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Leaders of the pack; Hornets threat and vital week

Three talking points ahead of today's game...

1 Hunters become the hunted?

City topped the Premier League by virtue last weekend after victory over Bournemouth and Liverpool’s draw with Everton left the Blues a point clear at the top.

It is the first time since early December that the champions have topped the table and, with nine games remaining, means Liverpool are now the chasers.

Mathematically, if City won the remaining nine matches, nobody could prevent a successful title defence.

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But this league being what it is, it’s likely to be a nail-biting finish all the way to the end of the season and the bottom line is, the best team will win.

Hopefully, that will be City – but anybody who believes Liverpool will drift out of the title race now they’re off the summit are likely to be disappointed.

It’s one game at a time for the Blues and every game will indeed be a cup final.

 

TOP TABLE: City want to stay there...

 

 

2 Hornets can sting

Traditionally, Watford have not been fantastic on the road in the top flight – but this season is a different story.

Javi Gracia’s men have won five, drawn five and lost five, scoring and conceding 22 goals on the road – the seventh best in the league.

Impressively, they are just two wins shy this campaign of equalling their combined away records of 2016/17 and 2017/18.

And City won’t forget the torrid last 10 minutes endured at Vicarage Road earlier this season when Watford almost turned certain defeat into a draw.

The Blues were 2-0 when Abdoulaye Doucoure halved the deficit on 85 minutes – and they laud siege on City’s goal in the time that remained.

And that after previously winning 5-0 and 6-0 on the same ground!

So, expect an organised and energetic Hornets on Saturday evening – and potentially another close call.

 

STRIKE ONE: Leroy Sane beats Ben Foster for our opener

Highlights

Video

Watford 1 City 2: Extended highlights

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3 Important week ahead

City will know a bit more about the quest for more silverware by about 8pm next Saturday.

Bu then, the Blues will have taken on Watford in the league, Schalke in the Champions League and Swansea in the FA Cup – after that, there is a two-week international break when at least some of the squad will be able to rest up for the final push.

So, with that in mind, three points this evening and successfully negating Schalke and Swansea is paramount for progression in the cups and to go into next weekend as league leaders.

Then, hopefully, after the international break several of our injured stars should be ready to return and everything will be still possible…

 

City team-mates congratulate Sterling on incredible last-minute winner

Highlights

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Schalke v City: Match highlights

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