This week is a pivotal week for Manchester City in their quest to retain their Premier League title and win the Champions League for the first time.
Manchester City face arguably the toughest three away trips in Europe. They start against European champions Chelsea, before heading to Paris to take on Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday and finish the week by taking on Liverpool at Anfield.
After a poor start to the Premier League season, with a defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on the opening day of the season and a dismal draw against Southampton, the pressure is starting to grow on Pep Guardiola’s side.
Pivotal Week for Manchester City
Big Week for Manchester City Begins at European Champions Chelsea
The start of a huge week for Manchester City begins against European champions Chelsea in a repeat of last season’s Champions League final.
Since Thomas Tuchel took over at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea seems to be Manchester City’s kryptonite as they have lost the three last meetings against the London side.
As City struggled to a dismal draw against Southampton, where they had just one shot on target, Chelsea thrashed Tottenham and put out a statement performance in the second half.
Chelsea have had an impressive start to the season and currently looks like the team to beat in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Manchester City appear to be regretting not being able to sign Harry Kane, as they have failed to score in two of their five Premier League games so far this season.
They struggled against Southampton, looking lacklustre and lacking a cutting edge up front. Pep Guardiola will know this is a huge game, even though it is early in the season. A defeat would see them six points behind Chelsea and even at this early stage looks to be too much of a deficit to make up.
Trip to Paris to Face the MNM
After facing the defending European champions, the next task for Manchester City is one of the toughest tests in Europe; taking on Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe.
Paris Saint-Germain may have won six from six in Ligue 1 but they started their Champions League campaign with a disappointing draw against Club Brugge. They also needed a last-minute winner to defeat Lyon in another unconvincing display.
So far the attacking trio of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe has failed to really click. Messi is yet to score for PSG since his summer move from Barcelona. He also picked up a knee injury against Lyon and could miss next week’s Champions League clash with Manchester City.
Last season, City defeated PSG comfortably to reach their first Champions League final. However, Guardiola will know this is an entirely different proposition that they will be facing. After a poor result in their first group game, the pressure is on PSG to deliver and get their campaign back on track. Whoever wins on Tuesday, will be in the driving seat to win the group and possibly get an easier draw in the knockout stages.
It will be one of the most anticipated clashes of the Champions League group stage and will be a barometer of either side’s credentials of going all the way and winning the trophy for the first time.
Prediction: Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Manchester City
Tough Test at Anfield to Finish Week
To finish a testing week, Manchester City travel to Anfield on Sunday to face Liverpool. City’s record at Anfield is abysmal. They have just one win in 22 meetings and have lost 15 of those 22 encounters.
Their solitary win in that time came last season as they thrashed Liverpool 4-1. However, that match was behind closed doors and against a Liverpool side who played midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson both at centre-back. This is a different Liverpool side who have their best players back from injury and who have started the season impressively.
On the back of two taxing games, it will be interesting to see what shape Manchester City will be in for their Super Sunday showdown at Anfield. If City loses both games away to Chelsea and Liverpool, they could be nine points behind the league leaders. Such a gap would be almost impossible to claw back.
However, on the flip side, winning both at Stamford Bridge and Anfield will send out a statement that Manchester City are not ready to relinquish their Premier League crown. Whatever happens over the next week, will define what kind of success Manchester City will have this season.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City