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Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring for England1

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Manchester City season preview: Can Pep Guardiola's side get even better this season?

Champions Manchester City are odds-on to retain the Premier League title
Champions Manchester City are odds-on to retain the Premier League title

Pep Guardiola added a club-record signing to his all-powerful title winning side, they're definitely the team to beat again in the coming campaign.

A simple few facts help to explain why Manchester City are odds-on favourites to retain the Premier League trophy – they walked away with the title last season, have lost none of their top players and have added club record signing Riyad Mahrez to the mix.

The Algerian was the Player of the Year when helping Leicester to the title just a couple of years ago, and adding the £60m club-record signing to a hugely talented squad shows Pep Guardiola has no intention of standing still and admiring last season’s emphatic title success.

Guardiola's exhilarating side did celebrate after sweeping aside almost all before them to claim the title with five games to spare but - even amid their partying - their intensity on the pitch barely dropped.


Man City season specials (Sky Bet odds)

  • 21/10 - Man City to win first three Premier League games
  • 9/4 - Mahrez to score 15+ Premier League games
  • 3/1 - Man City to finish top two in Premier League & reach Champions League final
  • 4/1 - Man City win the league & Man Utd finish outside top 4
  • 50/1 - Man City to go unbeaten

Click here to the full range of Man City RequestABets from Sky Bet


City went on to roar through their closing games, racking up record after record as they wrapped up the campaign with a flourish.

City finished the season with 100 points, 32 wins, 106 goals and a 19-point advantage over nearest rivals Manchester United - all new records.

Guardiola has never tolerated complacency in his near-relentless pursuit of success throughout his managerial career and this was clear indication that the gauntlet for the following campaign was already being thrown down.

Pep’s influence can make City even better

Gabriel Jesus celebrates with Kevin De Bruyne after scoring for Manchester City
Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne will be two stars for Manchester City

After an initial season of disappointment, City had Guardiola’s stamp written all over last year. The football they played last term was near perfect and the title was all but wrapped up during an 18-game winning streak - another record - before New Year.

After a year to settle in and mould the squad to better suit his vision, Guardiola had City playing a quick-moving, possession-based game that could tear opponents apart with quick breaks and incisive passing.

Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva pulled the strings, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane added flair, Sergio Aguero was clinical, Fernandinho gave extra impetus and John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and ball-playing goalkeeper Ederson ensured everything kept ticking over. It was a formidable machine with further threats coming from Kyle Walker on the right.


PFA Player of the Year (Sky Bet odds)


Yet there is no resting on laurels. In January, City broke their transfer record to sign Aymeric Laporte for £57million and since signing off last term they have pushed the figure out again, spending £60million to recruit Riyad Mahrez.

The feeling is Laporte, as he settles into the English game, will give City even more drive from the back while Mahrez will bring even more attacking weaponry.

Who can stop City's march to the title?

Jurgen Klopp v Pep Guardiola
Jurgen Klopp has spent millions trying to catch Pep Guardiola's City

The onus is very clearly on other teams to stop them. Last season, only Liverpool proved capable of beating City by taking them on at their own game.

Most sides that attempted that were made to suffer and so many opponents opted to sit back and play cagily, hoping to stifle them and perhaps take the odd set-piece or counter-attack.

Although United did catch them out in a remarkable derby at the Etihad Stadium, that also was a strategy that largely failed.


Premier League Golden Boot (Sky Bet odds)

  • 8/1 - Sergio Aguero
  • 12/1 - Gabriel Jesus
  • 33/1 - Raheem Sterling

With a young, hungry squad and Guardiola now getting his teeth into the project - a fact underlined by his recent contract extension - this City era could only just be beginning.

Obviously other factors could come into play, such as injuries or possible post-World Cup fatigue, but rarely can a club have started a season in better shape than City this time. Rival managers eyeing their crown have their work cut out to stop them.

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Most Read Football

Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring for England1

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