Manuel Akanji makes Arsenal prediction as he assesses Man City title chances
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Manuel Akanji feels Manchester City may have to win all 10 of their remaining Premier League matches this season if they’re to reclaim their crown.
The reigning champions temporarily closed the gap to leaders Arsenal to five points on Saturday with a 4-1 win over Liverpool, only for Mikel Arteta’s side to reinstate the eight-point advantage over City when they also won 4-1 a few hours later against Leeds United.
That was Arsenal’s seventh consecutive Premier League victory, and Pep Guardiola likened the Gunners to Liverpool in previous seasons, when assessing his main title rivals on Friday. Akanji holds a similar belief to his manager and thinks it will probably take a points haul of over 90 to beat the London club to first place this season.
Speaking after Saturday’s win at the Etihad, Akanji said: “There are still a lot of games to go but we probably have to win all the games, and that is what we aim for, and we hope we can do that.
“It’s coming towards the end of the season,” he added. “And it’s tough games, and we need to win in all of the games in these competitions. That is what we are working for and what we want. We have done a good job recently.”
Despite joining City a few weeks into the campaign, Akanji has started more games this season for the Blues in all competitions than his four centre-back colleagues Ruben Dias, John Stones, Nathan Ake and Aymeric Laporte. The Swiss international feels that healthy rivalry between the five defensive options is helping to push City on in the final weeks of the season.
“It’s a good competition [for places]. Everyone wants to play,” said the former Borussia Dortmund man. “That is what we show in training and try to show in the game, and in the end it’s the coach that picks the team and I would be really happy to stay in the team, but it’s decided game by game and I have to keep working hard.
“Everyone wants to play in the team. We have some of the greatest players here in Europe right now. We are a really good team. And that is good for me that I have the competition because I know that if I play I know I have to show up.”