Manchester City 2018-19 season preview

Tim Roberts Roar Rookie

By Tim Roberts, Tim Roberts is a Roar Rookie

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    Manchester City will be eager to secure consecutive titles for the first time in their history, while also looking to go one better in other competitions.

    Last season
    The 2017-18 season couldn’t have been much more perfect for City, winning the league in exceptional fashion with a total of 100 points.

    The Citizens scored 106 goals, conceded 27 and won 32 matches, tasting defeat just twice. The Manchester outfit averaged 2.8 goals and 66.4 per cent possession per match, on the way to finishing 19 points clear of second placed Manchester United.

    City also won the Carabao Cup, but fell at the fifth round of the FA Cup to Wigan Atletic and were eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League against Liverpool.

    Strengths
    Manchester City are one of the strongest sides in league history, they possess remarkable quality in all positions. Creativity in midfield, clinical finishers in attack and a potent defence which is only bolstered by the depth and experience within the Citizen’s squad.

    Last season, midfield maestros David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne racked up a combined 17 goals 27 assists between them. The Sky Blues had four players who scored at least 10 goals, Sergio Aguero scored 21 goals in just 25 appearances, Raheem Sterling (18), Gabriel Jesus (13) and Leroy Sane (10).

    Manchester City can play with both patience and speed to find a way past teams, this adaptability is one of many advantages City holds over most teams.

    Manchester City were ranked first in most aspects last season, most goals, least conceded, and most possession. Remarkably City could improve even more this season, there is a fantastic balance of youth and experience and if both Sergio Aguero and Jesus stay fit and in form, more records should be broken.

    Manchester City's Sergio Aguero

    Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero celebrates after scoring. (Photo by Nigel French – EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images)

    Weaknesses
    It’s difficult to find much weakness in a record breaking season side who won England’s top flight with ease.

    Defence is an area where the Sky Blues would like to improve, despite only conceding 27 league goals last season. Pep Guardiola’s defence was exposed by Liverpool at Anfield in both the league and Champions League. The Sky Blues struggled to cope with the pace of attacks from the opposition front three.

    A potential problem is the deep midfield position if Fernandinho was to get injured or drop out of form. The likes of Fabian Delph and Ilkay Gundogan could temporarily fill that position but not for an extensive period.

    Off and on again injuries to strikers Jesus and Aguero often left the Citizens limited on strikers but it didn’t matter due to the goals Sane and Sterling provided.

    Predicted XI
    (4-3-3) Ederson (GK); Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones, Benjamin Mendy; Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, David Silva; Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Leroy Sane.

    Predicted finish – first
    Guardiola should lead his side to another strong season, the addition of Riyad Mahrez in a quiet transfer window just compliments the brilliant position Manchester City are already in. Mahrez joins an attacking calibre of Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Jesus, Leroy Sane, David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva.

    The return of Benjamin Mendy from injury will resemble a new signing, the Frenchman missed most of the season but the Sky Blues managed in his absence with Fabian Delph often filling the left-back void. Laporte joined in January and will continue to grow. These two defenders significantly bolster the defence and could be the difference in preventing exposure by fast transitions.

    Rival sides have strengthened but City’s squad still looks the strongest by quite some distance.

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