Arguments rage up and down the country as the old question “Who will win the League this year” gets banded around offices, pubs, living rooms and via social media, with at least six Premier League teams having more than reasonable shouts….although if you remember Leicester City’s memorable feat of two seasons ago, that number is increased to 20!
However, it is this writers opinion that Manchester City will be hoisting aloft the Premier League trophy next May, and here’s why :
1 – GOALS, GOALS, GOALS
Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne, Samir Nasri, Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva and….to lesser extents….Raheem Sterling, Wifried Bony, Yaya Toure….City have goals aplenty in their locker, from all over the pitch and on the bench, whichever formation Pep Guardiola lines up with. Notwithstanding some significant threat from corners and set pieces with the likes of Kompany, Mangala and Otamendi flying in. Only Chelsea and Spurs outscored City in the league last season….expect that to be reversed this season.
2 – SPENT BIG AT THE BACK
City, as always, haven’t been frightened to splash the cash this summer, spending the best part of £130m on three defenders alone….but this is exactly where it was needed. In Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy, City will have the most potent tandem of wing backs in the Premier League, whilst Danilo will be no poor cover for Walker should he go down on the right. Vincent Kompany remains a class act in the centre, whilst you have to imagine John Stones will have a much better season than his first at the Etihad. But again, with Mangala and Otamendi there as cover and providing competition, City will be much improved defensively this time around.
3 – BEST SQUAD IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE
Whilst arguably other teams have ‘as good’ starting XI’s, it is very difficult to argue that any other team has as much strength in depth as City all over the pitch. They could put out a second eleven that would be a more than respectable Premier League team on its own merit, once Guardiola chooses the difficult task of selecting his best line up. City run very deep, and with attacking titles on the domestic and European front, he will need that depth – but so will his adversaries, and they will not have as much cover to utilise. When you add quantity to quality, its hard to beat.
4 – PEP GUARDIOLA
This will be Guardiola’s second season in charge of City, and you get the distinct impression he will have learned a lot from his first season – and that experience will help him become more tactically astute this time around. The Premier League is much deeper, standard wise, than the Bundesliga and La Liga versions, where his Bayern Munich and Barcelona teams won League titles with consummate ease….here, in England, teams floating around mid and low reaches of the table have a nasty ability to bite and take points off the ‘big boys’ when least expected – and that hurt City last year, dropping points at Middlesbrough, Southampton, Leicester amongst others. Expect them to be more ruthless and Guardiola to be much more savvy this time around.
5 – HAVE CASH, WILL SPEND
There is nothing to say that City are done in this transfer window – and you also know that if needs be, in January, City can and will spend money if they need further players to push their Premier League charge. City remain inextricably linked with the biggest names still floating around Europe….Mbappe, Sanchez, Lemar, Moreno…and it would not be a surprise to anyone should any of those names come to fruition. City have the spending power and seem to be able to attract the names they want, which their rivals – even their illustrious neighbours United – look at with envy.
6 – BOOKIES ARE RARELY WRONG!
City are generally on offer at 6/4 across bookies as their favourites to win the Premier League this season, with the next best alternative, United almost 2 points higher in the market. OK, we cant say the bookies are always right (thank you Leicester City!) but there is a reason why City are heavy favourites to carry off the trophy next May….we reckon we’ve listed many of them here for you!