Which Team Can Break Man City’s Domestic Dominance?
After one of the most remarkable seasons in the English game, Manchester City will be hoping to hold off four European finalists in their bid for three successive Premier League titles. In addition to the four English clubs that contested the final of both major cup competitions on the continent, rivals Manchester United will also be hoping to stake a claim on the biggest prize in English football; the Premier League title.
We look at the challengers likely to push Pep Guardiola’s side all the way this season.
It would take a brave man to bet on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side finishing above the current Premier League champions, but surely there is an expectation that they can at least challenge.There is a hope that with Solskjaer the club can rediscover the togetherness that made them great under Sir Alex, but the squad issues that have plagued them for a season or two have not gone away.Paul Pogba seems to be the root of those issues, as the Express suggests he could be on his way to Real Madrid, and how United spend that incoming money could define their season. Brazilian genius Neymar could be open to an Old Trafford switch – he’s the sort of game-changer they need to feed Romelu Lukaku and spark a title charge.
Never in Premier League history has a team finished on so many points and not won the title. 97 points was a phenomenal haul, but Guardiola’s side ensured it wasn’t enough for Liverpool to lift their first ever Premier League title.In a bwin Football News report on Man City’s pre-season, they pointed to the team’s 14 straight wins at the end of last season, which ended with The Blues winning the domestic treble. That’s the standard the Reds must rise to in order to lift the title and they’re the most likely to do so.They won the Champions League at a canter proving that they’re one of the best teams in Europe. With the squad staying together, it will be a case of ‘more of the same’ from Jürgen Klopp’s men this season.
Spurs had a real belief they could lift the Champions League last season, an impressive feat as they went two transfer windows without making a major signing. Their tepid, uninspiring performance against Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the final proved they needed some new recruits. The Guardian documented how they’ve now made their first signing in a year by picking up Leeds’ man Jack Clarke but have loaned him straight back again.That’s not the sort of strengthening the fans wanted to see and they look to be losing ground in the constant drive to recruit quality. In their defence, Harry Kane’s injury towards the end of the season didn’t help their cause, but the England man cannot shoulder all the goalscoring burden.
Oh, how the North London side would love to challenge for the title, but unless there are drastic changes this season, they’re likely to come up short.They do have a world-class striker in Patrick Aubameyang, a player who finished level on goals scored with Liverpool duo Saido Mane and Mo Salah but that alone isn’t enough.They still need the midfield rock around which a side rotates and it could be said they haven’t had that since the days of Patrick Vieira. If he is given time, Unai Emery is at least a season away from being a realistic challenger.
With rookie manager Frank Lampard taking over in the dugout, there is a feel-good factor back at Stamford Bridge. It’s a misplaced sentiment though; the Blues cannot sign new players thanks to their transfer ban and must rely on their current squad.Youngsters like Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham have shown a lot of promise in the Championship, but with Eden Hazard leaving they’re arguably weaker than the side that lifted the Europa League in Baku at the end of May.