Man City face hectic schedule as April fixtures confirmed amid Arsenal title battle

Arsenal’s exit from the Europa League may have given them a competitive edge over Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

The Gunners were knocked out of the competition on penalties by Sporting Lisbon on Thursday night after the two-legged tie finished 3-3 on aggregate. Mikel Arteta was disappointed with the result in the aftermath, but the potentially positive knock-on effects immediately became clear on Saturday when the Premier League announced some fixtures for next month.

Results in the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League allowed the Premier League to decide on the schedule in April. Top-flight chiefs have fitted the pieces into the jigsaw – and the results show the gruelling nature of City’s month.

Unlike Arsenal, City remain in Europe after laying waste to RB Leipzig in the last 16 of the Champions League. Pep Guardiola’s side demolished the German team 7-0 on Wednesday night to progress 8-1 on aggregate, with Erling Haaland scoring five times.

Their reward is a quarter-final tie against Guardiola’s former club, Bayern Munich. City have never won the Champions League and Guardiola is determined to put that right, yet fighting on both fronts will not be easy, even with the club’s impressive squad depth.

City will play eight fixtures in the 30 days of April, with six Premier League games squished in around their home and away ties against Bayern. Arsenal, by contrast, can purely focus on the Premier League and maintaining the five-point lead over their rivals.


Arsenal were knocked out of the Europa League by Sporting Lisbon on Thursday
Getty Images)

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Arsenal are aiming to win the Premier League for the first time in 19 years, but, speaking straight after their defeat by Sporting, Arteta failed to see their Europa League exit as a blessing in disguise.

“I cannot see that today that way,” he told reporters. “You go through the competition and you win it’s magnificent. If not and it affects your plans in the league that’s a different story, but we wanted to go through.

“We put everything and with the effort that the boys put when it wasn’t our best day individually and collectively, the hunger and desire that they showed to win it was incredible. We really wanted it and it didn’t happen. We need to put our heads up, look for [Crystal] Palace. It’s what it is. There are 11 games and the first one starts on Sunday.”

Manchester City fixtures in April

Manchester City vs Liverpool, April 1, 12.30pm

Southampton vs Manchester City, April 8, 5.30pm

Manchester City vs Bayern Munich, April 11, 8pm

Manchester City vs Leicester, April 15, 5.30pm

Bayern Munich vs Manchester City, April 19, 8pm

Brighton vs Manchester City, April 23, 4.30pm

Manchester City vs Arsenal, April 26, 8pm

Fulham vs Manchester City, April 30, 2pm

Arsenal fixtures in April

Arsenal vs Leeds United, April 1, 3pm

Liverpool vs Arsenal, April 9, 4.30pm

West Ham vs Arsenal, April 16, 2pm

Arsenal vs Southampton, April 21, 8pm

Manchester City vs Arsenal, April 26, 8pm

Arsenal vs Chelsea, April 29, 5.30pm

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