The top five teams in the Premier League are separated by a three-point difference, but only two of them have the complete package for winning the title. This statement was made by Karen Carney.

After 12 games, there is no clear winner in the Premier League. However, the top teams are beginning to emerge and the match between Liverpool and Manchester City on Saturday will have an impact on the title race.

Many teams have begun their seasons strongly, but Manchester City remains in their typical position at the top. The first five clubs are only separated by three points, but even with Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, and Aston Villa’s strong performances, they are still chasing after Pep Guardiola’s team.

If Saturday’s match in eastern Manchester does not result in a tie, there may be a significant impact on morale. If City earns the points, it will solidify their position as the team to beat. However, if Liverpool emerges victorious, it will demonstrate their progress since placing fifth in the previous season.

I believe that this season, we will witness a tightly contested race for the title, with City, Liverpool, and Arsenal all in the mix until the end. In my observation of Arsenal’s games, I have noticed a greater level of maturity in their approach, as Mikel Arteta has chosen to sacrifice his flashy attacking style for better control. This change in tactics may hinder their goal-scoring ability. Last season, they had a higher level of intensity and energy, but it seems that Arteta has toned it down in order to better manage games, especially with the added challenge of Champions League matches. While this adjustment may keep them in contention for a longer period, I do not think they have enough to clinch the title just yet.

James Maddison and Micky van de Ven suffered injuries, which impacted their performance. They are both expected to be sidelined until the new year, and it will be intriguing to observe Ange Postecoglou’s response as he attempts to maintain Spurs’ momentum.

Villa will face a tough challenge after losing two consecutive matches, and with an upcoming away game against City for Tottenham next weekend, these next couple of matches are crucial without their key players.

Tottenham’s Micky van de Van is helped off injured with James Maddison, who also went off with an injury, nearby.

Unai Emery’s side have started equally promisingly. They sit fifth but my main doubt about Villa is whether their squad is big enough to cope with playing in the Europa Conference League on a Thursday and the Premier League on a Sunday. It is a tough ask for any club, especially one that has not faced such a challenge since 2010-11.

One thing none of the chasers can compete with is City’s experience of winning the league. They have been champions in five of the past six seasons because they are ruthless. City’s core group of players, with countless honours, know how to get through difficulties and when they need to be at their best in a long season.

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Guardiola has made slight alterations to his team’s playing style following the departure of key players and the arrival of new ones during the summer. Despite these changes, the team has been performing smoothly thus far. For instance, Jérémy Doku brings a unique style to the wing with his dribbling and speed, unlike Jack Grealish, yet he has had an immediate impact despite initial expectations that he would need time to adjust. Guardiola has faced challenges in the absence of John Stones and Kevin De Bruyne for most of the season, but City’s continued success is a testament to their well-coordinated teamwork.

Cities typically reach their peak towards the end of the season. However, if they are well-rested compared to previous years, they may hit top form even earlier since they won’t feel the need to conserve themselves. Guardiola believes that City is currently performing better than last season, which is a frightening notion. With a summer without a major tournament and no World Cup interrupting their season, they should be relatively energized.

One key element for Liverpool has been how quickly their new midfield has settled but Saturday will be its first major test. The importance of having the right personnel in midfield was underlined at City when Rodri missed three matches through suspension and they lost all three. Liverpool’s Alexis Mac Allister is not a traditional holding midfielder but not every team requires someone to break up play. I am excited to see how Liverpool’s midfield cope with City and how the positioning works in front of the defence because it could be telling if they are to push City all the way.

At the beginning of the season, I expressed my belief that City would come out on top and I stand by that. I was slightly concerned that they might struggle after their successful treble, but they have proven otherwise. However, if Liverpool fans are exhausted on Sunday, it could indicate that this will be an exciting battle for the title.