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PREMIER LEAGUE 2020-21 SEASON PREVIEW: Can Manchester City lift the title come season end?

The expected favourites, the rage in the squad – Manchester City are not going to sit about and let Liverpool retain their Premier League title. After what was a shambolic season by their recent standards, City fell short of expectations in many major competitions last season. But it was the 21 points gap that hurt the most and this season, with a few value-added signings made and a couple more still to arrive, it could be the start of something special for Pep’s men in his fourth season.

Transfer activity

Man City made quick pursuit of Ferran Torres from Valencia and Nathan Ake of Bournemouth and closed out the signings with relative ease. Signed for a combined 60 million pounds in upfront fees, the former champions sorted depth in the right-wing and centre-back departments. The ongoing chase for their most primed target, however, is taking longer than expected. Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli would likely cost 75 million euros but City are not yet ready to meet the asking price. There was talk of Lionel Messi joining, but that was quickly shut down. Houssem Aouar is a concrete midfield target per news reports, and so it is yet to be seen what moves City make before the deadline.

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Strength

There is little doubt that City have the best bench strength in the entire league, and they have made full utilisation at various points of time. Further, the attacking play and pressing from all areas of the pitch is a gameplay that is a joy to watch and it is this reason that City have scored 100+ goals in the league in consecutive campaigns. With an ability such as Bernardo Silva and now Ferran Torres to make an impact, the team ensures that the results are a team effort and not simply a one-man show at all times.

Weakness

No matter who the favourites are, there are always question marks on the team to deliver the finish. And one such problem is the calamity in defence. Man City only conceded 33 goals last season, albeit at different intervals and thus lost 9 GAMES in the process. The inability of the centre backs and defensive midfield units to cohesively stop counters with full-backs higher up the pitch has led to counter-attacking teams to carve open City’s defence. Another question sheds light on the lack of leaders at the club, with David Silva and Vincent Kompany now having left the club. Whether apparent club captain De Bruyne steps up with Fernandinho to inspire the dressing room, is another topic.

Key players

skysports kevin de bruyne kdb 5090583 PREMIER LEAGUE 2020-21 SEASON PREVIEW: Can Manchester City lift the title come season end?
(IMAGE CREDITS – Sky Sports)

Recently crowned PFA Player of The Year Kevin De Bruyne is undoubtedly the talisman and central driving force of the club. The Belgian maestro notched 13 goals and 20 assists in the league last season and he will look to continue his good form going forward. Similarly, the other key player Raheem Sterling would desire to add to his goal tally and as he enters a period of prime maturity, he will look to deliver when the team needs him to do so possibly bettering his previous 18-goals return.

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Predicted table finish

Champions! Despite all the serious threats of a tight title race and few weaknesses in the team, City should have enough quality and spirit in the squad to see out the challenge from rivals and add another league title to their expanding collection of honours.

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Bhargav Gopal
Bhargav Gopal
The quintessential football aficionado who knows a thing or two about Economics. One can often find me reading detective novels with coffee when I am away from the sports world.
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