Manchester City will be reeling after allowing Arsenal to retake the lead in the Premier League title race following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest.
The Blues had retaken pole position from the Gunners after Wednesday’s win at the Emirates but Mikel Arteta’s triumph at Aston Villa means his side jump back above the champions by two points with a game in hand.
City are still to welcome Arsenal to the Etihad in the Premier League but have eight matches to play until then, excluding European and FA Cup matches.
The congestion of fixtures could play a part in the title race with Arsenal in the Europa League knockouts but out of the FA Cup thanks to last month’s loss to City.
Pep Guardiola’s men are chasing that elusive Champions League trophy and will have to play an added seven games in order to do so.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s Europa League ambitions will likely take a back seat amid their league intentions with a Champions League spot surely now a dead cert.
Here is how their next six Premier League fixtures look.
Manchester City – 2nd (52pts)
- Bournemouth (A) – February 25
- Newcastle United (H) – March 4
- Crystal Palace (A) – March 11
- West Ham United (H) – March 19
- Liverpool (H) – April 1
- Southampton (A) – April 8
Verdict: City will be confident of three points away at struggling Bournemouth and might reclaim first place if Arsenal fails to beat Leicester. They will enjoy their chances against Newcastle, and a strong result against Crystal Palace is predicted, despite the fact that Selhurst Park is typically a difficult place to visit.
An anticipated win against West Ham before a normally difficult game against Liverpool will be made easier by their home status, while City will try to avenge their Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat to basement club Southampton earlier this year. There will be a few tests, but City will be favorites in each.
Arsenal – 1st (54pts)
- Leicester City (A) – February 25
- Everton (H) – March 1
- Bournemouth (H) – March 4
- Fulham (A) – March 12
- Crystal Palace (H) – March 19
- Leeds (H) – April 1
Manchester United – 3rd (49pts)
- Liverpool (A) – March 5
- Southampton (H) – March 11
- Brighton & Hove Albion (A) – March 19
- Newcastle United (A) – April 1
- Everton (H) – April 8
- Nottingham Forest (A) – April 15
Tottenham Hotspur – 4th (42pts)
- Chelsea (H) – February 26
- Wolves (A) – March 4
- Nottingham Forest (H) – March 11
- Southampton (A) – March 18
- Everton (A) – April 1
- Brighton (H) – April 8
Newcastle United – 5th (41pts)
- Manchester City (A) – March 4
- Wolves (H) – March 12
- Nottingham Forest (A) – March 17
- Manchester United (H) – April 1
- Brentford (A) – April 8
- Aston Villa (A) – April 15