With Pep Guardiola at the helm Man City are planning to rule over English football for years to come. But what can they win in his first season in charge?
Man City have become synonymous with instant success in recent years. Together with PSG they have managed to assemble highly competitive squads in the shortest amount of time possible. Managers like Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini have had the pleasure of working with some of the best players in the world. However, with great players comes great responsibility to deliver on the big stage, and it’s fair to say that both managers had difficulty bringing out the same level of performances of their players for two consecutive seasons.
That’s why City’s sheikh owners have decided to part ways with Pellegrini after this season and have picked arguably the best manager in the world at the moment – Pep Guardiola. The Citizens’ owners had an easy choice to make considering Guardiola’s credentials, and their choice was almost as easy as our supporters NetEnt casino pick for "month". Just like Guardiola, the Jackpotland Casino is head and shoulders above the competition and is a straightforward choice for all casino enthusiasts.
If recent reports are to be believed, then it seems like Guardiola has already compiled a shortlist of players he wants bought before he takes the reins of the Manchester club. Players like Manuel Neuer, Paul Pogba, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Javi Martinez, Robert Lewandowski, and Alvaro Morata have all been on the back pages of newspapers and are all reported targets for the Spaniard.
Some newspaper outlets have even went as far as to speculate that Pep might use his Barcelona connections and his agent, his brother Pere, to convince both Messi and Luis Suarez to change scenery and to move to the Etihad. And even though mind boggling amounts of money are being mentioned, it’s still hard to believe that at least one of those two will leave Barcelona.
If they do manage to get one of them though, then the English Premier League is as good as won. Odds of 5/1 for Messi joining the Citizens aren’t very encouraging, but are much better than previous seasons, when Messi and City weren’t even mentioned in the same sentence.
So players are likely to come, but even if they don’t, City still have the strongest squad in England and one of the strongest in Europe. They have an international goalkeeper, two players for each position in the most expensive defence in England, a band of extremely creative attacking midfielders and a world class striker in Aguero.
However, if there is one position where the Citizens’ are deficient, it’s probably in the defensive part of the midfield. Fernandinho is a solid option, but players like Fernando and Fabian Delph have failed to deliver and have either looked really inept when given the chance or have spent most of the time being injured.
In addition, it seems more and more likely with each passing day that Yaya Toure’s and Pep’s differences regarding playing styles can’t be bridged, and that the Ivorian will probably leave the club at the end of this season. Yaya has been a City legend for half a decade, has scored some wonder goals and will be sorely missed by the fans.
This will mean that Guardiola will probably make the signing of a defensive midfielder and a deep-lying playmaker his main priorities in the summer transfer window because the towering Ivorian has been doing both of those roles with great success in his time with the club.
Should the club sign suitable replacements (Pogba and Javi Martinez have been mentioned) then there is no reason why Man City shouldn’t be considered as firm favourites for the EPL and both of the domestic cup competitions, and one of the most serious contenders to rival Barcelona, Real, PSG, and Bayern for the elusive Champions League trophy.
So, what are the odds for the Citizens, and how do the bookies feel they will fare in the next season? Well, City are 6/4 to win the EPL title in Pep’s first season in charge, with Chelsea and Arsenal seen as their most likely rivals, and are both priced at 4/1. The other contenders are Manchester United, priced at 6/1, and Liverpool – 10/1. These seem as reasonable odds for a club whose closest rivals will either have a transitional season (Chelsea and Manchester United) or do the traditional ‘shooting oneself in the foot’ midseason (Arsenal and Liverpool).
In terms of cup competitions, City have won the Capital One Cup this season on penalties against Klopp’s Liverpool, but have been embarrassed in the FA Cup when Chelsea trashed Pellegrini’s combination of youth and reserves at Stamford Birdge 5-1. Guardiola will probably look at winning both competitions next year as a signal of his intention to rule over English football, and the bookies are offering odds of 33/1, which is mightily enticing.
If, however, you think that Pep might not be satisfied with ‘only’ winning the EPL, FA Cup and the Capital One Cup, then you can go one step further and back City to add the Champions League title to this collection of trophies. The odds of Pep winning the quadruple in his first season in charge are 500/1 and are sure to win you a fortune should you decide to back the boys from the Etihad. If you think that there’s no chance of that happening, just look at Leicester at the top of the Premier League table and think again.