Only one week ago, Manchester City‘s Premier League title hopes looked to be fading fast. But now, just one week later, they are favorites once again after last weekend’s results. It’s typical of just how back and forth the title race has been this season, and although favorites once again, City still have hurdles to overcome before they can be called champions again.
The biggest hurdle left for City comes this weekend as they travel to Goodison Park to play Everton, which is a ground they have really struggled at in the past. City have only won away at Everton once in their last 15 visits, with four draws and one win during that time stretching all the way back to 1993!
It’s a dreadful record for City and clearly one of their most difficult games of any season, regardless of managers, players, league position or money. This season, though, City have three games remaining, and as things now stand, they need to win all three to recapture the Premier League trophy.
This game is the biggest hurdle that remains in City’s way of achieving that by far. It is one they must overcome, and if you throw statistics and history out the window and you pitch Everton’s eleven players against City’s eleven players on a patch of grass somewhere in the world, then City’s eleven should win more often than not.
It never works out that way, of course, and it’s never that straight forward. That is why this game, combined with the atrocious record City have against Everton, means the Premier League title race may yet still have a twist left in it. The irony of it all is that Everton could help their bitter rivals Liverpool to the title if they do take points off of City — something most Everton fans would happily take a loss this weekend to avoid!
A lot of City’s struggles at Everton came while David Moyes was in charge of the club. With Moyes now gone and Everton playing a new style under Roberto Martinez, could that bring better fortune for City on Merseyside? It could do because Everton’s more open and offensive way of playing now would seem to suit City more than Moyes’ defensive approach.
But whatever happens in the game, Everton’s Champions League dreams seem to be in tatters either way, and if they can take points off City, then City’s title hopes would seem to be heading the same way.