There were 12 points between Manchester City and their nearest rival, Manchester United, in the final 2020/21 Premier League standings as Pep Guardiola’s side absolutely dominated the campaign. Expect to see something similar once again as the defending champions have become even stronger over the summer.
Retaining the Premier League title is never easy. You only have to look at the recent honours board to see that. However, City did manage to do it in 2019. They were denied a third straight title a year later by Liverpool.
Guardiola will demand nothing more than the very best from his team in all the competitions they enter in the latest campaign. He will be equally as motivated to win the title as he has been prior to his three previous successes in the league.
Super Jack Can Shine At The Etihad
City are the odds-on favourites in the English Premier League odds on the exchange for the title. They look a good bet as they have so much quality in depth that, even if they do pick up a few injuries at various points in the campaign, they have cover. Of course, the biggest addition to City’s squad over the summer was that of Jack Grealish. The club broke the British transfer record to bring the England international to the club from Aston Villa.
Grealish was the most fouled player in the Premier League last season. He's been a fantastic player for Villa, his hometown club, for a number of years. Now he's working under one of the best coaches in world football and will be set to further improve his stature.
It's going to be fascinating to see how Guardiola uses the talent he has at his disposal. Grealish, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling will all be fighting for the same positions. It’s likely they will be involved in some rotation system as it's a long season ahead.
Guardiola has admitted he has long been a fan of Grealish. His arrival will not only bring healthy competition for places but will also add some versatility. It would be no surprise to see him play in a false number role or more central in midfield if asked to do so.
Rivals Don’t Look Strong Enough To Challenge Consistently
The reason the competition were so far away from Manchester City at the end of the last campaign was that none of the competitors were able to remain consistent throughout the season. They all had bad patches in form, which allowed City to get away from them.
Chelsea got the better of Guardiola’s side in the Champions League final and FA Cup semi-final last season. The West London club are clearly a dangerous team in cup competitions but they could only finish fourth in the league.
Liverpool have been quiet in the summer transfer window, which means Jurgen Klopp is relatively happy with the squad he has available. They will be boosted by the return of Virgil van Dijk but, even then, they don’t quite have the same fear about them as they did two years ago.
The start of the campaign will be key for City’s rivals. They need to come out of the blocks fast, otherwise, by Christmas, the champions could already be on their way to another title.