City head to relegation threatened Hull on Saturday knowing that a fourth place finish in the Premiership is a real possibility and is there for the taking.
Following Saturday’s game, the blues take on Bolton at home and they should be confident of taking six points from the two games before booking a place in the FA Cup quarter final at Stoke’s expense.
Liverpool, the team sitting above the blues on goal difference, have endured a difficult season with manager Rafa Benitez under constant threat of being sacked. The Reds have had erratic results, such as winning at Aston Villa then losing their FA Cup tie at home to Reading.
Successive away draws at Stoke and Wolves have allowed City the opportunity to keep the pace and the meeting between the two sides on 21st February could be crucial in the race for fourth. Liverpool face Everton on Saturday before travelling to Arsenal and competing in the Europa League against some team called Unirea Urziceni. Yep, I’ve not heard of them either.
City’s other rivals Spurs have also dropped points lately. Three wins from their last seven league games has helped put the blues in a good position as the last third of the season approaches. A 2-0 win over Fulham was their only win in four games after the picked up a solitary point at home to Hull and conceded a last minute equaliser at Birmingham.
Spurs also suffered defeat at Liverpool prior to their FA Cup draw at home to United’s conquerors Leeds United. City and Spurs meet at Eastlands on 6th March, following their games at home to Villa and Everton, while travelling to Wolves and Wigan for two tough away games.
Following the midweek games next week, City will still have two games in hand on their rivals and, with only a point separating us and Spurs, fourth place is really City’s to lose, rather than for Spurs and Liverpool to win. Our first game in hand is at Stoke on 16th February while a date to play Everton at home is still to be arranged, but will probably be some time between the end of April and Early May.
However the season finishes, blues fans can look back on pride at what the team have achieved this season. It may still bring silverware in the form of the FA Cup, it may still bring a European place.
But if this season shows anything, it is that we are firmly moving in the right direction.
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