After maintaining their 3 point cussion at the top of the league on Monday, City have a fantastic chance of pulling away from those closest to them as they each play teams in the top 6 several times, whereas City only have to play Spurs at home. I say 'only', I know that will be a very tough game but you see what I'm getting at.
Spurs play 5 of the top 6 including City, United play 4, while Arsenal and Liverpool play 3 and they will all be taking points off each other. Once City have played Spurs we only play 1 team in the current top 10 (in this run of fixtures of course) so this presents a fantastic opportunity to make a massive push towards to Premier League title.
Punctuating those fixtures for City are (at minimum) the 2nd leg of the Carling Cup semi-final against Liverpool and 2 Europa League games against Porto. It will be interesting just how seriously Mancini takes these given the opportunity that presents itself in the league.
Kompany will be back for the Everton game, Silva should be 100% for Spurs, as should Dzeko and hopefully Balotelli having all suffered recent injuries. Hopefully Micah will recover quickly too. Kolo and Yaya will both be back in the squad in time for Blackburn at the very latest if they get to the final of the African Nations.
At that time City (circumstances permitting) should really be kicking back into gear if we can get to that point with everyone fit and no more suspensions.
I know several of you reading this will be thinking "take one game at a time". Again you would be right, and Mancini voices that same opinion in each press conference when asked about games in the future. However his team selection often tells a different story as he juggles players around so they will be fit for certain games. He definitely plans ahead and I will be totally surprised if he hasn't looked at that fixture list and considered the possibility of being clear at the top of the league by a good few points by the final whistle of the game against Swansea.
A large factor in how the next 8 games pans out will be City's ability to unlock tightly packed defences as I expect at least 4 of those games to be almost 90 minutes of attack versus defense. City have struggled reently when teams have parked the bus and they are going to have to figure out how to move it quickly.
Despite United 'coming good' in January and Spurs being favourites for the title according to a Sky Sports vote, City could make huge strides towards lifting the Premier League trophy come May if they can string a solid set of results together. Of course you can't get too excited about that prospect because absolutely anything can happen between now and then, and I'm not saying City will definitely be clear by a good few points either, but there's no harm in considering the possibility, is there?
Edit: Manchester United are away to Arsenal, not home. Shows you how much a give a damn eh? ;)
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