Manchester City need to win-out if they are going to win back-to-back Premier League titles.
That’s the message from City boss Manuel Pellegrini, as the Chilean manager spoke ahead of their clash with Crystal Palace on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).
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City have won just four of their last six Premier League matches and suffered a shock defeat to Burnley in March, as they have slipped six points behind Chelsea and have played an extra match with eight games to go.
“If we want to continue in first position of the table we must not drop any more points,” Pellegrini said. “It’s easy to say but not easy to do it. We just know that from now until the end of the season we must try to win all the games and we will see what we can do.”
Let’s take a look at City’s remaining schedule and see if they can win-out. Is Pellegrini setting the bar way too high?
Crystal Palace (A)
Manchester United (A)
West Ham (H)
Aston Villa (H)
Tottenham Hotspur (A)
By my calculations, City can avoid defeat in their final eight matches of the season (the only two big tests being Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur away). A few weeks ago in Premier League Playback, I predicted they would win eight and draw one, their match against Spurs away, of their remaining matches and that it would see them come two points short of Chelsea in the race for the title. That was also assuming that Chelsea would drop points against QPR, Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Liverpool.
If all of that came to fruition, and Pellegrini will be hoping it does, it could mean the race for the title would go down to the wire and the final game of the season. Surely City can’t rally late on for the second-straight season and win the title… Can they?