Nicolas Otamendi has suggested that the busy festive fixture schedule could be key to Manchester City’s title hopes, and believes that good recovery between games can give his side the edge.
Pep Guardiola’s men moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 2-1 win over Watford on Tuesday night, but will face nine matches between now and January 5th.
Amongst those clashes are potentially huge meetings with Chelsea and Liverpool, as well as a League Cup quarter final against Leicester City.
Speaking to the club’s official website, the Argentinian defender admitted that the hectic month could prove vital to City’s domestic success this season.
He said: “We’re entering into a very demanding month, with games every three or four days.
“The most important thing is trying to recover well after the games. Obviously, the physical effort and the fatigue will be there, but we have to keep paying attention to the small details that make the difference and help to win games.
“Our main focus after every game will be to recover well, keeping in mind that we have another one just three or four days later and be in the best shape as possible.
“December is very important due to the huge amount of games and creates a difference on the table. If a team manages to get a big amount of victories and points increases heavily their chances to be champions at the end of the season.
“We all know and we are aware that this month is so important for us. Afterwards, there will still be a lot to come and we’ll see if we are on top at the end of the season…”
Otamendi has played just 10 times in all competitions so far this season after seeing himself fall behind John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, and Vincent Kompany in the pecking order.
City remain one of only two unbeaten sides in the league this season, with second-placed Liverpool having also failed to register a loss. The two sides will face each other in just after New Year at the Etihad.
The Blues begin their busy festive period with a visit to Stamford Bridge on Saturday to play Chelsea, who themselves only relinquished their unbeaten start against Tottenham a little over a week ago.