Manchester City’s half term report would be one that is littered with praise, especially as Pep Guardiola’s men picked up 55 points from a possible 57. Not only that but they have won their last 17 Premier League matches and this run of form has put them into the record books for the most successive top flight victories.
Tonight not only will they look to make it 18 wins in a row but they have the opportunity to go a staggering 15 points clear after Manchester United could only draw yesterday afternoon when hosting Burnley. Should City manage to extend the gap further then you surely have to consider the title race not just all but finished but fully run with the medals already being handed out.
That would mean for City to lose the title from this point onwards they would have to lose five league matches in the remaining 18 outings, considering the only blemish on their record is a draw against Everton on the second weekend of the season then there is frankly little chance of a collapse taking place with the form that this team is currently in.
Then again it’s not just a run of form it is just the level of excellence at which they are playing at this season, the bar has been raised to probably as high as it can get. The only thing that they could improve on is getting a maximum 57 points from the first half of the campaign, quite simply the task is not just winning the title but doing it unbeaten.
Standing in their way this evening is a Newcastle side who after yesterday’s results currently find themselves 15th in the Premier League but just a point clear of the dropzone as the battle to beat the drop intensifies with each week that passes. Rafa Benitez’s men will at least be boosted by their win over West Ham last Saturday.
A change in style was rewarded as a much more dynamic Newcastle side traveled to the London Stadium and earned a 3-2 victory for their troubles, there was perhaps a bit fortune after Andre Aywe’s poor penalty was well saved by Rob Elliot in the second half when the Hammers had a chance to level but that said the Tyneside outfit were good value for their three points.
And those points would have been incredibly welcomed as had they not won they would have found themselves in the bottom three with the visit of tonight’s opponents on the horizon. The question now is whether they can do what every other team in the bottom half and almost all of the top half too have failed to achieve.
That obviously being able to take points off of City, even if they were able to manage a draw tonight then that will still be one more point then nearly everyone else and with as tight as it is at the bottom of the table right now that in itself will almost feel like a victory at St James Park. If they were to do the unthinkable and earn an unlikely win they then would move up to the heady heights of 12th in the table.
To be honest though the only thing stopping Manchester City right now are themselves, they strolled past Bournemouth last weekend as they registered a 4-0 win at the Etihad. The worrying thing though was the fact that they did not even need to go out of second gear in which to do so, this juggernaut rolls on and at the moment no one can find the off switch.
So much so that I cannot see anything other than an 18th straight win this evening, one that continues the streak of successive wins and tightens an already rock solid grip on this season’s Premier League title. Newcastle should not feel disappointed by victory as they will just end up another team on the list. A comfortable away win for me.