It is not easy to retain the Premier League title, but Manchester City are better placed than most clubs to achieve that feat this season.
The arrival of Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City adds even more attacking depth to manager Pep Guardiola’s attacking options, while the rest of the squad looks strong throughout.
There was a record 19-point gap to Manchester United last season and that is a huge margin to claw back, although City’s rivals will take heart from the fact that no team has retained the Premier League title so far this decade.
The Champions League could also become a distraction, with City eager to prove they have what it takes to win on Europe’s biggest stage.
Competing for numerous trophies should allow Guardiola the chance to keep his squad happy and they still look a cut above the rest of the league.
Missing out on signing midfielder Jorginho was a blow, but it is one which City should be well capable of brushing off.
Key player – Kevin De Bruyne
The Belgian international makes City tick and he is now firmly established as one of the finest midfielders of his generation.
De Bruyne’s all-round game makes him invaluable to City’s style of play, with his passing ability, strength in the tackle and eye for goal setting him apart from his contemporaries.
Making sure De Bruyne doesn’t suffer any burnout following Belgium’s run to the World Cup semi-finals will be crucial to City’s hopes of success, but the 27-year-old is expected to be the club’s shining light again this season.
City were hugely impressive last term and while they may find things tougher this time around, they are still fancied to come out on top. The two Manchester clubs can be backed at 11/4 to finish first and second in any order – that looks a decent wager.
Title odds: 4/6
First fixture: Arsenal (A)