Manchester City have a perfect home record in the Premier League this season, winning all five games and scoring far more goals than anyone else. At home, as Sunday's visitors Tottenham know well, they are a side showing title-winning form. The fact that they are not in the top six and go into Sunday's game lower in the table than their opponents is wholly due to their away form which, with four defeats in six games and only four points from a possible 18, seems to belong to a team on a relegation run.
Manuel Pellegrini has had plenty of time to ponder the problem during the international break but perhaps more importantly he now has three consecutive home games in which to show that City are better than their league position suggests. Spurs today are followed by Swansea City next weekend, with a home game against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League between in which City, already qualified, can rest a few players and maybe begin Joe Hart's rehabilitation.
"At home we have been playing really well, both individually and as a team. That's why we have scored so many goals and made so many chances," Pellegrini says. "We must continue in that way because it is the only way to recover the points we have lost."
That is fair enough but how do City go about ensuring no more unnecessary points are lost when away fixtures resume in December? "If we play with 10 players at the back it would be very difficult for the other team to score a goal," Pellegrini says. "The trouble is, it would be difficult for us to score a goal too. Clearly we must work to improve our away form because we have only four points but I am not too unhappy with the way we have been playing. I am trying at the moment to have a style for the club. If we are playing this style and the other teams are getting six or seven chances to score, then maybe we must change but that has not been happening.
"When we review all the matches, we always have the feeling that we didn't deserve to lose that game, so we feel that we are on the right track. We need to tighten up certain areas to improve results but we are not going to change the way we are playing. Every other team is dropping points, even the ones with very good squads. That's why all the teams are very close in the Premier League. But the team that wins the title will be the best team, with the best performances."