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Manchester City got off to a bright start at the beginning of the season winning 10 games at a stretch in all competitions and were unbeaten till the 0-2 loss to Tottenham on October 2nd. They are one of the favourites to win the league but have not been getting the results that can help their title bid. The lines for soccer for winning their next match against Crystal palace is +495
However since that loss, the results have been inconsistent. They have only won twice in seven games in all competitions. The attack has not been producing results. City have managed 2.3 goals per game and 17.9 per game so far in the Premier League.
A 4-0 thrashing away to Barcelona in the Champions League was followed by a frustration 1-1 draw at home to Southampton in what could pass for their worst performance of the season so far. They had no shot on target in the first half and managed just three in the second half – their lowest stat under Pep Guardiola.
They have earlier dropped points at home against Everton in a 1-1 draw and getting the same result against Middlesbrough during the weekend makes it a run of successive three draws at home, dropping a magnificent six points and losing their top spot first to Chelsea for few hours and later to Liverpool.
They dominated the match and led at half time through Sergio Aguero goal but failed to take their chances until the Boro punished them with Marten de Roon’s equalizer in the injury time. Aguero had earlier missed a chance that could have proved the difference.
Dropping crucial points like this mean they will have to play catch up to Liverpool and Chelsea who are on fire right now. No team without its bad day but a succession of results like this shows that the early season sparking form is evaporating.
Guardiola blamed his attacking line for failing to convert their chances. They need matches like this build up their title challenge. This is Premier League where nothing is impossible. In this type of league getting results is more important than just dominating matches and failing to convert chances, which is becoming the norm these days.
The team looked tired towards the end of the game and Guardiola also accepted that fact, especially when you played a team like Barcelona a few days back. The Sky Blues put everything into the game both physically and mentally to secure a 3-1 win over the Spanish giant.
Fatigue is inevitable where a team plays five matches in 18 days but the main problem Guardiola is facing right now could be how to rotate his team. And he will even face stiffer situation during the yuletide period.
Premier League is unlike Spain and Bayern Munich where he has coached before. The La Liga and Bundesliga have enough space between matches making it easy for team to rest. Rotating the team may make space for tired legs to rest.