Manchester City will be looking to close the gap on Arsenal this month as well as making a point in the Champions League.
It was a major surprise to see City lose at Aston Villa after taking Manchester United apart in the Manchester derby, but the good news for City fans is the games come thick and fast this month with six across all competitions.
City are five points off the pace in the title race and have two difficult fixtures in particular with a trip to West Ham sandwiched in between a home match against Everton and a trip to Chelsea.
The match against Everton is their next chance for league points, which won’t be easy considering how well Everton are playing as the only side in the Premier League at the moment not to lose a game.
The trip to Chelsea will be difficult but City tend to rise to the occasion against the bigger sides and they won’t be daunted by a trip to Stamford Bridge with their key players having all succeeded in more hostile environments.
The Champions League throws up ties against Bayern Munich tomorrow night and a trip to Moscow later this month. Win tomorrow and sides will certainly sit up and take notice of Manuel Pellegrini’s team.
However, that’s not the most significant benefit a result against the German and current European champions will produce. If City beat Bayern tomorrow it will do the belief of the current side the world of good.
Bayern will not only test City’s players, it will be interesting to see how Pellegrini shapes up against Pep Guardiola, someone who knows how to get the maximum out of his players at different times during a game.
City are fortunate in terms of injury and the club’s fans should get a chance to see Martin Demichelis play later this month in the Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow, the league trip to Chelsea or the League Cup tie at Newcastle United.
In terms of what the boss has to prove this month or what his main aim should be, the keyword is consistency.
City have shown they can play some world class football so far this season but then they relax slightly against sides they should beat on paper and that’s already caused a couple of hiccups.
Pellegrini has settled on the formation he’s going to use, 4-4-2, and he’s got a good idea of what his best side is, the aim is for that side to now kick on and secure a close to unbeaten record this month.
It’s full on and fairly relentless all the way through the month but the League Cup tie against Newcastle to round things off will provide a chance to rest key first team members, giving fringe players a chance to impress.
How do you think City will get on this month?