MANCHESTER, BALIPOST.com – Manchester City may trail Liverpool by two points in the early season running for the Premier League title, but opportunity knocks for the champions in a two-month stretch beginning with Saturday’s visit of Brighton to the Etihad.
The visit of the Seagulls is the first of eight Premier League games Pep Guardiola’s men face against sides outside of the traditional “top six” before a daunting trip to Liverpool on November 9.
That run could see City travel to Anfield with a comfortable lead in the title race, with Liverpool set to face Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham in the meantime.
The form book over City’s last two title-winning seasons certainly suggests Guardiola will be expecting his team to collect maximum points over the next couple of months.
Including comfortable wins already this season on the road against West Ham and Bournemouth – by a combined 8-1 scoreline – since the start of the 2017-18 season, City have won 50 of the 58 games they have played against the 14 clubs outwith the top six in the Premier League.
Liverpool, the only side to have started the new season with three wins out of three, will hope that City finally start to falter.
But with everyone apart from the two north-west giants showing early-season inconsistency, the fact remains that the title may be reduced to a two-horse race by the time the clubs meet in November.
After Brighton, City face home games against struggling Watford, Wolves, Aston Villa and Southampton and travel to Norwich, Everton and Crystal Palace.
And Guardiola insists he can only concentrate on maintaining the standards he has set in his second and third seasons in charge.
“I’m not going to think about many points we need to be champions, or if Liverpool’s going to win or if we’re going to win,” he said. (AFP)