The English Premier League starts with two big games in 2022. On New Years Day (1.30 p.m.), the league leaders Manchester City will face fourth Arsenal away from home. Second Chelsea and third Liverpool will play against each other on Sunday (5.30 p.m.) at Stamford Bridge, so the defending champion headed by coach Josep Guardiola could further expand his eight point lead in the league.
Guardiola rejected the view that the fourth title in five years for his troops would be ready to be picked up, most recently vehemently. But the statistics also speak for a successful title defense of the “Citizens”.
Eight times in the past twelve years, the team that led the Premier League at the turn of the year was also at the top of the table at the end of the championship. Only five times in the history of the Premier League had the club at the top by at least eight points at the top – each time the league leaders subsequently prevailed.
ManCity’s streak in December – seven straight wins, 24 goals and only five goals against – is remarkable. While other Premier League teams got into turmoil in view of the rising number of coronavirus cases, the “Citizens” flourished. “It’s going to be really difficult for Chelsea and Liverpool to get back, especially when you look at the next two City games,” said ex-striker and expert Alan Shearer, referring to opponents Arsenal and Chelsea. “If you win these two, it will practically be through.”
Liverpool recently conceded a 1-0 defeat at Leicester, while Chelsea had to accept the 1-1 equalizer against Brighton at the last minute. “It’s not an easy moment, but we have to get through these difficult moments,” said Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta before the hit. “Hopefully we can give our fans a good start to the new year against Liverpool.”
Southampton game moved
The game between Southampton, the club of Styrian trainer Ralph Hasenhüttl, and Newcastle United cannot take place on Sunday as planned and must be postponed at the request of the guests, as the league announced. Newcastle does not have the necessary players – 13 field players and a goalkeeper – due to numerous CoV cases and injuries. Previously, Newcastle’s game at Everton had been canceled last Thursday.