Can Man City Defend Their Premiership Crown? No Question ....

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 1:01 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 25, 2018 1:01 PM UTC

Man City are the clear favourites to win another Premiership title this season, but history is against them and ambitious rivals will make the task ferociously difficult.

<p>You have to go back a decade to find the last team to successfully defend the Premiership title. That was the legendary Man Utd team led by Sir Alex Ferguson, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney up front and Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand anchoring the defence. The likes of Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte and Manuel Pellegrini have all failed to win consecutive titles, highlighting the enormity of the task Pep Guardiola faces this season. His swashbuckling Man City side romped to the title in record-breaking fashion last season, racking up 100 points and finishing 19 clear of their closest rivals. But that is no guarantee of repeat success.</p><p>The <a href="" rel="nofollow">Premiership</a> is arguably the most competitive league in world football, and Man City’s rivals are desperate to overhaul them. Chief among the chasing pack is Liverpool, as last season’s Champions League finalists have been spending money like it is going out of fashion. They completed a £66 million deal to make Brazilian stopper Alisson the world’s most expensive goalkeeper. That follows the £75 million signing of Virgil Van Dijk, the world’s most expensive defender. They splashed out a further £100 million on midfielders Naby Keita and Fabinho, and brought in Swiss playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri for a further £12 million.</p><p>Liverpool already had a dynamite attack and there are now no weaknesses in a very strong starting 11, while their squad is deep and packed full of talent. They beat Man City three times in the second half of the 2017/18 campaign, led by the mercurial talents of Premiership Player of the Year Mohamed Salah, and they will fear no one this coming season. This will not sit well with Man Utd fans, as they are sick of hearing about their two greatest rivals battling it out for glory. They have been steadily improving under Mourinho, and they secured a second-placed finish last season. If Mourinho can get the best out of Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku – who both excelled at the World Cup – Man Utd could usurp the pair of them, as they are already very strong defensively, and further recruitments are likely.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;.&lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@BernardoCSilva&lt;/a&gt; knows it won't be an easy ride! &lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#WednesdayWisdom&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Manchester City (@ManCity) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;July 25, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>Chelsea are a wildcard, as they could end up losing star player Eden Hazard. But they may well keep hold of him, and go out and spend a record-breaking amount of money on new recruits, such is the extravagant nature of owner Roman Abramovich. They have already beaten Man City to the signing of Jorginho, and brought in an exciting new manager in Maurizio Sarri. The Blues have a habit of winning the title every other year, and they could surprise a few people in 2018/19. Then there is Tottenham, who have done well to keep hold of their key stars this summer. They have tied down Harry Kane and Mauricio Pochettino to new contracts, and this group is now in its prime, so there are no excuses for another failure to deliver silverware.</p><p>Yet despite all this, Man City remain the clear favourites to win the league. Every single bookmaker has them as odds-on, although the odds have drifted a little after Liverpool’s splurge. <a href=";book=Bet365" rel="nofollow">Bet365 has -150 on Man City, </a>+400 on Liverpool, +700 on Man Utd, +1200 on Chelsea and +1600 on Tottenham. City have strengthened this summer, adding Leicester star Riyad Mahrez to an already brilliant side, and they should spend further before the transfer window slams shut. They deserve their status as favourites. But punters may prefer an each-way bet on one of their rivals. <a href=";book=Bet365" rel="nofollow">Bet365</a> pays a third of the odds on a second-placed finish, so you would be in profit if you backed Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea or Tottenham and they finished second. The temptation is to back Liverpool, as they look very strong. An alternative offering greater value is a bet on Tottenham, as they have a magnificent starting 11, great team spirit, and they have had plenty of time to gel into an effective unit. They often bottle it at key times, but this could be the season that they end that trend.</p>
comment here