They may have begun the season as outright title favourites but after a promising start to the campaign, things have gone from bad to worse for Manchester City.
Sunday saw Pep Guardiola suffer the heaviest league defeat of his managerial career at Goodison Park as the Toffees ran riot, coming out as 4-0 winners. Such a result in isolation isn’t a huge issue, but these losses are now beginning to have a serious impact on what City can hope to achieve this term.
While Guardiola himself may have intimated that top spot is now beyond his side, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss should be seriously concerned about the possibility of missing out on a Champions League spot unless he can vastly improve the quality of his sides’ performances, and quickly.
Chelsea (1/25) and Liverpool (2/7) look likely to occupy two of the four places but from then on it looks a very open contest. Tottenham have been in sparkling form of late and they're 8/15 (1.53) to record another top four finish while the same price is available on Arsenal.
City come next in the betting at 4/7 (1.57) and then there's a gap back to Manchester United who are available at 7/5 (2.40) to at least overhaul the four-point deficit to fourth spot, currently occupied by the Gunners.
Guardiola may have an extremely talented squad at his disposal, including the exciting addition of Gabriel Jesus to add some much needed firepower, but the defensive issues hindering their progress show no signs of abaiting and the margin for error is growing ever smaller as their performances show no signs of improvement.
Having lost four of their previous eight league games, things could yet get worse for the blue half of Manchester as they entertain a Tottenham side on a six-match winning streak in the Premier League, including a notable victory over the odds-on title favourites.
Following that blockbuster clash, Guardiola's men take on West Ham, Swansea and Bournemouth before welcoming their city rivals to the Etihad Stadium in a game that could have a huge impact on the Champions League places.
Two of the "Big Six" clubs will have to miss out on the Champions League and with every passiing defeat, Manchester City are giving themselves and even bigger task to ensure that they aren't playing Europa League football next term.