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Micah Richards believes fixture changes may harm Arsenal

Former Manchester City defender Micah Richards has hinted that changes to Premier League fixtures could harm Arsenal in the title race

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Former Manchester City player Micah Richards believes a crucial fixture alteration has favoured Manchester City’s bid for a fourth consecutive Premier League title while dampening the aspirations of Arsenal for glory in the ongoing season.

Despite trailing league leaders Arsenal by just one point, Manchester City possesses a game in hand over their title rivals, placing them in a favourable position to clinch the championship. Richards expresses confidence in Pep Guardiola’s team to secure victories in all three remaining fixtures, including away matches against Fulham and Tottenham before concluding the season with a home game against West Ham at the Etihad Stadium.

Originally scheduled for April 20, the fixture against Tottenham Hotspur was anticipated as a potential title-deciding showdown, given Spurs’ formidable form leading up to the match. However, the game was rescheduled to Tuesday, May 14, after Manchester City advanced to the FA Cup semi-finals. In the intervening period, Tottenham’s form has deteriorated significantly, losing four consecutive games and conceding 13 goals, diminishing their threat to Manchester City’s title charge.

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Discussing the title race on The Rest is Football podcast, Richards acknowledges Arsenal’s determination to end their 20-year wait for league success. However, he emphasises Manchester City’s superiority and predicts victories for both Manchester City and Arsenal in their remaining fixtures. Despite acknowledging the potential challenge posed by Tottenham, Richards believes Manchester City possesses the quality to overcome their opponents and secure the title.

“You look at City who have Spurs away as well, but the rest of those games you are thinking they will probably win. Spurs away, their record there is not that great in recent time; it’s hotting up. But I just think Man City have the edge.”

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Richards highlights Tottenham’s defensive vulnerabilities and suggests that their high defensive line could play into Manchester City’s attacking strengths, potentially resulting in a one-sided encounter favouring Manchester City.

“If Spurs had played Man City three weeks ago, City fans would have been a bit more nervous but Spurs are giving up too many goals. If they try and play that high line against Man City they’re going to get absolutely battered. They are going to have to change a little.

“It’s going to be an interesting game but I think Man City have got too much. I think both Man City and Arsenal will win their remaining games even though we want to see a little bit of jeopardy.”

While Arsenal remains determined in their pursuit of the title, Richards asserts that Manchester City holds the advantage in the race, backed by their superior form and quality.

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