For 27 matches running, Manchester City had tasted defeat just once. It was a period when the Cityzens were at their best and routing every opponent with ease.
However, things haven’t been that straightforward for Pep Guardiola’s side in recent weeks. They’ve won just one of their last three games and seem to be limping.
With just over a month to the end of the season, it remains to be seen if the team will have the attitude and mental fortitude to finish the campaign strongly.
Having been kicked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea, Manchester City’s hope of winning silverware now lie in the Premier League and the Champions League. But first, though, they need to take care of business against Aston Villa.
A tough test against Villa
The Cityzens will travel to Villa Park on Wednesday with the aim of returning to winning ways in the Premier League following their loss to Leeds United on April 10. However, this could be a very slippery slope.
Dean Smith’s side has improved tremendously this season and occupy 11th in the Premier League table. The Lions are also targeting a place in Europe and a win would hugely boost their slim chances of qualifying for the Europa League.
That said, Manchester City are superior in every aspect. Guardiola’s side has been the most consistent team in Europe this season and, until last week, seemed destined to win the quadruple.
The silver lining for Aston Villa, though, is that City are not at their best at the moment and are missing some key players due to injuries, including the ever influential Kevin De Brunye.
This could affect the rhythm and effectiveness of Manchester City and the Lions can take advantage of that to record an upset.
Dropping points hands Manchester United lifeline in title race
So far, Manchester City haven’t looked back since rising to the top of the table. However, they’ve been wobbly in recent weeks.
This has opened the door for rivals Manchester United to make a last-ditch effort to usurp them. A run of five consecutive wins in the Premier League has seen the Red Devils close the gap on Guardiola’s side to just eight points.
And with six matches left to be played, anything can happen. Should Manchester City drop points against Aston Villa on Wednesday, it will further give their rivals a lifeline in the title race.
However, Guardiola’s side can avoid such a tense finish if they manage to beat Aston Villa on Wednesday.