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Premier League 2021-22: 3 Factors which might help Manchester City win the title

Manchester City are on the verge of winning their fourth Premier League title in five years
Manchester City are on the verge of winning their fourth Premier League title in five years
Subhadeep Roy

After their 2-2 draw with West Ham United on Sunday, holders Manchester City are now only a win away from securing their fourth Premier League title in five years.

They are already four points clear of second-placed Liverpool. However, the Reds have a match in hand and could come within one point of Manchester City if they beat Southampton on Wednesday.

However, Pep Guardiola’s side would only have to beat Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium next Sunday to lift the title, irrespective of Liverpool’s results. The odds will be stacked in favor of the Cityzens after they secured one precious point by coming back from a two-goal deficit against West Ham.

On that note, this article takes a look at three factors that might be crucial in securing the league title for the Cityzens:

#1 Jack Grealish performing well on Manchester City's final matchday

Jack Grealish has performed creditably in the latter part of the season
Jack Grealish has performed creditably in the latter part of the season

Grealish has grown in stature as a player as the season progressed and performed better in the latter part of it. He has started regularly for City in the last few league matches and has done enough to deserve his inclusion in the side.

Against West Ham too, Grealish managed to score the first goal for his side with a thunderous volley. It was his sixth goal of the season and he would definitely want to add to the tally on Sunday against his boyhood club.

Moreover, not for the first time in the recent past, the 26-year old English forward was the primary creative outlet for City. Against the Hammers, most of City’s attacks in the second half were made through the left flank and inside-left channel as Oleksandr Zinchenko combined well with Grealish.

Super Jack! 🦸‍♂️💥#ManCity https://t.co/Q8w2mLqdra

Grealish has now become more adept at cutting in from the left flank and breaking through defenses with his dribbling skills.

He can also hold the ball up really well and can be instrumental in wasting some precious time should Manchester City score an early goal against Aston Villa.


#2 Playing Raheem Sterling as the centre forward

Sterling has been a prolific scorer for City despite not starting regularly
Sterling has been a prolific scorer for City despite not starting regularly

Sterling has often started as the center forward in the ongoing season for Manchester City, despite being arguably more comfortable as a winger. Despite not starting for City in all the matches, Sterling has been able to score 17 goals in the ongoing season. He should ideally start ahead of Gabriel Jesus as the center forward against Aston Villa.

Jesus has enjoyed a good goal-scoring streak of his own in recent times and also earned a penalty against West Ham on Sunday. Nevertheless, Sterling is a faster and better dribbler in the final third. This might help Manchester City score an early goal in the match against Aston Villa.

Sterling also has the ability to play a quick one-two with his fellow forwards and thereby sneak through the opposition defense. Guardiola is spoilt for choice as far City’s attack is concerned, but should probably opt for Sterling in the starting XI on Sunday.


#3 Rodri frequently falling back to help the defense

Manchester City’s depleted defense had Fernandinho playing as a centre-back on Sunday and looked vulnerable at times. Neither Ruben Dias nor Nathan Ake will be able to play against Aston Villa. The veteran Brazilian defensive midfielder will once again have to start as a centre-back.

City’s defense looked shaky whenever West Ham launched a quick counter-attack and Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen could easily have scored in the second half. Bowen had earlier scored a brace in the first half to send shivers down the spines of the City supporters.

Fernandinho is usually not the fastest player on the pitch and hence, would require help from Aymeric Laporte and Rodri to close the opposition forwards down.

Rodri often ventures forward when Manchester City are in pursuit of a goal, but would have to curb his attacking instincts if they take the lead against Aston Villa. He might have to drop down to play as a third centre-back along with Laporte and Fernandinho to add steel to City’s defense.


Edited by Puranjay Dixit

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