Welcome to the official Premier League preview!
The 2020/2021 season kicks off this weekend and while Manchester City won’t debut until the 21st of September, this week we will preview all four position groups. GK, defenders, midfielders and forwards. We will look at three areas, beginning with strengths and weaknesses. Then, move in to positional battles, to hopefully gain a holistic view at the squad as they enter Pep Guardiola’s fifth season in charge.
Catch up and read part one, Goal Keepers, HERE
Part two, defenders HERE
Part three, midfielders HERE
Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and new boy, Ferran Torres.
Speed. Other than Aguero, this group has speed and agility for days. Starting with our new recruit. Torres, really impressed in the international break with Spain and looks like a real difference maker. Quick, with good vision and a knack for goal he can be a real change of pace player.
Sterling and Mahrez are more known quantities and have been excellent most of the time. From receiving the ball and cutting in to score or assist, to dribbling and winning with pace and skill, these two do it all.
Our strikers, Aguero and Jesus are pretty different players. Aguero a more traditional back to goal #9, while Jesus is a more dynamic player who some would say played better when sent out wide. Aguero is our poacher who can run in behind and has done so for a decade now. Both have shown to be good in front of goal, despite Jesus start, he finished the season well in replacement of Aguero. Though some of that was out wide, Jesus has shown his dynamism and it should come in handy as he rotates with Aguero.
It starts with an over dependence on iso ball. A term that means there is to much one v one battles and while Sterling and especially Mahrez are guilty of it, it is not Guardiola’s preferred style. Losing them does more harm as the defense is left prime for a counter attack and as shown in the defenders preview our back line is not adept for it. It’s a two pronged loss.
One other one is Injuries. A nimble group, Aguero, Sterling and Jesus missed time last season and with an even more improved top 6 in the league every match will be crucial. City can not afford those injuries again.
Aguero should slide right back in to starting alongside with Sterling. The other spot might actually go to Ferran Torres, as Mahrez will be limited since he did contract COVID-19 and probably won’t feature from the start. Jesus could get the nod too, out wide. It will come down to performances in training.
Thoughts on your Manchester City forwards?