Hope is in the air! The new Premier League Season kicks off today and I have some very specific predictions for Manchester City's Premier League Season.
1 Riyad Mahrez will go over 20 goals/assists.
I have a good feeling about this one. Riyad Mahrez will need to be even better than last season’s nine goals and six assists. I know this number is ambitious and Mahrez is the ISO king, but he has locked down the right side of the field (UCL Final not standing) and will continue to do so.
His xG/xA number (xg explainer) should jump after a small dip last season as his average combined number is 16.5 and last season he was hitting under that mark at 6.2 in xG and 6 in xA. That means he may have been a tad unlucky or had some bad breaks so with a full offseason under his belt he should bounce back strongly. (h/t Understat)
2 Jack Grealish will start 30+ Premier League Games.
City’s new talisman has arrived. He will need to play like it to justify his price. The star player will be given a great chance to stretch his legs and get acclimated with the club as Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne miss with extended time. That gives him at least a month of being counted on to start and be a difference maker.
That combined with hopefully less fouls against him (he was most fouled player last season) as City plays the ball fast could help him stay healthy and on his feet all season. He had 26 apps for Villa, he should eclipse that. That should equal many starts in PL and UCL play. His versatility is the last piece of the puzzle. He can play false 9, as a winger, the 8, a 10 and even as a defensive midfielder in a pinch.
3 Benjamin Mendy will have a John Stones like renaissance.
This one may be the least probable, but I believe in Mendy. He has looked good in pre season and in the Community Shield so he should contend for that left back spot against Oleks Zinchenko.
Obviously, injuries will be the key, but he finally had a full offseason with holiday that should have rejuvenated him to be honest. Mendy can and should be our day in and day out starter. That’s why he was bought for as much as he did.
I hope I’m right.
That will do it, what are your very specific predictions for this team?