their only victory coming against Arsenal. Man City are two points behind fourth placed Arsenal and in order to make sure the gap doesn’t widen any further, they must beat Spurs at the weekend or get a draw at the very least.
Upon Pep Guardiola’s arrival, he made a huge statement when he immediately sent Joe Hart on loan to Torino. If it had worked, there would be no problem. Unfortunately, Claudio Bravo has not been a success at the club so far. He failed to save a single shot in the recent defeat against Everton and has conceded 14 of the last 22 shots on target he has faced in the league. His uncertain performances do not instill confidence in the shaky defence in front of him. Some of Joe Hart’s performances for Man City have been spectacular and kept them in games. It is hard to imagine Claudio Bravo having a similar impact. The Chilean joined Man City in August and should have settled in by now. It is unlikely that Guardiola will drop him so Bravo has to prove that his boss did the right thing by bringing him to Manchester.
Absence of key players
Due to lack of discipline and lengthy injuries, Man City have had to cope without Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho and Vincent Kompany to name a few. Any club would find it challenging without players of this quality and Man City are no different. Fernandinho and Aguero have already missed several matches this season and if Man City are to get into the top four, they need their best players on the pitch, not serving suspensions. Man City’s captain Vincent Kompany has made just three Premier League appearances. He is the rock in defence that Man City desperately need but his injuries are so frequent that it is not possible to fully depend on him.
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