When we play them: October 6 (home); January 1 (away)
Last season: Won 4-3 (home); Lost 5-0 (away)
There have been few more convincing title triumphs than City’s last season, as Pep Guardiola’s side amassed 100 points and finished with a 19-point advantage over runners-up Man United.
The football they played was on another level to any team in Europe for the majority of the campaign and only Liverpool managed to be a genuine thorn in their side.
City are very much the team to beat as another new season gets underway—if any side manages to finish above them, they will surely be champions.
The depth they possess is frightening, particularly in attacking areas, and the addition of Riyad Mahrez only enhances their class in the final third.
There is the potential threat of players suffering from a post-title hangover, while the late return of certain individuals from the World Cup hasn’t made their preparations ideal.
But they are the overriding favourites and they will take some beating.
Players in: Riyad Mahrez, Claudio Gomes, Philippe Sandler, Daniel Arzani
Players out: Joe Hart, Yaya Toure, Angus Gunn, Angelino, Pablo Maffeo, Olarenwaju Kayode, Jack Harrison (loan)
Best XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Mendy; Fernandinho, D Silva, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Sane, Aguero
We spoke to writer Ste Tudor (@SteTudor123) to get his thoughts on City and Liverpool’s respective seasons.
How optimistic or pessimistic are you for the new season, and why?
Extremely hopeful even with the pessimistic DNA that is inherent in every Blue.
Last season City re-imagined what was possible on English turf and totalled a record number of points as a consequence.
Even a 10 percent drop in standards should be enough to secure a consecutive title. If there is an improvement then god help everybody else.
What are your aims for the season?
To win back-to-back titles, an achievement that cannot be underestimated in both its stature and difficulty.
However, if this great side wants to be truly remembered as such then Champions League success is a must.
Anything else that’s new for you this summer?
I very much get the feeling that Mahrez is going to have a stormer. The thought of him linking up with Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva fills me with childish excitement.
* All rival supporter views taken before the end of the transfer window.
Away fans’ pubs: All the pubs in close proximity to the ground are Blue but Piccadilly is full of decent bars and only a fiver away via a cab.
One piece of advice for visiting fan: If you’re not wearing colours and arrive at the Etihad in plenty of time then City Square is well worth checking out.
Usually a good band to enjoy—though they will inevitably cover Blue Moon—along with an interview with a celeb.
How do you rate Liverpool’s chances heading into the season?
Without a doubt Liverpool are City’s main title rivals this season unless Chelsea immediately click under Maurizio Sarri which is unlikely.
You’ve had an exceptional window and strengthened extremely well and with City’s pre-season being disrupted so much by the World Cup I can see your lot taking an early lead in the opening weeks.
From there we’ve seen before how Jurgen Klopp sides thrive on momentum so that’s a genuine concern.
Who’s going to be the Reds’ Player of the Year, and why?
If Naby Keita settles from the off and stays fit throughout he’s a sensational prospect.
TIA’s Man City Predicted Finish: 2nd (Average of the TIA writers’ predictions)
Where Ste says Man City will finish: 1st
Where Ste says Liverpool will finish: 2nd
This is part of our club-by-club opposition previews this summer, getting the views of away fans on their club and their thoughts on LFC:
Arsenal | Bournemouth | Brighton | Burnley | Cardiff | Chelsea | Crystal Palace | Everton | Fulham | Huddersfield | Leicester | Man City | Man United | Newcastle | Southampton | Tottenham | Watford | West Ham | Wolves