The Pep Guardiola era got off to the perfect start as City won ten consecutive fixtures but it would be fair to state that the last few months haven’t exactly gone to plan.
The Blues are still battling it out near the top of the Premier League table but a run of just three victories in their last nine domestic fixtures has affected their standing in the title race and City now trail Antonio Conte’s Chelsea by seven points.
Whilst this margin is far from decisive, City cannot afford to gift too big of a lead to this Chelsea side. If the Blues are to get their hands back on the Premier League crown in Pep’s first season at the Etihad Stadium, they must improve quickly in order to keep pace with high-flying Chelsea.
The London outfit have won nine league games in a row and their rivals are beginning to feel the heat in the battle for top spot.
City will still fancy their chances of ending the calendar year in the top two and the title remains the number one objective for Pep’s men this season. At the time of writing, the Blues are valued at 4/1 to win the crown in Coral’s Premier League betting markets and it would take a brave man to back against Guardiola in the long term.
On paper, City have the strongest squad in the top flight and Pep will figure it out sooner rather than later… he’s the best manager in the business. Blues fans must keep the faith in the Spaniard’s new-look formation and system; it will reap rewards eventually.
The Blues will be without Sergio Aguero for the next few weeks after the Argentina star was handed a four-match ban for a violent challenge on David Luiz in City’s 3-1 defeat to Chelsea earlier this month.
Without a shadow of a doubt, City are much better with Aguero in the side but Pep must tweak his starting line-up to cope without their talismanic striker. Since joining City in 2011, Aguero has established himself as one of the best forwards in Premier League history – netting 112 goals in just 162 appearances.
By the same token, Vincent Kompany is also crucial to their defensive stability and City will need both players fit for tough fixtures over the festive period. With fixtures against title rivals fast approaching, City must use their extensive squad to capitalise in December and January.
City face Liverpool on December 31st and plenty of Coral bettors will be backing the Blues in their Premier League betting odds in the build-up to the clash. City have struggled against the Reds in recent times but Guardiola had the edge over Jurgen Klopp during their time in the Bundesliga and he could prosper once again here.
The Spaniard is still adjusting to the pace of English football but fans mustn’t panic just yet. Place all of your trust in Pep and silverware will follow; his past record speaks for itself. Let’s see how he does against Liverpool on New Year’s Eve before making any rash judgements…