2022/23 Premier League Previews | Manchester City, Pep Guardiola and their attempt to overcome the three-peat hump

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2022/23 Premier League Previews - Manchester City

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2022/23 Premier League Previews | Manchester City, Pep Guardiola and their attempt to overcome the three-peat hump

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Siddhant Lazar

08/03/2022

The 2022/23 Premier League season is around the corner and for Manchester City, this season is could see them emulate some of the best clubs in football history with a three-peat. The Cityzens have won two titles in a row but European glory still evades, with them looking to win that coveted trophy.

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

Saying Manchester City did very very well is a slight understatement. Sure they spent most of the season battling Liverpool and some of it battling Chelsea but in the end, Pep Guardiola’s side triumphed. It wasn’t the treble-winning success they’d imagined especially after a semi-final loss in the FA Cup to Liverpool and a semi-final loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League. But as far as Premier League successes go, City thrived and did very well.

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It was helped by the fact that they lost just three games to Crystal Palace and Tottenham (twice) plus had multiple absolutely insanely long unbeaten runs including a 15-game mid-season run. That combined with Liverpool drawing a few games here and there saw City win the league title by 1 point as they finished the season with 29 wins, 6 draws and 3 losses. Plus, their offensive stats saw them finish as amongst the best with the most goals scored (99), the second-best xG per 90 (2.34) with the second-highest xG per 90 (2.34).

Not only that, but they also had the second-best assists per 90 (1.66), the highest key passes (525), the joint second-best goals per shot on target ratio (0.37) and the second-best npxG or non-penalty xG (82.0). Defensively, City were as good as any of Pep Guardiola’s teams have been in the past, perhaps even better as they finished the season with the joint best goals-against record (26).

It could have been even better as their PSxG (Post-Shot Expected Goals) sat at a rather lovely 24.1, which was the best in the league by a good five points although their PSxG+/- (Post-Shot Expected Goals minus goals allowed) was a -1.9. It means that Ederson let in approximately two more goals than he should have but they did make the joint fifth least errors last season (7), committed the second least fouls (373), and had the joint best clean sheet percentage (55.3%) alongside the best successful pressures (32.5%) while also tallying the best Points Per Match (2.45).

Improvements they’ve made so far:

Can he lead Manchester City to great things? © Twitter

Well, Manchester City have lost Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko plus Fernandinho left on a free transfer, which will be big blows. They’re not just key figures for Pep Guardiola but also experienced Premier League players which do place the onus on the new boys. That being said, their new boys are some of the best around as, after decades of playing without a striker, City signed Erling Haaland just before the summer window opened.

A massive €80 odd million outlay on the Norwegian super-starlet and that alone has fans excited, not the fact that Haaland finished his time at Borussia Dortmund with 85 goals and 22 assists in 88 appearances. That’s almost an average of a goal a game and he contributed to 1.22 goals every game which is downright ridiculous numbers. But can he replicate it and can he do it not just on a cold, rainy night at Brentford but while playing in a Pep Guardiola team? That’s the question.

He's not the only new face as Kalvin Philips has also arrived from Leeds United for just under €50 million with the view of filling that Fernandinho gap. It’s a big gig for the former Peacock but given his skill-set and talent, the City team definitely saw something in the Englishman. As if that wasn’t enough, Julian Alvarez, who technically signed in January, has joined the club after finishing out last season on loan at River Plate.

The Argentine is one for the future, at 22, and someone who could potentially replace Sterling out wide although he did thrive for River Plate while playing as a centre-forward. So we’ll see where that goes but as far as improvements they’ve made, City may have hit the nail on the head. At least on paper.

How well could Manchester City do in the 2022/23 Premier League season?

Losing Gabriel Jesus could have been fine had Manchester City not lost a consistent goal-scoring threat like Raheem Sterling to Chelsea but even then, this team is jam-packed with talent. Their new arrivals could most definitely pump things up but in the unlikely case that Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez flop badly, then City could at worst finish in a top four place. But that’s their floor and given the talent Guardiola has at his disposal, it’s an ok enough position. 

Yet if even one of the two forwards clicks, then the Cityzens are a title-challenging side yet again and on course to complete a three-peat although their continental hopes may need a little time.

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