Is the Premier League once again a one-horse race?

By Guest writer, Thu 25 March 2021 12:43

Is the Premier League once again a one-horse  race? 

Manchester City have been top of the 2020-21 Premier League table since our 5-0 thrashing of West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on 26 January 2021.

That was our 20th game of the season and only 10 games later we have a 14-point lead over our nearest challengers, Manchester United.

With our battles with Liverpool over the previous two campaigns, many had expected Jurgen Klopp’s side to give us a run for our money this year. In fact, many had the defending champions down as the favourites.

Instead, they are 25 points adrift and currently outside of the Champions League places. They finished 18 points ahead of us last season, meaning there has been an incredible 43-point swing in our favour in less than 12 months.

Has our dominance turned the Premier League into a one-horse race once again? The phrase comes from horse racing when one of the runners finishes a significant distance ahead of the challenging pack. Some experts have been known to predict these, as well as the bookmakers when they make a horse odds on favourite pre-race. You can click here to learn more about handicapping and horse racing.

There have been a few in recent years. Our success in 2017-18 was the biggest margin of victory in Premier League history, when we finished 19 points ahead of runners-up Manchester United.

The year before that, Antonio Conte’s side finished seven points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur and never looked like giving up the title in the final few months of the season. We were third and 15 points adrift in our first season under Pep Guardiola.

Next Season?

Assuming we don’t have the slip up of all slip ups Manchester City will be the 2020-21 Premier League champions. Simply put, we’re not going to do what Newcastle United did in 1995-96 when they let slip of 12-point lead to surrender the title to Manchester United.

Arsenal did similar in letting an eight-point lead slip away in 2002-03, but the best comebacks have to have been either ours in 2011-12 when we overtook a Manchester United side that had an eight-point advantage with only six games to go.

The only other bigger meltdown could be Liverpool in 2013-14 when once again we were the benefactors. Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip versus a weakened Chelsea side that had Champions League semi-final ties either side of the Premier League fixture. The Reds had been five points clear with only three games to go.

Can Manchester City go on to dominate the 2021-22 Premier League too? With Ruben Dias’ arrival, John Stones’ improvement and Aymeric Laporte being the third young centre-back, we now have a dependable defence that had been lacking since Vincent Kompany’s departure.

Phil Foden has really grown this season and most of the team is only in their 20s. The biggest loss will be Sergio Aguero, who is set to depart when his contract expires over the summer. Gabriel Jesus hasn’t looked like the long-term successor here, so if Pep Guardiola can get it right in the transfer window this summer, we could easily make next season a one-horse race too…