Man City look to steal a merry march in the snow
Mother Nature has handed Manchester City the perfect chance to spend Christmas on top of the Premier League and with a decent fixture list over the next month their title prospects should start being taken seriously.
City have been underwhelming at times this season and the future of leading striker Carlos Tevez remains in doubt but with all their rivals grounded by heavy snow, Roberto Mancini’s millionaires will go top if they beat Everton on Monday.
With their next three matches against Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Blackpool, City could head into the New Year as the team to catch — although neighbours United still look best-placed in what is looking like an intriguing title race.
That said, whatever happens to Tevez, City will no doubt be eyeing the January transfer window eagerly.
While their squad is already bulging with big-money signings, several of whom like James Milner and Adam Johnson are struggling for a regular game, such is the wealth of the club’s owners that a few more cannot be ruled out.
City’s over-reliance on the goals of Tevez will worry Mancini and adding more firepower will be his priority.
Uruguay’s Luis Suarez, currently with Ajax, would fit the bill as would Wolfsburg’s Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko who by all accounts has set his heart on a move to City.
With United, Chelsea and Arsenal not looking as strong as last season, even if United are still yet to lose, Mancini will secretly believe that City have a gilt-edged opportunity to win the title this season.
The Arctic weather to hit the UK, apart from giving City a window of opportunity, has also contrived to give many of the top flight clubs a “mini winter break”.
By the time most of them play on Boxing Day, providing the weather relents, they would have enjoyed a two-week break — something many managers believe should happen anyway.
Mancini will not be complaining, however, if City do beat Everton and steal a march. While others will have games in hand, sometimes it’s better to have the points in the bag, particularly as Arsenal and Chelsea play each other on Dec 27.