Having lifted the trophy four times in the last five years, City were expected to be too strong for their rivals once again this season, but Mikel Arteta and the Gunners keep on winning – with five straight victories before and after the World Cup break. City have dropped four points in their last three games.
A shock defeat to Brentford directly before the Qatar showcase raised eyebrows across the Premier League scene and, while Pep Guardiola and his star-studded squad bounced straight back against Leeds, they were subsequently held by Everton in their most recent fixture.
Of course, there is still a long way to go and City have been here before. Experienced gained and knowing how to handle such pressure will be a key factor.
As things stand, though, the renowned FiveThirtyEight supercomputer has them down to finish as runners-up and that was not particularly in the script this summer. Data compiled by the website – which predicts results based on statistics – expect the title race to go down to the wire.
But it also suggests Arsenal will be the ones celebrating! City are given a 41 per cent chance to retain their trophy, while Arsenal are seen as 50 per cent shots. FiveThirtyEight states the Gunners will pick up 85 points this season to hold off City by two points.
Manchester United (71 points) and Liverpool (68 points) are tipped to complete the top-four places.
Leading into the weekend round of fixtures, the supercomputer had City down to win the Premier League title two points, with Arsenal finishing in second. It goes to show that the latest set of results could end up having a huge impact on which side lifts the trophy come the end of the season.
How does the supercomputer work?
FiveThirtyEight uses SPI ratings, which have an attacking and defensive component, in order to determine which team is going to win a specific game. This is then all built up to see how many points each side will accumulate at the end of the Premier League season. It can change on a match-by-match basis.
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