After a hot start under Mancini, Manchester City has reverted back to what they were under Mark Hughes. City is an above average team, but they are not a good team.
Since the beginning of the year Man City have played 6 league games, picking up a 10 points out of a possible 18. That is not good enough especially when you consider who City have played: Stoke, Hull, Bolton, Portsmouth, Everton and Blackburn.
With that schedule City fans would have expected at least fifteen points, which would have put City comfortable in that last Champions League place. Mark Hughes could have gotten ten points from that schedule. Mancini was expected to get more.
Which brings us to this weekend’s game. This has been a terrible season for Liverpool. Out of the title race, F.A. Cup and the Champions League. But here we are in last February and they are in fifth place only one point behind City. If they win at Eastlands on Sunday, does anyone not believe that they will go on and secure that fourth Champions League spot?
For Mancini this weekend is about putting some distance between themselves and their biggest competitor for that fourth spot. A win keeps those Champions League dreams alive. A loss means that Mancini’s reign at City will be a short one as he will undoubtedly be replaced this summer if City do not qualify for the Champions League.