2015/16 season preview: Manchester City

221px-Manchester_City.svgMan City fell off their top podium as England’s reigning champions last season with Manuel Pellegrini and co. having to settle for the silver medal. Can Man City climb back to the top of the pile this season and make it three titles in five seasons?

Manager: Manuel Pellegrini
Home ground: Etihad Stadium
Last season: 2nd
Highest EPL accolade: Winners (2012, 2014)

Star Man

Sergio Aguero has scored 78 goals in four seasons at Man City image: espnfc.com

Sergio Aguero has scored 78 goals in four seasons at Man City
image: espnfc.com

There is no question who Man City’s star player is and that is their Argentine magician Sergio Aguero, who more often than none won City points on his own last season with his 26 goals helping City finish in the runners-up spot.

Those 26 goals also secured the Golden Boot award for the 27-year-old and you have to wonder if it wasn’t for an injury last December which saw him ruled out for around a month, he could have broke past the 30 mark and could have even helped City retain their Premier League crown.

If it wasn’t for Aguero, City would have never kept in touch with Chelsea and at times he ran this team on his own. Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure failed to produce their form of the 2013-14 season, but Aguero was City’s saviour and will be once again this campaign.

Key Transfers

IN
Raheem Sterling (Liverpool – £49m), Fabian Delph (Aston Villa – £8m), Patrick Roberts (Fulham – £11m)

OUT
Alvaro Negredo (Valencia – £23.5m), Stevan Jovetic (Inter Milan – Undisclosed), Matija Nastasic (Schalke – Undisclosed), Scott Sinclair (Aston Villa – Undisclosed), James Milner (Liverpool – Free), Micah Richards (Aston Villa – Free), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic – £1.5m), John Guidetti (Celta Vigo – Free)

One to Watch

Eliaquim Mangala will have a point to prove this season as the former Porto man failed to live up to his £30m price tag which the former champions paid the Portuguese side for the defender last season.

Eliaquim Mangala conceded a penalty and scored an own goal against Hull last season image: malay.mcfc.com

Eliaquim Mangala conceded a penalty and scored an own goal against Hull last season
image: malay.mcfc.com

There is an old saying that you learn from your mistakes and after a debut season to forget, City fans will hope the Frenchman comes good ahead of the new campaign and together with captain Vincent Kompany, they will hope to rule out their mistakes of last year and prove to be an unbeatable pairing.

Mangala never really found a rhythm last season but now as he settles to the English game and takes the lessons learnt from last season, he will hope to become one of the surprise stars of the season and prove his doubters wrong.

Best XI

Hart

Zabaleta   Kompany   Mangala   Kolarov

Sterling    Fernandinho    Toure     Silva

  Aguero    Dzeko

Prediction: 4th

Many pre-season previews for last season expected Man City to grab second place but in all honesty, I think Manuel Pellegrini’s side were very lucky not to finish lower, following losses to Arsenal, Liverpool and rivals Man United.

Man City have finished in the top three for the past five seasons image: europsort.com

Man City have finished in the top three for the past five seasons
image: europsort.com

Sergio Aguero won points on his own last season but he will need all the support he can this season to help City back to the top.  Yaya Toure had a great 2013-14 campaign but failed to match that form last season, while captain Kompany also failed to hit top form. Their defence is also a worry but a big money defensive signing could propel City back into the title picture.

However, their attacking game is excellent and with the addition of Raheem Sterling on the right-wing, they definitely have one of the best attacks in the league. The rest of the team just doesn’t match to the frontline and that is why I feel they won’t win the title, but should still finish in the top four.

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