The final international break has arrived, with a chance to pause, take breath and relax for Manchester City fans with all the excitement to come on the run home.
A season like no other will reach its crescendo over the couple of months with City challenging on three fronts in the League, FA Cup and a Champions League tie against Bayern Munich all looming on the horizon. I’ll take a look at what’s coming up next for Manchester City’s season.
The Premier League and Manchester City’s title chase resumes next weekned with a crunch home game against Liverpool. City currently sit 8 points behind Arsenal, having played a game less.
The Liverpool game you feel will be a massive one in what comes next for the remaining of the season. A win and it sets up the remainder 10 games of the league season, and maintains the opportunity to remain in touching distance of Arsenal with a looming clash against the league leaders at the Etihad coming up at the end of April.
A loss or a draw against Liverpool, whilst not a death blow to City’s title pursuit, you do feel the mountain becomes almost insurmountable. Arsenal do have some tough fixtures coming up, but for me a win over Liverpool is a must.
We know Liverpool will be up for the game at the Etihad, they always are against City. With their top 4 chances slipping away with every inconsistent performance of theirs, you do feel they’ll be up for the clash as per usual. I’m expecting a exciting game, on a par with the usual City/Liverpool clashes of seasons past.
There also was the news of Erling Haaland being withdrawn from Norway’s internationals over the break due to a groin injury.
Whilst not feared to be a serious injury, Erling will be needed against Liverpool, especially hot on the heels of his 8 goals in his past two Manchester City appearances. A story to watch over the next week until kick off at the Etihad.
Following the Liverpool game, City travel to St. Mary’s stadium for a equally vital league game against relegation threatened Southampton.
Southampton have already beaten City there this season, a 2 nil Carabao Cup quarter final success for them was arguably their best result for the season.
While the league table says one thing, I’m expecting a tough game there as well. Southampton have caused City problems at St. Mary’s in seasons past, so this game will be no given.
For me the next two league games are vital in the title chase, 6 points is a must and a continuation of Manchester City’s recent form is a must. I eagerly await both fixtures.
This is a mouth watering tie on paper, the tie itself pits two of the best sides in Europe against each other, and a return to the Allianz Arena for Pep Guardiola.
The stories in this time write themselves. Pep’s return to Bayern in the second leg, Leroy Sane and Joao Cancelo’s return to the Etihad in the first leg, and the Manchester City vs Bayern Munich rivalry off the pitch finally coming to a head on the pitch.
Bayern have been one of the most outspoken critics of Manchester City’s owners in years gone by, they always seem to have a opinion on Manchester City matters so the tie will have some feeling to it as well.
I for one cannot wait for the tie to kick off, and if Manchester City are finally going to crack the Champions League duck and win the competition this is the tie we must be winning.
City are capable, and have all the tools required to beat Bayern over two legs (same goes for Bayern Munich over City) so here’s hoping this is finally the year.
A semi final clash against the winner of the Real Madrid/Chelsea quarter final awaits, so the challenges will continue to come if City progress over Bayern.
A FA Cup Semi Final awaits Manchester City against this year’s Cinderella side in Sheffield United. Manchester City progressed with a resounding 6 nil quarter final win over Vincent Kompany’s Burnley at the Etihad.
Another Wembley trip beckons for Guardiola’s men, against a team they’ll be heavily favoured against. Anything can happen in one off games, and Manchester City’s recent performances in Cup semi finals have usually been tense affairs, so I’m expecting another one here based of past performances.
The title chase will resume in earnest against Liverpool at the Etihad next weekend, so a gripping game awaits in what could be a tense finale to the 22/23 season.
I’m expecting another title race to come down to the final day, I can see Arsenal while they’ve been magnificent so far this season, dropping points so it will be on Pep Guardiola’s men to capitalise on any opportunity that presents itself.
A tantalising game at the Etihad against Arsenal looms as a massive one in the story of the season. So hopefully City can keep in touch with the league leaders in the lead in to that massive clash.
The Champions League tie against Bayern Munich looms as a season defining moment also, a tie I cannot wait for.
The FA Cup Semi Final is also a big occasion, with the chance to make another Cup Final for Manchester City and the chance to add more silverware to the trophy cabinet on offer.
A exciting conclusion to season 22/23 awaits, with many twists & turns to come so buckle up for what comes next.