Have the champions done enough to fend off Liverpool? – Man City 2018/19 Opposition Preview

8 August 2018

Man City head into the 2018/19 season as strong favourites for back-to-back Premier League titles—will it be another record-breaking campaign at the Etihad?


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.

No side has won back-to-back Premier League crowns since Man United since 2008/09, however, going to show what a tough task it is.

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.

 

Man City

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, May 14, 2018: Manchester City's captain Vincent Kompany celebrates with the trophy on stage after the parade through the city after winning the FA Premier League and the Football League Cup trophies. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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.

NEW JERSEY, USA - Wednesday, July 25, 2018: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' and Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez during a preseason International Champions Cup match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the Met Life Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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.

 

Etihad Stadium

A general view ahead of kick off during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final 1st leg at the Etihad Stadium. Photo credit should read: Philip Oldham/Sportimage via PA Images

Capacity: 55,097

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.

 

Liverpool

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - Thursday, July 19, 2018: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring the second goal during a preseason friendly match between Blackburn Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Ewood Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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

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