Manchester City picked up the first major domestic silverware of the season with their Carabao Cup win over Aston Villa in March. Whether the club gets the opportunity to compete for the European glory this term is still undecided. However, what’s not up for debate is that their Premier League title defence has failed to live up to expectations. There are plenty of reasons to be hopeful of City bouncing back next season though.
Extra Rest Without European Football
The club still hopes to have their appeal against the two-year ban from UEFA competitions held in the coming months via the Court of Arbitration for Sport. If that process is successful, it could be quashed or reduced. However, if there is no European football next term, this should be seen as a positive for City’s Premier League hopes. The extra rest time afforded to teams who don’t have European commitments could be a massive factor in deciding who ends the domestic season on top of the table. After all, we’re still talking about a club that won the division with 98 points less than a year ago.
Players will be fresher for league games without the extra playing time and travel that midweek encounters bring. Despite Liverpool’s current lead, it would be no surprise to see City priced up as the favourites for the title once again, just as they were before a ball was kicked this season.
The best betting sites in the UK for the Premier League will have a host of odds available. One of those bookies like Ladbrokes is also available in Australia and lists dozens of markets such as the league winner, top goalscorer, relegation and many more. It will be interesting to see how the bookmakers factor this into their pre-season calculations across the board. With the potential for less rotation, players such as Raheem Sterling or Gabriel Jesus could see their Golden Boot chances increase too.
Leicester City and Chelsea have both benefited from not competing in Europe when winning the Premier League titles in recent years. Given City’s resources, talent and experience – both on and off the field – they have to be leading contenders in the English top-flight next term.
A Manager That’s Committed To The Club
Pep Guardiola has reiterated his desire to stay in Manchester and see out his contract, which runs until 2021. Back in January, the Spaniard said: “Unless they sack me, I’m staying, 100%.” That kind of strong support from the manager should only add more confidence to one of the most talented playing squads in Europe. Guardiola is rarely on the back foot for long, and City should fancy their chances of bouncing back to Premier League glory regardless of how the current campaign ends.
De Bruyne Hints At Playing Longer Than Planned
In a move that will be music to the ears of every City fan, Kevin De Bruyne has decided to extend his career by two more years. De Bruyne has been the heartbeat of the team for several years. His presence and creative influence have proved a tight hole to fill when the 28-year-old has missed games through injury. In just 25 appearances in the top-flight during the 2019/20 campaign he has racked up eight goals and 16 assists. That second figure is particularly remarkable given Thierry Henry holds the record for a single Premier League season at 20.
The Belgian midfielder said he has recently realised how much he would miss football were he to retire. During an Instagram live chat with Axel Witsel and Romelu Luakaku, he said “I told my wife I’m going to play a little longer. I told her I’m going to take two years more.” If De Bruyne can stay fit, he’ll surely give City a great chance at returning to the top of the Premier League table next season.