"Sometimes you have a noisy neighbor. You cannot do anything about that. They will always be noisy."
Legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson famously uttered the words as his side edged past city rivals Manchester City in the Manchester derby in 2009, thanks to a late Michael Owen goal.
Little did he know that in coming years his “noisy neighbors” will become the most formidable force in English football and look to match Man United’s record of winning the Premier League three times in a row.
Liverpool dragged the Premier League title race to the final day last season, but their record 97 point haul proved insufficient to overcome Pep Guardiola’s Man City side that unprecedentedly won all four top-tier domestic competitions in England last season.
Can the Citizens continue their Premier League domination this season too? I believe they can and here are my free betting predictions.
WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER TOP 6 CLUBS?
Liverpool did manage to go all the way in the Champions League, even though they marginally lost out the league to Manchester City last season. The defending European champions will most likely pose the greatest threat to Man City’s supremacy in the league once again, but a lack of summer recruitments might hurt the All Red’s title ambitions. Jurgen Klopp’s side did invest in terms of holding on to their best players, but over-reliance on their key players might hunt them late in the season.
Although their loan move to Paulo Dybala fell through at the last minute, Tottenham Hotspur fans will be delighted with the business their clubs did this summer. Having signed the likes of Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso, Mauricio Pochettino will have one of the best midfields in the league this season operating below his attacking trident led by the prolific Harry Kane. But departure of Kieran Trippier, long term injury to Juan Foyth and an ageing Tobey Alderweirald left their backline a bit fragile.
Unai Emery’s new look Arsenal have fearsome attacking options in the forms of Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and their £72m man Nicolas Pepe. Loan arrival Dani Ceballos have infused a Santi Cazorla –esque artistic presence in the middle of the park, while Arsenal tried to address their defensive woes recruiting David Luiz and Kieran Tierney. Despite having one of the best transfer windows in the league this season, Arsenal are still likely to suffer because of their injury absentees. By the time Emery gets Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney available for selection, the Gunners might already lose some valuable points.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spent big on summer to fix a defense that leaked more than 50 Premier League goals last season. While Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s big money signings are a great news for the club, United couldn’t bring in a replacement for Romelu Lukaku who left for Inter Milan. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial’s talents are unquestioned, but can they be consistent enough to keep Man United in the title race? Combine that with Paul Pogba’s push for a Real Madrid move, the Red Devils face an uphill battle for the title.
Frank Lampard’s homecoming has made Chelsea fans excited for the new season but the reality is, he would be lucky if his team makes it into the top six this season. The Blues couldn’t bring in anyone this summer to fill in the Eden Hazard shaped void in the squad as they serve a season-long transfer ban. Chelsea will rely on their academy graduates to take them through this season, who lack adequate Premier League experience to make them a title challenger. Senior players like Cesar Azpilicueta, Willian and Pedro have shown signs of decline in recent times, which makes winning the league nearly impossible for Chelsea this season.
WHAT MAKES MANCHESTER CITY THE FAVORITES?
Here’s a trivia to portray how dominant Manchester City have been in English football lately: Pep Guardiola’s men hold the record for scoring the highest points (100) and the second highest points (98) scored by a team in Premier League history and they did it in the past two seasons. A clean sweep of domestic trophies evidently hasn’t been enough for Pep Guardiola, as the Spaniard sets his sight on Champions League glory this season. The additions of Angelino, Rodri and Joao Cancelo have given immense squad depth to a team that is already brimming with quality on all areas. They got no problems scoring goals; Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero can score for fun against any opponent. Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva are the midfield engines any manager would like to have to get the squad ticking. All these are complemented by a defense that has been tailor-made to accommodate attack building from the back; the key to Guardiola’s brand of football. Factoring in their spectacular bench options, Manchester City do look to be team to beat this season.