It has been a season like no other, with the coronavirus pandemic causing games to be played behind closed doors, players having to isolate and results that no-one could have imagined.
It almost seems that we have a new title contender every week with teams like Tottenham, Everton, Chelsea and Arsenal all being put into the frame. Okay, well maybe not Arsenal.
After a somewhat slow start by their standards, Manchester City have found their feet and have gone on a ten-game unbeaten run, winning the last six on the bounce. They seem to have found the consistency that everyone else in the division has been lacking.
Man City are 15 games unbeaten and I feel like I’ve heard nothing about it. Their next four games are Villa (H), West Brom (H), Sheffield United (A) and Burnley (A).
To me, they’re being disrespected this season. Pep’s side are definitely my title favourites. pic.twitter.com/tZOwo4Sc8W
— Matchday365 ⚽️ (@Matchday365) January 18, 2021
The likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Leicester City appear as the main challengers to the Citizens title charge. However, due to the nature of this season it wouldn’t be out of the question for the likes of Everton and Tottenham to re-enter the fray.
The resurgence of John Stones has been euphoric in transforming Manchester City’s defence, with his partnership with Rúben Dias producing the league’s best defensive record. The injury of Aymeric Laporte seemed catastrophic for City last season, but you have to question when he becomes fit again, is there even a spot for him in the team anymore?
At the beginning of the season, they were not the Manchester City under Pep Guardiola that we have known over the last few years. They were predictable and seemed to lack the ideas going forward, that have made them the top scorers in the league for each of the past three seasons.
However, as of late they have regained their ruthless edge and seem like a team on a mission to regain their crown. And technically it is theirs to lose, as they are only two points behind the current leaders and noisy neighbours Manchester United, who they have a game in hand on.
It is the perfect time to capitalise for the four-time Premier League winners, with champions Liverpool struggling for goals. Although Manchester United are in fine form, there is still a certain vulnerability to the Red Devils, where a defensive mistake looks imminent.
Leicester and Everton have both had a fantastic first half to the season, however the title challenge for both of them doesn’t seem viable, due to a lack of squad depth in comparison to the likes of City, United and Liverpool.
The realistic thing that could hold Manchester City back from claiming top spot at the end of the season, is not having an out and out striker. City’s all-time top goal scorer Sergio Aguero has been struggling with injuries since June of last year and as expected, they have found it difficult to replace his goal threat.
Gabriel Jesus has stepped in at times, but has not managed to reach the heights of his predecessor. But it is clear to see that there is enough quality across the board, from players like Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling.
Their next Premier League match is at home to relegation threatened West Bromwich Albion, who actually held them to a one all draw in the reverse fixture back in December. The form of both sides is currently very contrasting, so it is seeming unlikely that this result will repeat itself.
If City are to continue their unstoppable run, it is difficult to see how they will not be crowned champions of England for the seventh time in their history, bringing Pep Guardiola’s third title back to the Etihad.