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Manchester City Champions League Exit Good for Title Chase?

22 April 2019 | Premier League | Articles
646
Manchester City Champions League Exit Good for Title Chase?
Mitch Gunn / Shutterstock.com

Manchester City lost their Champions League quarter-final tie with Tottenham Hotspur in the most dramatic fashion.

Having led the match 4-3 on the night but seemingly going out on the away goals rule, Raheem Sterling struck with a late goal which would have sent them through 5-4 on aggregate.

However, to cap a dramatic night of football, VAR intervened and the goal was correctly disallowed for offside in the build-up.  The atmosphere went from ecstasy to disbelief and then disappointment inside the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City were out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage and their dreams of the quadruple are over this season.

Despite the huge blow and the manner in which it happened, could their elimination prove to be to their advantage in the Premier League title race?

Pep Guardiola’s team do not have to think about balancing the Premier League and mid-week Champions League matches during the title run-in.  He is now in a position to play his strongest starting XI in every match, without having to consider who needs a break ahead of mid-week action.

The same cannot be said for Liverpool, who must travel to play Barcelona away between Huddersfield Town at home and Newcastle United away in the Premier League.  Following the match at Newcastle they face Barcelona at home in the Champions League and then face Wolverhampton Wanderers at home to finish the Premier League season.

Manchester City make the short trip to Old Trafford on Wednesday night and then play on the three remaining Premier League weekends, without any distraction in mid-week. Some onlookers have said the Champions League games would not have caused a problem because the Premier League games surrounding the match dates are easy.

However, two extra matches allow injuries and fatigue to build and regardless of the perceived quality of the opposition, nothing changes that fact.  Manchester City have lost to Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Newcastle United in the Premier League this season, so to say their final games against Burnley, Leicester and Brighton and Hove Albion are easy is wrong.

Liverpool fans will point to the fact that following their match with Cardiff City, Manchester City have the same number of games remaining this season as themselves, unless Liverpool reach the Champions League final, in which case they will have one more.

The problem is, one of those matches is the FA Cup final, by which time the Premier League season is over and it will not have an impact on the title race.

There is no doubt the elimination from the Champions League has eased Manchester City’s schedule, just like Liverpool’s elimination from the FA Cup did for them earlier this season.  Will the two mid-week breaks when Liverpool are playing Barcelona in the Champions League make the difference in the title race this season?

Predictions for Premier League

Home team - Away team Forebet
flag_1 PR
BurnleyArsenal
12/05/2019 15:00
2
flag_1 PR
Crystal PalaceBournemouth
12/05/2019 15:00
X
flag_1 PR
FulhamNewcastle United
12/05/2019 15:00
1
flag_1 PR
Leicester CityChelsea
12/05/2019 15:00
2

England Premier League - predictions, tips, statistics
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Manchester City 98 38 32 2 4 95 23 72
2. Liverpool 97 38 30 7 1 89 22 67
3. Chelsea 72 38 21 9 8 63 39 24
4. Tottenham 71 38 23 2 13 67 39 28
5. Arsenal 70 38 21 7 10 73 51 22
6. Manchester United 66 38 19 9 10 65 54 11
7. Wolverhampton 57 38 16 9 13 47 46 1
8. Everton 54 38 15 9 14 54 46 8
9. Leicester City 52 38 15 7 16 51 48 3
10. West Ham 52 38 15 7 16 52 55 -3
11. Watford 50 38 14 8 16 52 59 -7
12. Crystal Palace 49 38 14 7 17 51 53 -2
13. Newcastle United 45 38 12 9 17 42 48 -6
14. Bournemouth 45 38 13 6 19 56 70 -14
15. Burnley 40 38 11 7 20 45 68 -23
16. Southampton 39 38 9 12 17 45 65 -20
17. Brighton 36 38 9 9 20 35 60 -25
18. Cardiff City 34 38 10 4 24 34 69 -35
19. Fulham 26 38 7 5 26 34 81 -47
20. Huddersfield 16 38 3 7 28 22 76 -54

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