Richard Dunne: City Still Title Front-Runners Despite Arsenal Loss
Man City still have what it takes to go all the way in the Premier League this season despite their loss to Arsenal.
That’s according to former Man City captain Richard Dunne who we caught up with recently to chat about all things Premier League.
Dunne, who made 296 appearances for City, has backed the club to go all the way in the wake of their recent loss to Arsenal. He also goes on to recount his experience being at Man City during their meteoric rise after they were taken over by owners from the UAE.
Plus Dunne shares with us his predictions for the top-four, the relegation battle and the Manchester Derby at the end of this month.
City Still The Team To Beat In Title Race Despite Arsenal Loss
I still think Manchester City will win the Premier League. The big result at the weekend will help Arsenal’s confidence, though.
City have gone down this road before and they always come back stronger. I think results like this make the league most interesting, however, and the current top-four all look very strong.
I think the title will come down to who has the nerve, and I think Man City have that. We saw Arsenal celebrate the victory over City like they just won the league!
There’s still a long way to go. Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne are big misses at the moment, but when the season fully kicks-in and other teams start to feel the fatigue, I’d back City as they’ve done it all before.
City will have a tough season as they’ll compete in the Premier League, the Champions League, the FA Cup, and the Club World Cup, but the squad has so much energy and they almost seemed to be primed after Christmas.
They tend to tick over before then before motoring away. I’d back them!
Dunne Recounts Man City’s Rise
Robinho was the first signing for the new City ownership, and that sent a signal that City were shopping at the top-end.
They signed a few other big names, but then they decided to sign really good footballers who were proven in the Premier League. Players like Gareth Barry, Nigel De Jong, and Kolo Toure.
These weren’t flash-in-the-pan, highlight-reel players, they were players who could drag the club forward. Once City did this, I thought it would take two or three years before we could compete at the top-end of the table. It took time.
Chelsea are investing heavily, but nobody thinks they’ve got a squad who could challenge for the league title. It’s so inconsistent.
I’d say Newcastle have taken a similar approach to what City did – buying players who are capable of being there for the long-term. It’s not easy to get it right. I think Newcastle reminds me of City when it comes to their business.
Manchester Derby Prediction
I think there’s a difference between City and United over a league campaign and you’d bet that City will finish above them.
The derbies, however, teach you that anything can happen. Teams can have one-off performances.
United were the best team in the world in my day, and City used to beat them occasionally. I would say City are the favorites on a normal day and I think they’ll win 2-0. You never know, though!
Manchester Derby Prediction: Man United 0-2 Man City
Tottenham To Pip Newcastle In Top Four Race
I’d say Man City, Liverpool, and Arsenal will make up my top-three. Tottenham have started brilliantly, but Newcastle have come strong again after their slow start. It’s going to be interesting!
I don’t see Chelsea or Man United competing for the top-four. I like the way Spurs are playing at the moment, and Newcastle always seem to be happy if they don’t lose.
I think Tottenham will get the fourth Champions League spot.
Aston Villa Too Inconsistent Right Now To Crack Top-Four
I think it’ll be hard for Villa to get into the top-six this season. They’re a good side to watch and they’re entertaining, but they concede a lot of goals.
I know they’ve tried to remedy that, but they still seem to take a couple of big defeats across a season. I think it’ll be another 18 months before they even think about the top-four.
I wouldn’t rule them out of the top-six this season, but they have a lot of competition. Villa are progressing, but they’ve just a few things they have to fix before they’re consistent enough to challenge the top-four.
Everton Should Do Enough To Avoid Relegation
I was very worried about Everton a few weeks ago, but they’ve had a couple of victories and they’ve proven they’ve got that spirit in them. Everton may win a game every four weeks, but that may be enough to keep them up!
They can surprise people as they’re still a good side, but they have days where they just don’t turn up. If Everton hang around where they are until January, I think they’ll be fine.
I think Sean Dyche is great and he knows how to win games without dominating them. I think Everton will stay up.
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