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Pep Guardiola’s Crystal Palace omen could hand Arsenal major title advantage

Pep Guardiola’s Crystal Palace omen could hand Arsenal major title advantage

Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, has acknowledged that the match against Crystal Palace could play a crucial role in determining the outcome of the Premier League title race.

Following a victory against Newcastle, City appeared poised to narrow the gap with Arsenal, who were tied with Bournemouth until the final moments of their match at Emirates Stadium.

But Reiss Nelson scored a thrilling last-minute goal, preserving Arsenal’s five-point lead with 12 games remaining. As a result, various matches on the schedule are being identified as potentially significant moments in the competition for the title.

The upcoming weekend may bring the first significant matches for both Manchester City and Arsenal, as they are set to play in European knockout games against RB Leipzig and Sporting CP, respectively.

For Arsenal, the defining stretch of games may occur in April, as they will be facing Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City, with the latter two matches taking place away from home.

Meanwhile, Guardiola has expressed his belief that the next few weeks will be pivotal for Manchester City’s season in all three competitions.

”Before the international break, we have three games in different competitions that will define our season,” he admitted. “Crystal Palace, RB Leipzig and Burnley [FA Cup]. They will define what we want to do for the rest of the season.”

Given Manchester City’s participation in multiple competitions, Guardiola’s statement about the importance of the next three matches would likely have been made regardless of the opponents in their next league game. However, the fact that the game is against Crystal Palace adds an interesting dimension.

In the documentary “All or Nothing” on Amazon Prime, Guardiola expressed his concern about an upcoming match against Crystal Palace, despite his team’s 18 consecutive league victories.

Following a narrow victory over Newcastle, Guardiola invited Carles Planchart (first team analysis) up to the middle of the room and said: “This is the guy who has been with me since my days in the fourth division. I trust him. He told me three days ago ‘Wow, Crystal Palace’. I trust him. Crystal Palace will be a real tough game.”

Guardiola’s worries about the match against Crystal Palace were warranted, as Palace managed to halt City’s winning streak with a goalless draw.

While the current Palace team under Patrick Vieira is significantly different from the team from four years ago, they have consistently posed a challenging opponent for City.

In the current season, Palace had previously taken a two-goal lead against City at Etihad Stadium before being overpowered by a comeback led by a hat-trick from Erling Haaland and a goal by Bernardo Silva.

Pep Guardiola’s Crystal Palace omen could hand Arsenal major title advantage

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