Being a Manchester football fan is all about supporting either City or United. But regardless of whether you live on the red or blue side of the city, you’ll have to agree that this year’s Premier League title race looks like it’s going to be a cracker.
After all, Manchester City are looking good to retain their title, although Manchester United are looking the best that they’ve been in nearly a decade. Plus with the massive return of Cristiano Ronaldo, it’s shaping up to be a thrilling contest.
So will City or United win the title? It’s always a good idea to see what the bookies are thinking, and if you compare bookmakers you’ll find that most of them still have City as the favourites. What’s surprising is that Man United are in fourth place, behind the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool. So have the bookies got it wrong, or are Red Devils fans looking at another year of disappointment?
City aiming to retain the title
Losing to Tottenham may not have been the start to the season that Pep Guardiola was dreaming of, but Man City aren’t a team to let such things get them down. After all, City made a fairly ropey start to their Premier League campaign last time around, but still claimed the title with plenty of games to go.
City’s failure to bag a big name striker in the summer will mean that the club will once again face another year without a dedicated out and out striker. Not that City are exactly short of goalscoring power as was seen in their recent 5-0 demolition of Arsenal.
Guardiola will once again be relying on creative players like Kevin De Bruyne staying fit while continuing to nurture young talent like Phil Foden and Ferran Torres. The focus will certainly be on whether Jack Grealish does enough to earn his £100 million price tag, but the early indications are that he’ll fit in perfectly at the Etihad.
Why it’s Man United’s best chance in years
Last season saw a marked improvement in United’s fortunes and it looked for a while as though people would cut manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer some slack. This has been compounded by one of the best summer transfer periods United have seen in recent years.
Unsurprisingly much of this is going to be taken up by how Ronaldo fares back at Old Trafford. At 36-years of age, he clearly is lacking some of the dynamite pace that he had in the past, but no one is going to deny the exceptional skill and determination that the Portuguese striker possesses.
Ultimately it’s Ronaldo’s work ethic and winning mentality that will probably have the biggest impact on the United team. While it’s going to be interesting to see whether Ronaldo or the other veteran striker – Edinson Cavani – gets to start, Ronaldo’s return can only be a good thing.
However, this is probably all a distraction from the two slightly more important signings that Man United have made this summer. The addition of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid was an essential move in shoring up the United central defence. Plus the arrival of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund would have probably been one of the signings of the summer had Ronaldo and Messi not decided to go walkabout.
All of which has meant that Solskjaer has made several massive additions to some very important parts of the team. This means that if Man Utd fail to win the Premier League title this time around, they could soon be looking for a new manager.