Maths.
Man City have dropped as many points in these first 15 games as they did in the first 19 last season. So if they win their next four, then they'll be in the same position at the half way mark as they were last season. They've also got some tough games in those four - away to Arsenal and Wolves, home to Leicester, potential for them to draw one of those, especially as they've only strung three wins together once this season, and that's with playing easier fixtures.
They had an almost unbelievably W18 L1 record in the second half of last season. Seems highly unlikely they'll be able to do that again. Even a W16 D2 would be more dropped points. They have to travel to Leicester, Man Utd, Spurs, Chelsea, and Sheffield United in the second half of the season, plus play us again.
So by the looks of the above, it's almost certain they won't hit 98 points again. They'd reach 101 winning all remaining 23. If we work on the basis they're going to get 95 (still difficult, only allows them to drop six points - three draws or two defeats in 23), then that'd mean we're able to drop 16 points in our remaining 24 to still reach 96. So W17 D5 L2 would still be enough.
Maths.