It is midway through February and we are in the midst of the most hotly contested title race in recent times. Liverpool, on the back of their strong summer transfer window, seemed to be running away with the league after a dramatic December, but Manchester City have pulled up their socks and are right back in the reckoning again.
With the coming weekend dedicated to the 5th round of the FA Cup, we have decided to take a look at why Manchester City are the favourites to defend their Premier League title this season.
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
This City team is brimming with talent and desire but what is most important in a title race, serial winners. Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Vincent Kompany have won the Premier League thrice already along with a FA Cup and a couple of League Cups thrown into the mix. And the rest of the squad are obviously defending champions while new addition, Riyad Mahrez, has also won the title with Leicester City.
And while the detractors may point towards the nature of the win last year (100 points and a gap of 19 points with 2nd placed Manchester United) as something which is not an ideal setup for this year’s three-way title race, the presence of the above-mentioned trio who won their first two league titles in the last minute and the last day respectively will be of extreme importance. Also, the fans have experienced both ends of the spectrum in a title-winning season and while not on the surface, it does have an impact during the business end of the season.
In comparison, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur players will be lacking the knowledge and the pressure on them will be huge as the season draws to a close. The Reds, in fact, will have ghastly memories of a recent title-race with City where they let a huge advantage ‘slip’ at the very end.
Thus, on this count, Pep Guardiola and co will know how to navigate themselves and compartmentalise their energy and focus in a better manner.