By Tom Adams / Eurosport
If Manchester City beat Tottenham tomorrow, the title race is finished. At least according to one account today.
FRIDAY’S BIG HEADLINES
Title race over tomorrow?
Let’s get one thing straight: The Warm-Up loves a hot take. Feeds off them. Lives for them. Half-baked arguments solely constructed to meet word count and deadline are the only thing which keeps this column viable. You try bashing out 300 words on Wolves’ Europa League adventures while simultaneously trying to stuff a croissant in your face and change platforms at East Croydon. This is an art form. Recognise genius when you see it.
With a mighty 2.6% of the season already completed, let’s take a look at the working out here.
" The Premier League season is just 90 minutes old for each of the top flight's 20 clubs. Hopes and dreams remain alive for all of them, regardless of any defeats on the opening weekend, but the cold, harsh reality is that Matchday 2 could turn out to be a defining moment of the campaign."
“The record for successive Premier League wins, which City set by winning 18 on the bounce in 2017-18, is already under threat and could be equalled when City host Brighton on Aug 31. After facing Spurs this weekend, City embark on a run of nine league games against opponents from outside the so-called "Big Six," so they could obliterate their own record of 18 straight wins and raise the bar to an impossibly high level. And if City are on 25 successive league wins by the time they visit Anfield -- is it really that difficult to imagine? -- will the title race already be over bar the shouting?”
It’s not such an unreasonable conclusion when you see the fixtures City have before facing Liverpool for the first time: Tottenham, Bournemouth, Brighton, Norwich, Watford, Everton, Wolves, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Southampton. And as Ogden points out, “last season's runners-up Liverpool -- the team regarded by most as the only likely challengers to City this term -- face home games against Arsenal and Spurs, plus away trips to Chelsea and Manchester United.”
The article might have more ‘ifs’ than a Rudyard Kipling poem but there’s some truth in here. Tottenham likely do stand in the way of the best winning streak in Premier League history. But the title is another beast. Let’s wait until at least September before declaring it won or lost eh?
Tammy Abraham targeted
If you thought the start of a new season might herald an end to the depressing parade of racism which afflicted English football increasingly over the course of the last season (why would you ever think that?) then Friday’s back pages will quickly disabuse you of that notion.
Chelsea’s young striker Tammy Abraham finds himself plastered across two of them with The Star and The Mirror both leading with ‘Tammy’s Race Hate Hell’.
" We are disgusted with the abhorrent posts we have seen on social media. Chelsea FC finds all forms of discriminatory behaviour unacceptable. It has no place at this club and where there is clear evidence of Chelsea season ticket holders or members involved in such behaviour, we will take the strongest possible action against them."
Ozil and Kolasinac return
“They came back to training with us on Tuesday,” said Emery. “They came to start training with us and really Mesut Ozil is a little sick, he didn’t train yesterday but he trained today with us. I think each training gives us good information and good different options with them also to take the decision if they’re going to be with us on Saturday or be in the first XI. But we are going to wait until Friday, our last training session.” Asked if they are mentally ready to play, he replied: “Yes, 100%.”