Why Manchester City are bound to drop points in the near future
Manchester City have made a fantastic start to the Premier League season. City are already 8 points clear of their second-placed neighbours Manchester United, which is a remarkable lead this early in the season.
This spectacular start has led some people to believe that City may have already clinched the Premier League title (yes we're only just in November) and Guardiola's men are also tipped to be the next 'Invincibles', but these people are forgetting that we are not even halfway through the season yet, and the Premier League is one of the most competitive marathons out there, and most definitely not a sprint. Consistency is everything.
While right now, they might look like the best team in not just England, but also the world, and they very well might be, but here are some reasons why the fall of this "invincible" Manchester City side is imminent in the near future.
Fierce competition and extreme diversity of the Premier League
The Premier League is a completely different animal when compared to Europe's other top leagues, and as a result, only time will tell if one year was enough for Pep Guardiola to tame this beast.
The English league is a lot more competitive, diverse, challenging and without a doubt, physical than the other leagues Guardiola has conquered. The Premier League has everything, big money clubs like City itself, fearless new sides like Brighton who add that extra oomph of competition and unpredictability, and the most romantic underdog stories, like those of Leicester.
It is truly a league where anything can happen, where David can beat Goliath every other weekend.
If the threat from the smaller sides is not enough, Premier League also hosts some of the biggest names in world football. The likes of Manchester United and Arsenal will not give up the chase easily, considering their history and the experienced masterminds in their managerial camps.
Antonio Conte will also not give up his crown so easily, after exceptionally winning it in his first season of English football.
Some of the most renowned managers have tried to succeed, but failed in England, and I do not believe that a year is enough to understand and adapt to the English game, even for a manager of Pep Guardiola's calibre.
Of course, we'll have to wait until the end of the season to see how the spectacle that is the Premier League pans out, but for now, it is hard to predict whether Pep can keep this stunning run of form going for the blue side of Manchester.
Whether we like it or not, injuries have a huge impact on a team's success, or more importantly, their failure. With there being no international break until March, we have a deep breath of spectacular and action-packed club football to take in.
While this may be a delight for football fans around the world, it brings a testing and packed schedule to deal with for clubs competing on the European front.
As shown in the table above, City have a jam-packed schedule coming up and will have to deal with the nuisance of the likes of Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester United, Paul Clement's Swansea City and Spurs, all within 9 days, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
City face a similar schedule, although with much easier fixtures, until the third day of the new year. This fixture list will really be a litmus test of City's depth strength, or lack thereof. Guess we'll find out which one's the case over the next month and then some more.
Even though it may be disheartening to acknowledge, luck has a huge part to play in football, and only time will tell if fortune will favour the Citizens by plaguing their rivals, or if it will sink their ship with a storm of injuries.
Even after splashing as much as £158.4 million on strengthening the guard in front of their goal, City's depth in defensive areas is nothing short of concerning.
After sustaining a hamstring injury, City's main rock at the back, namely John Stones, is out for four to six weeks, leaving a massive void to fill for the less-than-satisfactory Vincent Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala, who have played very little football this season.
An injury to City's new acquisition Benjamin Mendy earlier in the season left City depleted in the left-back role, but surprisingly, City found a satisfactory replacement in Fabian Delph of all people. Any further damage done to City's left-back position will leave them extremely vulnerable as they don't have any depth whatsoever in that department.
As touched on in the previous point, City's upcoming schedule is bound to deplete some of City's resources at the very least, and Pep Guardiola would be praying to god that those injuries are not to his already weakened defence.
While City have been infamous for their devastating attack this season, it is nothing short of impossible to win the league with a weak defence.
As Sir Alex Ferguson once famously said "Attack wins you games, Defence wins you titles.", Pep will have to give extra attention to take care and guard his defenders against a ruthless run of fixtures coming up, and the rotation he'll have to implement in order to achieve that, is bound to leave some points dropped.
While all the points discussed in this article are not guaranteed to bring City down, they are very likely to upset the power of the Citizens.
City have a very special and a very scary team in their camp, and if Pep Guardiola can lead his team through these challenges, it will certainly be reminiscent of Pep's Barcelona lineup that dominated world football, and we will undoubtedly witness yet another shift of power in Europe, and an upgrade in quality of English football to match the new standards set by Guardiola.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the writer's and do not necessarily reflect Sportskeeda's opinion on the topic.