For many Manchester City are the team to beat this season. The men from the Etihad bought in Pep Guardiola this Summer with the sole aim of turning them from occasional title winners to the perennial force in English and European football.
They’ve started off well enough getting the season underway with a 2-1 victory over Sunderland and the signs are already there that the team is adopting Guardiola’s playing style.
City had a scarcely believable possession stat of 77% in their opening game of this season and that tells you exactly how to expect the team to play this season.
If they carry on in that fashion they’ll be supremely hard to beat but that’s not the only reason they’re the ones to watch for the title. There’s plenty more besides and here at FootballFanCast we think the following FIVE are the most important…
Guardiola ripped up the textbook on how to play football at Barcelona.
His team consisting of Messi, Iniesta, Xaxi et al. is widely regarded as one of the best ever so it doesn’t take much to come to the conclusion that City have someone special in their dugout.
He’s a serial winner on both domestic and European fronts and knows exactly how to win football matches, he’s going to take City far.
When fit few players in the world can live with Sergio Aguero. The Argentine was an instant hit in the Premier League when he signed for City and continues to terrorise defences in this country with his movement and lethal finishing.
If City can keep him in the side for most of the season they’ll be incredibly hard to stop because he’s a simply world class footballer.
Their nearest rivals Manchester United may have made some headline signings with Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic but it is still City with the best squad in the league.
They can tear teams apart when they’re in the zone and with the signing of John Stones defensively they’re not too bad either. More often than not it’s the best squad that wins the league and City take this accolade.
City look so much more assured at the back when Kompany is fit it’s testament to the Belgian centre half’s talent.
Like Aguero he’s one of the best in his position in world football very rarely getting caught out of position and reading the game as good as anyone.
He’s a real leader too and if City’s medical team can keep him on the position for most of the season the title should be theirs.
One of the criticisms of City in recent seasons is that they’ve been complacent.
Their title defences have never been that good and they sometimes turn up to games expecting to just roll teams over. Pep Guardiola is not going to allow that though and you can already see the effect he’s having on some players.
The team look fitter and know they need to be on top of their game because the new man isn’t scared to drop players – just ask Joe Hart.