Why Manchester City will win the league
Manchester City highlighted another test of their champion mentality as they overcame what was potentially a banana peel at the John Smith Stadium yesterday. The Premier League leaders came from behind to defeat the Terriers, 2-1, who looked for long periods of the game, like they would nick an unbelievable result.
City had swept all opponents so far this season, save for Everton, and Guardiola knew that a bad result against the newly promoted side could have a dampening effect on their morale heading into the hectic Christmas schedule.
However, City look very good for the title and are on course to match the 'Invincibles' season of Arsenal in 03/04. Here are three reasons why we believe City can’t be stopped in their quest for glory.
The Guardiola effect
Last season, in his first campaign in England, Pep Guardiola was criticized for not adapting to the rigours and intensity of the division, with many pundits labelling him as “tactically arrogant”.
The former Barcelona man is leaving his detractors on the ground with his tactical brilliance this season, sticking to his philosophy and seeing the rest of the league bewitched by his playing style.
Going trophyless last term hurt the Spanish tactician, and he took pains to address his team’s problems in the transfer window. City are eight points clear at the top of the table and have passed every major hurdle they have faced this season.
The chasing pack
The major reason City are looking good, is that the oppositions are not stepping up when it matters most. The likes of Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool have struggled at certain points this season, while Manchester United, City’s biggest threats at the beginning of the season, have looked off pace trying to keep up with City.
Chelsea have struggled with injuries, United have suffered with their playing style at times this season, while the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool haven't looked to be in title-chasing form for the whole of the campaign.
Big players stepping up
When Chelsea won the league last term, the football world was effusive in their praise for the likes of N'Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic, Pedro, Marcos Alonso, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa.
This season, names like Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus have all stepped up to be recognised. De Bruyne, in particular, has been head and shoulders above everyone else with his vision, creativity and passing unrivalled in the whole of the division.
The summer arrivals of Mendy and Walker have been a major part of how City have started and while Mendy has been injured, the unlikely renaissance of Fabian Delph at left-back has been a stroke of genius.
The next few weeks promise to show us more of City’s title credentials as tough matches against Tottenham and Manchester United beckon, but like they have shown this season, they are likely to scale them with consummate ease.
City will take some stopping, and with 34 points from a possible 36, the title is beginning to look like it is destined to go to the blue side of Manchester.