One down, five to go.
September will see Manchester City play a total of six games, but we now have to wait two weeks until Fulham visit the Etihad Stadium due to the international break. Football without City isn’t quite the same but a completely free bet could help pass the time.
City were below their best as they beat Newcastle 2-1 on Saturday, but a win is a win and Pep Guardiola is happy with the start, particularly after a pre-season interrupted by the World Cup and extended breaks.
“Step by step we will get our best condition,” Guardiola said. “To start with 10 points from 12 is a good start for us and I am so satisfied.”
On paper, City have five winnable games left in September ahead of tough trips to Hoffenheim and Liverpool to begin October, and picking up maximum points in the league while kickstarting the Champions League with a win could be vital.
Newly-promoted Fulham are a team with plenty of talent, new signing Jean Michaël Seri, who had been linked with City, in particular settling well, but City will be heavy favourites to win that tie on home turf.
The Champions League follows as City host Lyon, who have been bolstered by the arrival of Jason Denayer from the Blues and Moussa Dembélé from Celtic, but again are very beatable opposition.
A trip to Cardiff could be a banana skin which City will have to fight hard to bypass, but Guardiola’s men will hopefully be in full rhythm by then, and the Carabao Cup game against League One side Oxford is another one City will be odds-on to prevail in – although if Guardiola fields a heavily weakened team, you never know…
Closing out September is a home game against Brighton, and their win over Manchester United proves they are no pushover, but City dispatched of Chris Hughton’s team twice last season and should win again.
So how do you think City will fare in September? Can we finish it with six out of six wins?
Here are the September fixtures in full for City (Carabao Cup date TBC):