More of the Same from Manchester City?


2018-08-15 20_18_39-Etihad_Stadium.jpg (3543×2358)Manchester City got their defence of the Premier League title off to the best possible start with an opening weekend win away at Arsenal. The champions, who racked up 100 points on their relatively easy route to success last season, picked up where they left off against a new look Gunners outfit.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery’s tactics were perhaps guilty of playing into the hands of City, as continual attempts to play out from the back caused the hosts a lot of headaches due to the high press that is a staple of any Pep Guardiola side.

With City making relatively light work of a side that will have ambitions of a return to the top four come the end of the season, it does sound out a pretty ominous warning to the rest of the teams in English football’s top division.

With the overriding question being just who can get close to the team that won the Premier League last season by a margin of 19 points, one that has also managed to strengthen over the course of the summer thanks to the addition of Riyad Mahrez.

Looking at the Premier League odds 2019 it seems as the smart money is going on the holders being the first team to defend the title since Manchester United did so in 2009. Betfair currently have Pep Guardiola’s all-star squad as favourites with a backed price of 1.6 on their outright exchange for the season.

However, there could well be one team that will not only look to push them much closer but also aim to win a first English top-flight title since 1990; that, of course, being Liverpool, who will feel that they if anyone can at least create something resembling a title race this time around.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will look at the Champions League meetings between the two clubs last season as cause for optimism. Their lightning fast approach at Anfield in the Quarter-final 1st leg left their opponents shell-shocked.

While they also followed up their hard work on Merseyside with a 2-1 win at the Etihad in the return leg, a result that would allow them to win the tie and progress to a semi-final meeting against Italian outfit AS Roma.

Also, one should not forget that it is Liverpool who also ended any hopes of Manchester City going the whole of the 2017/18 Premier League season unbeaten. Anfield played witness to a pulsating seven-goal thriller at the start of the year with the Reds coming out on top by four goals to three.

You could even look to just a few weeks ago when the two clubs met in the pre-season International Champions Cup competition. Again it was the Merseyside outfit who came out on top thanks to a 2-1 win at the MetLife Stadium.

This string of results will have added belief to a Liverpool squad that has been further reinforced over the course of the Summer and with these wins in mind Jurgen Klopp will certainly feel that he now has the number of Manchester City, whether this side can go all the way, though, we will have to wait and see!

Image – Wikipedia

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