Why Swansea v Man City has the potential to decide the destination of the title

Why Swansea v Man City has the potential to decide the destination of the title

Manchester City are two points clear at the top of the Premier League and even further ahead of their Big Six adversaries, with Tottenham four points back, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool five adrift and Manchester United five off the pace.

They have won not only all five of their top-flight fixtures, but their three Champions League assignments too – scoring ten and conceding none in those – and the result has been a consolidation of their pre-season Premier League winner market favouritism, moving all the way in to 4/6.

Yet while it is possible to lose a title in the opening five weeks of a campaign, the numbers suggest that it is a lot harder to win one in that timeframe. In the division’s first 24 years, seven different teams got this far without dropping a point, but just two of them were crowned champions.

manuel-pellegrini-training
Manuel Pellegrini was unable to build on an excellent opening in 2015/16

The Citizens themselves experienced how meaningless a 15-point starting sequence can prove last term, being faultless at this juncture before prevailing in a mere ten of their next 25 games. They would finish the season in fourth, a massive 15 points off the top spot that they initially commanded.

It turns out that there is a really easy way to separate the week-five real deals from the week-five pretenders, and it is as simple as watching what they do in week six.

Six sides have swum this deep without a wobble this century and the two that stayed the course were the ones who preserved their perfection on matchday six: Chelsea in 2005/06 and 2009/10.

Four spilled points in their sixth showdown and paid the price, with Arsenal runners-up in 2004/05, Chelsea and Man United second too in 2010/11 and 2011/12 and Man City fourth last season.

So Pep Guardiola’s men potentially put it all on the line at Swansea on Saturday in a clash that they are 2/5 to win.

X