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Is Manchester City now the team to beat in the Premier League?

Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City moved to the top of the Premier League table with last nights 5-1 win at Tottenham

Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City moved to the top of the Premier League table with last nights 5-1 win at Tottenham

Manchester City hammered fifth place Tottenham 5-1 at White Hart Lane last night to go top of the Premier League.

It was a devastating display of attacking football from the Citizens against a Spurs side that had won five consecutive games under Tim Sherwood.

Goals

Manchester City have been fantastic in front of goal this season, already scoring 68 goals in the Premier League and have an incredible goal difference of +42 this season.

City has scored an impressive 111 goals this season in all competitions. Their sheer firepower is something to behold.

Strikers

The Citizens have four international strikers, who are all capable of scoring goals. Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo are first choice, but backup strikers Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic are not bad replacements.

Dzeko seems to score goals whenever he is called-upon, but never seems to be a first choice striker. The Bosnian has scored 17 times this season already, despite spending a lot of his time on the City substitute’s bench.

Negredo has fired home 23 goals in his debut season in English football. The Spaniard has made a good start to his City career and he is now justifying his nickname of ‘The Beast’. The 28-year-old has formed an impressive partnership with diminutive Argentinian Sergio Aguero.

Aguero has been simply unstoppable this season finding the net 26 times, despite a hamstring injury keeping him out of action for a short period. The Argentinian returned from that injury and carried on from where he left off, with goals.

In last night’s game Aguero scored and could quite easily have had two more goals. However, he suffered a blow just before half-time, when it appeared the striker suffered a reoccurrence of his earlier injury.

City will find out the severity of Aguero’s injury later today. Even without Aguero the Citizens still look a major threat in attack. Even forgotten man Stevan Jovetic looked in good shape in the Tottenham game.

The Montenegrin international has hardly played for City this season, with reports that he unsettled in Manchester. However, when he replaced Aguero he also looked dangerous, scoring his first City goal and going close with another effort on goal.

Consistency

Manchester City’s form in recent weeks has been very consistent. This consistency was missing in the early part of the season. The Citizens dropped some poor points when the team were still getting accustomed to Manuel Pellegrini’s methods. However, they are now in full flow.

Manager

When Manuel Pellegrini was appointed as Manchester City boss I predicted that the Citizens would win the Premier League title this season under the Chilean. It was not really that bold a prediction, considering the quality in the City squad and the resources available to the boss.

However, Manuel Pellegrini has come into the club with the minimum of fuss and managed to produce a team that is playing outstanding, attacking football, just like he did at Villarreal, Malaga and for a short period at Real Madrid.

The City job was Pellegrini’s chance to prove he could achieve something at a club with a high-profile, after finishing second in La Liga with Real Madrid to the great Barcelona team of Pep Guardiola. He was rather harshly sacked by Los Blancos and went on to inspire Malaga to new heights.

Pellegrini’s ability to produce teams that were easy on the eye has been there for all to see at City. The Chilean did not bring in a host of new players in the summer, but he brought in players that have made a difference in Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas.

Who knows City’s other big summer signing Jovetic may now shine in Aguero’s likely absence. The atmosphere at City seems to be far better with Pellegrini in charge, than it was under previous boss Roberto Mancini, who was temperamental at times. Pellegrini seems a much calmer character.

Team to beat

Some will suggest that Manchester City should be the team to beat considering the amount of money they have spent in recent years. However, money does not always guarantee you success.

A team needs to have the right blend of player to win trophies. A good manager also helps and City have one of those in Pellegrini. Manchester City now looks like the team to beat in the Premier League.

City face title rivals Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Monday night, a game that the Citizens are favourites to win at odds of 4/5. The game will be another test for Manuel Pellegrini’s side, but I for one will certainly not be betting against them gaining another victory against the men from Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal and Chelsea will be looking to stop Manchester City clinching the Premier League title. However, the way that City are playing at the moment it is going to be very difficult, because City are playing like just like champions.

Is Manchester City now the team to beat in the Premier League?

Thu 30 January, 2014
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