It was always going to be the case, not just for City, but all the top sides. Participation in domestic and European competition means that around this time games start to clash. In a few days time Manchester City play Arsenal in London.
That was a game which was scheduled to take place this past Sunday, but we had to play Arsenal in London! It has now been announced that five of Manchester City’s game have been moved. Three of the games, United (H), Tottenham (A) and West Ham (A), have all been moved for broadcast reasons.
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It is not sure, as yet, when Brighton will make that trip north. Their original meeting for March has had to be postponed due to THEIR involvement in the FA Cup. Swansea, meanwhile, will make their trip a day later.
It means the dream of winning the Premier League at the Etihad with a defeat of Manchester United, Jose Mourinho and Alexis Sanchez might not quite be doable. Certainly winning it before, in order to get that guard of honor, is now quite out of sight.
Of course, that is still subject to either team being committed to a Champions League game that Tuesday. Either way I think it benefits the mentality of the Guardiola side. Personally for Pep, I would imagine, winning the English Premier League at home, in front of his arch nemesis and the guy who gave him the run around, would be nice.
Certainly, no matter how focused he is, it must surely raise a Guardiola eye brow. If that possibility is taken off the plate, which it could do over the next weekend, maybe it’s not a bad thing.
So this, in review, is how the current fixture change looks for the Blues.
City v Brighton – Postponed, new date TBC
City v United – Saturday 7 April, 5.30pm*
Spurs v City – Saturday 14 April, 7.45pm
City v Swansea – Sunday 22 April, 4.30pm*
West Ham v City – Sunday 29 April, 2.15pm*
*Subject to FA Cup semi-final and Champions League participation.