Manchester City are still the undisputed kings of English football. After the most successful season in club history, Pep Guardiola’s side not only won their third consecutive Premier League crown but also claimed the Cityzens’ first ever Champions League trophy, securing a famous treble along with it.
The 52-year-old Spaniard has overseen an era of dominance for the Sky Blues that may never be replicated so it is understandable how City are once again favourites for the Premier League title. They find themselves in pole position courtesy of an excellent start that has many bookies predicting the club to make good on their early predictions.
The Manchester outfit is the only club left with a 100% record in the league, winning all six of their opening matches having beaten Nottingham Forest 2-0 at the Etihad in their latest outing.
However, there are a number of suitors who all have ambitions of knocking the champions off their throne. Liverpool, Tottenham and last season’s runners up Arsenal are all ready and waiting to pounce should City falter at any stage. But can the chasing pack reel City in this season or will Pep’s men once again prove too strong for the competition?
Here’s our look at the top contenders’ chances in this season’s Premier League title race.
Manchester City – 2/5
City showed once again last season that they are the team to beat having won the FA Cup, Premier League and their first ever Champions League. The trio of trophies takes Guardiola’s tally up to 14 since his arrival at the Etihad in 2016 as he continues to show his credentials as one of the greatest managers ever to grace the game.
To add further credence to their chances of retaining their crown is the squad which almost unbelievably seems to get stronger year on year. The acquisition of Erling Haaland in last summer’s transfer window made a massive difference with the Norwegian goal scoring sensation netting a gargantuan tally of 52 goals across all competitions last season. The former Borussia Dortmund striker is the most dangerous attacking threat in world football and at just 23-years-old he is only going to get better. His contributions alone helped propel City into the title picture but the accompanying cast of world class players in City’s squad ensured they got over the line.
Key players such as the incomparable Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias and Ederson all remain on their books but Guardiola has bolstered their ranks further by bringing in the likes of Josko Gvardiol, Jeremy Doku, and Mateo Kovacic.
An untimely injury to De Bruyne in the opening contest against Burnley brought about concerns that City’s form may take a dip in the lead up to Christmas but their squad has proved more than strong enough to compensate thus far and in all likelihood they will continue to do so. The latest Premier League winner odds have the Cityzens as favourites to win the title, and deservedly so.
Arsenal – 7/1
The Gunners were unbearably close to ending City’s reign as Premier League champions having been atop the table for 248 days last season only to surrender their lead in the final stages of the domestic campaign.
As heartbreaking a defeat as it would have been for Mikel Arteta and his side to take, the Spaniard proved his doubters wrong with their herculean efforts. Before a ball was kicked many had predicted the North London club to hang onto fourth spot and secure Champions League football.
That achievement would’ve been deemed a successful season in its own right but Arsenal’s young exciting squad brimming with talent came to the fore and blew those expectations out of the water. The Gunners earned 84 points last term, their highest tally since the Invincibles of 2003/04.
Their impressive performances and exhilarating brand of football endeared them to many and brought them to the brink of their first league title for 19 years. Their stunning display last year has put the rest of the league on notice and put them right back in contention for the Premier League title.
They face a similarly tough task in unseating Guardiola’s relentless City but are now strengthened by the invaluable experience of a proper back-and-forth title race that they lacked before. And with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard and new arrival Declan Rice in their ranks they have the best shot of bringing City’s superiority to an end.
Liverpool – 8/1
The Reds weren’t themselves last season. If not for an incredible reversal of form in the latter stages of the league campaign last season, the Merseyside club could well have found themselves without European football for the first time since 2016.
The contributions of Mo Salah and the vast improvement of Trent Alexander-Arnold following a tactical tweak from Jurgen Klopp contributed significantly towards rectifying the dismal situation the club found themselves in at the halfway point of the season. There was a clear need for change over this summer and Klopp did not waste time in making the necessary adjustments in the transfer market.
They might have missed out on initial target Jude Bellingham but in bringing in Alexis Mac Allister, Ryan Gravenberch, Wataru Endo and Dominik Szoboszlai, the German boss has done a tremendous job of rebuilding his depleted midfield. Furthermore, the importance of retaining Salah’s services for another season amidst significant interest from Saudi Arabia cannot be understated.
So far the enhancements appear to be paying dividends with Liverpool earning 16 points from a possible 18 in their opening six matches of this year’s Premier League. His side have scored 15 goals while only conceding five, already displaying a marked improvement from the season prior on both ends of the pitch.
Last year was a blip and a pretty severe one at that but Klopp has plenty of credit in the bank and enough quality within his squad to prove that it was a one off. Much of the side that nearly won the quadruple in 2022 remains and it will not take much momentum to get this side resuming their challenge of City up at the top of the Premier League table in 2023/24.
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