Two In A Row? Man City Preview
After a season of unimaginable twists and turns, Man City were the side most able to stay the course.
Despite a few bumps along the way, Manuel Pellegrini’s side were the most consistent throughout and sealed their triumph on the final day of the season. Without making much of a splash in this season’s market as yet, City’s squad retains a fearsome look to it and at 12/5, look great value to retain their title.
The most frightening aspect for the rest of the league is that, usually, after a league title, some sides relax, or even depreciate in quality – not this Man City, squad though.
The spine of the side remains incredibly powerful with the likes of Hart, Kompany, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero all still very much in their prime. Pellegrini has yet to make any significant moves in the transfer window and yet with the return to fitness of Stevan Jovetic, City have a player of world class ability re-added to their ranks.
The Montenegrin forward has been in sparkling form in pre-season, with four goals in as many games. His ability to dovetail as a number 10 with any one of Dzeko, Aguero or Negredo up front will provide City with an extra option ahead of a busy campaign.
With Joleon Lescott making his exit, central defence remains a slight issue. Vincent Kompany’s potential partner, at present, will be either Martin Dimichelis or Matjia Nastastic – who Pellegrini has reportedly made available for transfer. A new signing will be paramount in any case.
As mentioned above, the City boss has yet to make any earth-shattering moves in the market but has made a handful of canny purchases.
Porto’s powerhouse, Fernando, has been signed to provide a further layer of protection to already steeled midfield. Bacary Sagna was nabbed from Arsenal on a free transfer and, despite Pablo Zabaleta already being one of the best right backs in Europe, why not have two?
With Willy Caballero brought in from Malaga to challenge Joe Hart for the number one spot, it’s quite clear the Chilean is creating as much quality competition as he can to push this squad even further.
Another player snapped up from Portuguese giants, Porto, is the powerful centre-half, Eliaquim Mangala – reported to have cost in the region of £32 million or thereabouts. The French international – despite a heavy outlay – should be a major addition to this squad.
Having tipped City to win it last year, and despite some improvements from their competitors, I see little reason to diverge from that line of thinking.
Pellegrini isn’t the type of manager who will let his players rest on their laurels after a period of success and will constantly continue pushing the boundaries. With no significant losses to the squad and some intelligent purchases, I can see the Blue half of Manchester going from strength to strength and retaining their title. At 12/5 second favourites, I’m all over it.