Men's Team

Sinclair: City primed for Premier League finale

Trevor Sinclair says the Premier League title is within tantalising reach for City after we secured a crucial point against West Ham United in our penultimate match at the weekend.

Pep Guardiola’s side produced a thrilling display at the London Stadium on Sunday, coming back from a 2-0 deficit at half-time to earn a 2-2 draw.

The point means that a victory at home to Aston Villa in our final match of the season at the Etihad on Sunday will ensure we retain the league title, irrespective of what second-placed Liverpool do.

And for former City and England midfielder Sinclair, who was a special guest on Sunday’s Matchday Live show, the focus and intensity of City in that second half was a telling measure of our quality and desire.

“The second half performance is one that Pep will be very happy with,” Sinclair declared. “They got themselves back in it, they got themselves a point.

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“The intensity, the way they were going about the game in the second half was totally different to the first.

“But in the second half they came out with intensity, and I think they got the reward.

“It’s all in their hands. They get a win next week against Villa and that’s it, they’re champions once again.”

Fellow Matchday Live guest David James agreed with Sinclair’s assessment of what was a pulsating match, adding that the City fans also played an important role in our momentum shift.

“The first thing I heard in the second half were the City fans, and then we went on and scored,” said the former City and England goalkeeper.

“Fans can affect what’s happening on the field.

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“In the second half it seemed like the momentum of the game changed…our performance had a better influence on the outcome of the game.”

The result extended City’s lead at the top of the table to four points, meaning we will be Premier League champions if title rivals Liverpool lose to Southampton on Tuesday.

Should the Anfield side avoid defeat on the south coast, we will then have the opportunity to claim back-to-back titles with a victory over Villa at the Etihad on Sunday.

And Sinclair believes that with City not having a midweek match, we can use the next few days to prepare for Villa both mentally and physically.

“It’s time to focus, get prepared. [Villa have) got quite a few threats, especially Ollie Watkins with his speed, and we’ve got to make sure that we reduce them by stopping it at the source,” Sinclair pointed out.

“Usually, Pep’s only got two to three days between games to work with players.

“He’ll have a good run up to this so they can do their due diligence properly, making sure the players are all prepared and rested up as well. It’s not all on the training ground.

“But in general, it will be a relief to have that week off to build up to the game, to make sure everyone is zoned in mentally.

“And they know what the reward is. They know what the Premier League trophy looks like so they’ll want to get their hands on it again.”

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