Pep Guardiola may have a point.
For the top Premier League clubs, one can argue that the months of January and February are the most difficult to navigate during the season. Even with a crowded fixture schedule in December, teams are playing, especially after early December, just in one competition.
Come January, sides like Manchester City and Liverpool have to take part in the Premier League and FA Cup, plus matches from the League Cup if they’re still in it. If they’re still alive by the League Cup final into February as well as the FA Cup, then there’s four different competitions having matches within February, which ensures that there’s a game every three days or so. It can be a daunting task for players and coaches alike.
“Before I came here, people spoke about Christmas and the Boxing Day period being bad, but January/February is worse!” Guardiola said in a press conference. “February is tougher than December. We have to prepare for Chelsea in three days and they have had all week! It is what it is. I’d prefer to be in that position and go forward though.”
This month, Manchester City may have to play seven games in 28 days, including matches against Chelsea twice and Schalke 04 twice. There’s also the trip to Rodney Parade to face Newport County squeezed in there too.
With Guardiola saying that the Premier League title will go down to the final week or two, surviving this month with the most amount of points possible will be crucial in Manchester City’s quest for a title.