Manchester City are the shortest price to win the Premier League at this stage of the season than any other of the champions in the history of the division. They are head and shoulders above all the rest and are on track to break the record for points won and the point’s gap to second place in the final table. They have won their last 16 league fixtures which is a record for a top flight team since the start of the Football League in 1888. City are that good!
As a competition the Premier League has been decided. In 18 fixtures City have dropped just two points. Tottenham were brushed aside last weekend and the pre-season potential champions are now 21 points off the pace. That’s a massive gap this side of Christmas but City are destined to break all records this season. Not only do they create and score goals for fun players close down opponents who then can’t develop any meaningful attacks. City have scored 56 goals and conceded just 12.
The champions-elect are beginning to look like Barcelona which is no surprise because the coach played for and managed that club. Some of the senior management at City were recruited from Barcelona and Pep Guardiola has the club in his DNA. However, the first 11 are no one trick ponies and they have developed a massive store of confidence. Some of the ways players react to innocuous challenges are questionable but the team have a ruthless winning mentality. The rest of the league are playing for second place and Arsenal can come into that situation.
Manchester United are on points the second best team in the league but Jose Mourinho targets trophies. Its probably occurred to him that United will not overhaul the league leaders so his focus could turn to the Champions League. He has won the competition with two teams and it would appeal to his sense of importance if he became just the third man to lead United when they were champions of Europe. The previous two managers were knighted so Mourinho would love to follow in the footsteps of Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson.
At some stage in the near future Mourinho will give up on the league and play his best 11 in the Champions League. That could see United slip down the table so second place would be up for grabs. Chelsea are currently in pole position but Arsenal are recovering from a dip in form can storm up the table during the second half of the season. The Europa League could be a distraction but then it comes down to priorities and team selection and Arsene Wenger appreciates league position is more important than doing well in the poor relation to the Champions League.
Tottenham have now dropped out of the top four and are even below Burnley. Liverpool score loads of goals but have dropped crucial points at home in recent fixtures. Leicester City will never be the surprise package of two seasons ago but they could punch above their weight again by getting in the mix for Champions League qualification. The side is not much changed from the title winning outfit and they have appointed a manager who knows the time of day. The top four could be City, Arsenal, United and Leicester but that means Liverpool miss out.
The latest odds suggest Manchester City have a one in 33 chance of NOT winning the league and all bets are off for a top four finish. Over the second half of the season the race for second place and Champions League qualification will be intriguing and Arsenal and Leicester can upset those apple carts but City are unstoppable.