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2021/22 Premier League Previews | Manchester City, Pep Guardiola and their grandiose plans for European dominance

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2021/20 Premier League preview: Manchester City

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2021/22 Premier League Previews | Manchester City, Pep Guardiola and their grandiose plans for European dominance

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Siddhant Lazar

08/12/2021

The 2021/22 Premier League season is around the corner and for Manchester City, this season is more of the same as they look to dominate Europe. The Cityzens won the 2020/21 Premier League title, reached their first Champions League final and are now looking to win that coveted trophy.

How well did Manchester City do in the 2020/21 Premier League season?

After watching Liverpool outplay, dominate, outdo, and basically just thrive at playing football during the 2019/20 season, Manchester City and Pep Guardiola realised that they had work to do. So they did just that with superb moves for Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake, and Ferran Torres with all three men playing their part over a successful campaign. However, no one made more of an impact than Dias as the Portuguese center-back, shockingly, fit perfectly in the club’s system.

It saw Pep Guardiola and Manchester City play covidball to perfection as they continued their stranglehold on the English top tier with Ruben Dias and John Stones as their defensive bedrock. That was a combination few saw coming but it worked because they finished 12 points clear of second place, lifted another Premier League title and reached a Champions League final along the way. 27 Wins, 5 Draws, and 6 Losses meant that it was far from smooth sailing, yet come to the end of the season and City had their trophy.

And yet again, their numbers tell a rather lovely story. Offensively, they finished as the league’s highest goals scorer [83 (10 more than the second-highest side)], had the highest xG per 90 (1.93), the best assists per 90 minutes (1.34), the third highest key passes completed (439), the most touches overall (30525), and the second best non-penalty xG or npxG (66.6). Defensively is where the Dias impression arrives and it’s a measured difference as compared to their previous season tally.

City had the best defensive record this year (32-35). They combined that with the best PSxG (Post-Shot Expected Goals) (32.3– 33.4), had the second fewest errors leading to a goal/shot (4– 19), the best successful pressure percentage (32.1%– 31.7%), committed the second fewest fouls (365– 361), had the best clean sheet percentage (50.0%– 44.7%) and they did that all the while averaging the best Points Per Match (2.26– 2.13).

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Improvements they’ve made so far

Last summer saw Manchester City lose David “El Mago” Silva and Leroy Sane but this summer has seen the club part ways with Sergio Aguero and Eric Garica. While the latter did play his share during the 2020/21 season, it’s Aguero who City missed the most especially when they struggled for goals. But Pep Guardiola’s false nine formation has worked, to a certain extent, last season with the club getting to their first Champions League final.

Yet, when the moment arrived and they needed that goal-scoring spark, nobody could provide it for them. It’s probably why City are chasing Harry Kane with an insane €150 million price tag. However, with Jack Grealish’s €100 million move already over the line, it does complicate any deal for Kane especially given the current financial climate. Yet, that hasn’t stopped them with the forward not the only reinforcement on their shortlist.

Reports have indicated that City are looking to sell a few players in order to facilitate what they need to become an all-conquering giant in not just England but Europe as well. That may include moves for Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and a few other key pieces with more than a few suitors available. However, given the security and the depth that the players have provided, it looks that Manchester City are willing to sacrifice security for glory.

A tough ask by any means and yet a feat that if any club in the world is capable of handling, it's the blue side of Manchester. Even then, having reached, and lost, their first Champions League final, the question now remains, will they get another try? Another chance at lifting that coveted trophy? Or was that as high as they go? We'll see.

How well could Manchester City do in the 2021/22 Premier League season?

Predictions, Predictions and Predictions. Somehow, even without Harry Kane, Manchester City would not not be a favourite to lift yet another Premier League title which is probably exactly what every other side in the league is thinking. Especially with the arrival of Jack Grealish and the potential looming threat of Kane's presence in the squad, which team in England would even want to compete for anything in the 2021/22 season or the 2022/23 season or the 2023/24 season or the 2024/25 and you get the point.

It looks like Sheikh Mansour’s plan to turn Manchester City into a world-dominating superclub may have born excellent fruit but the club have miles to go yet because while they might be outright favourites for the Premier League title, the Champions League crown is another story altogether. And that's what they really want. The Premier League floor for this side is a top four berth and that's even with an injury crisis decimating the team, because once again, this is Manchester City.

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