Arsenal receive double boost from humbling Brighton defeat amid Man City title slip-up hope
Arsenal have a double positive from Brighton’s defeat at the hands of Everton as football.london rank Manchester City’s remaining four games of the season looking at where they might slip up in the Premier League title race.
To win the title Arsenal will need to not only win the remainder of their games, but also rely upon Manchester City to slip up in their remaining Premier League fixtures.
Having played a game less, City have four more games in addition to a double-legged Champions League semi-final, a potential final and the FA Cup conclusion against Manchester United to come.
Arsenal meanwhile have three games against sides they’re expected to win. Two home clashes with Brighton and Wolves sandwiching an away trip to Nottingham Forest. Arsenal won the reverse fixtures of all three scoring eleven goals across the matches.
The Gunners will therefore be hoping that City’s trickier run amidst the European expectation causes some buckling. football.london takes a look at the remaining four fixtures to rank them in terms of their difficulty and assess where Arsenal’s title rivals could be exposed.
Manchester City vs Chelsea
If I would have said a year ago that out of Everton, Brentford, Brighton and Chelsea, which game would be the easiest to manoeuvre on paper, few might’ve put the Blues in the position. Yet this is the case for multiple reasons but the primary is actually out of the London side’s control.
City’s home form is unbelievably strong come to the run-in. Six of the ten successive wins run in the league have been at home. Within the four away trips, two against Crystal Palace and Fulham were one by a sole goal and hardly the most comfortable.
Banking on Man City to beat any side at home is usually a safe bet, but Chelsea’s horrific form this season gives them barely any hope. The only semblance and slither of potential for an upset comes from their close encounter with Chelsea in January which a sole Riyad Mahrez goal separated the two sides and perhaps a recent turn in form with their win over Bournemouth last weekend. We can pray.
Everton vs Man City
Well, what a performance that was against Brighton. Interestingly, in the 5-1 win, Everton had just 22% of the ball and few would bet on them getting any more of that against Manchester City.
Everton are desperate for points and where a game against Man City might be written off in the midseason, there’s no excuse to take any chance for points lightly at this stage. Plus, it’s hardly like even Frank Lampard’s Everton took this game for granted after securing a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the season. A repeat of that scoreline, please!
Brentford vs Man City
Man City’s final game and perhaps a match which could be prior to both an FA Cup and Champions League final, should the Citizens navigate past the tough test of Real Madrid. Brentford are the only side to beat City in the league in their own backyard this season.
The Bees have gained a reputation for big scalps in the top flight and with the likelihood of having nothing to lose nor play for on the final day the pressure is off. Just like it was for Newcastle when Arsenal lost 2-0 on Tyneside with all the pressure on the Gunners, the Bees can hopefully emulate in a much bigger way.
Brighton vs Man City
Despite their humbling at the hands of Everton, Brighton are the most competitive side that Man City have left to play who also have plenty to play for in terms of their fight to qualify for European competition next season and the loss against the Toffees has given them all the more reason to beat City.
The Amex Stadium had been a place of real threat for most visitors but they have lost the man who scored their only goal against City earlier this season, Leandro Trossard.
And yet, the likes of Kaoru Mitoma, Alexis Mac Allister, Moises Caicedo and company will still be seriously dangerous for the visiting Citizens. Hopefully, they’re forthcoming, he says hopefully, defeat to Arsenal this coming weekend won’t have damaged them too much and instead give them more reason to beat the league champions.