Manchester City looked destined to waltz to yet another Premier League title in 2022/23, but Arsenal’s remarkable improvement has thrown a spanner in the works.
Defeat at home to Brentford in their final match before the World Cup meant City entered the break five points adrift of the Gunners at the top of the table. Mikel Arteta’s side have been nothing short of magnificent to start the season, but Gabriel Jesus’ knee injury could derail their campaign after Christmas.
Despite the five-point deficit, many are confident that Pep Guardiola’s Cityzens will be lifting their seventh Premier League title next May.
The addition of Erling Haaland has added a frightening dynamic to Guardiola’s side with the Norwegian machine scoring a league-high 18 goals through 14 games. Haaland has emerged as a borderline unstoppable force, but City have dropped points in four of their games thus far – hence why they’re sitting behind Arsenal in the standings.
Guardiola will be desperate to eat into the Gunners’ advantage after the restart, and here’s who City are playing once the Premier League returns after the World Cup.
Leeds have already beaten Chelsea and Liverpool this season and have given both Arsenal and Tottenham scares. They’re built to play against superior sides, with their intensity and efficiency in transition capable of spooking any outfit.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds gave Guardiola’s City a few problems while the Argentinian was at the helm, and Jesse Marsch’s iteration of the Whites certainly have the potential to as well.
City return to the Etihad on New Years’ Eve as they host Everton in their final fixture of 2022.
Frank Lampard will undoubtedly set his side out to contain the champions, and the patience of Guardiola’s outfit will be tested in this one. The Toffees’ energetic midfield could ruffle the hosts, but they should win here comfortably.
Man City’s first clash againsy one of the ‘Big Six’ arrives five days into the new year as they make the trip to Stamford Bridge.
City brushed aside Chelsea in their first meeting this season (a 2-0 win in the Carabao Cup) and the two sides will face each other in the FA Cup third round a week before this Premier League fixture.
The Cityzens thumped their Manchester rivals in the first derby of the season, and their recent record at Old Trafford is very impressive.
Erik ten Hag’s side are certainly capable of stunning the visitors, but they’ve been a model of inconsistency so far this season.
Man Utd’s next four league games
Liverpool’s next four league games
Chelsea’s next four league games