EPL Season Preview: Manchester City

Updated August 11, 2016

Coach: Pep Guardiola

2015/16 Finish: 4

2016/17 Preseason Ranking: 1

Sportify Rating: 1661

2015/16 Wagebill: £194M

Stadium Capacity: 60,000 at Etihad Stadium

Departures: Luke Brattan (Melbourne City, loan); Jack Byrne (Blackburn, loan); Anthony Caceres (Melbourne City, loan); Martin Demichelis (Espanyol, free); Seko Fofana (Udinese); Florian Lejeune (Eibar); Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield, loan); Marlos Moreno (Deportivo La Coruña, loan); Richard Wright (retired)

Arrivals: Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund); Gabriel Jesus (Palmeiras); Aaron Mooy (Melbourne City, free); Marlos Moreno (Atletico Nacional); Nolito (Celta Vigo); Leroy Sane (Schalke); John Stones (Everton); Oleksandr Zinchenko (FK Ufa)

The good: They can attack with the best of them

Minimum 50 shots and 500 minutes played
*Minimum 50 shots and 500 minutes played

City scored a league high 71 goals last campaign on 67.6 xG (3rd). Sergio Aguero finished one goal from the Golden Boot, despite playing eight fewer games than Harry Kane. Youngster Kelechi Iheanacho impressed scoring eight in just seven starts (though he made 19 appearances off the bench). David Silva did what David Silva does and tallied 11 assists. Newcomer Kevin De Bruyne chipped in with seven goals and nine assists. With Nolito joining and Pep Guardiola at the helm, it’s unlikely the offensive production goes anywhere; granted, it was Barcelona and then Bayern Munich, but no Guardiola led side has ever had a domestic campaign with fewer than 80 goals.

The bad: Good teams put them to the sword

City took care of business against teams they were expected to beat last year. Against teams placed 10 and lower, they took 56 out of 66 possible points. They grew their goal difference in these games as well, beating Villa 4-0, Newcastle 6-1, Sunderland 4-1, Bournemouth 5-1 and 4-0, Crystal Palace 4-0, West Brom 3-0 and Chelsea 3-0 twice. The problem with City’s season was at the other end of the table. Against teams in the top nine, they took a putrid 10 of a possible 48 points. In 16 games against teams in the top nine, they conceded 32 goals – an average of two goals per game! A fit Vincent Kompany certainly would have helped, but City have done very little to help a defense that was wrecked by teams with attacking firepower last year.

Sergio Agüero celebrates with Nolito after scoring the opening goal to 0-1 during the Pre-Season Friendly between Arsenal and Manchester City at Ullevi on August 7, 2016. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images)
Sergio Agüero celebrates with Nolito after scoring the opening goal to 0-1 during the Pre-Season Friendly between Arsenal and Manchester City on August 7, 2016. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images)