The Real Footie Analyst

Manchester City: Premier League 2011-12 preview

Manchester City could be this season’s surprise package and will look to challenge their more successful neighbours, Manchester United, at every opportunity. We saw glimpses in last week’s Charity Shield match that City have the players with the ability to mount a serious challenge, but more worryingly a self-made self-destruct button that is ever so often pushed when calm is needed. They generally have cover in all areas so they don’t have to strengthen. Their problem lies with player personalities and shenanigans that threaten to derail their manager’s ambitious plans to win the league after heavy investment from their deep-pocket spending Arab owners. Roberto Mancini will have to decide if key player Carlo Tevez can leave without disrupting their momentum, or if Mario Balotelli is better off having training ground bust-ups with Serie A team-mates at another club.

The signing of Sergio Aguero seems mouth-watering if he can convince fellow Argie Tevez to stay. Those two could potentially win the title for City on their own. Mancini also needs to be less cautious in his approach and open up more in terms of attack especially when City become undone by a team that park their team bus in front of their goal posts. If Samir Nasri does arrive at the Eastlands Mancini will have a clever and skillful player at his disposal that can open up stubborn defences and carve up openings for their attacking players to take advantage of. David Silva could end up being a key player this season so finding a like-minded player to match his style will surely be City’s priority as they have the defensive side of things covered already.

With Balotelli, Aguero and Tevez running out on to the field together they must look formidable and dangerous to opposition’s defences. They may well adopt a 4-3-3 system to accommodate each of them and it could work with Gareth Barry and Nigel de Jong performing their defensive midfield duties. With a bit of luck and good fortune City could end up pushing United all the way.

Key Player: Sergio Ageuro

Prediction: 2nd

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