Manchester City look set to be the team to beat in 2016/17, carrying what is clearly the best Premier League squad in my opinion, now guided by one of the best managers in the world. That does come with one downside though, good luck predicting their best XI! Their depth is now astonishing, let’s take a look at how they could line up for 2016/17!
Honestly they have quality everywhere, and there’s a few spots that seem up for grabs. Starting in defence and it’s the right back slot that I’m most concerned about. Zabaleta is getting on in age and didn’t perform well last season, however his start against Arsenal put him just ahead of Sagna in my eyes. I’m not convinced about either though. On the left and it’s set for Kolarov to battle it out again with Clichy. Again I’m going to avoid both as rotation seems likely, however Kolarov is always a join to own.
The centre back region is one spot City have failed to nail down despite huge money spent. Mangala hasn’t developed as they would have liked, and Otamendi was OK. Kompany is massive for their prospects, but he’s so rarely fit that you can’t rely on him. It’s no surprise then that Guardiola is after Everton’s John Stones, if he comes in then I’ll be locking him in! I’d avoid City’s defence for GW1 unless you’re planning on an early wildcard. UPDATE: After Stones’ arrival I expect to see Mangala leave the club. I’m confident Stones will start, he has at least a month to prove himself before Kompany returns anyway. Guardiola is a massive fan of ball playing centre backs, hence City paid 50 million for him (whether you agree or not)!
In midfield it should be noted that Gundogan will miss at least the first month of the season, so avoid him for now. Expect to see one of Fernando or Fernandinho to fill in his place. Yaya Toure is still good enough to start in midfield, but I don’t see any room for him in front of centre.
Now is where things get interesting. City have 5 players capable of starting in any Premier League team, but only 3 spots to fit them in. De Bruyne is a lock, and when fit Silva is also a lock in my eyes. He could thrive under Guardiola. With those 2 rotating between the central and wide areas, a winger will be required on the other side. Sterling is likely to find his place on the bench this season with the arrival of Sane and Nolito. Aged just 20 Sane may be given time to adjust to the Premier League, thus I reckon Nolito will start out left. Nolito has managed 25 goals and 20 assists in the past 2 La Liga seasons, and that’s from only 65 appearances! Seriously consider him at 9.0. One thing is for sure, they have plenty of creative midfielders!!!
This can only mean good news for our main man Sergio Aguero. I’m surprised to see him at 13.0 and not 12.5, he only managed 6.1 ppg last season and didn’t have the same impact assist wise as he usually does. Nevertheless he still bagged 24 goals in 30 games and is a 30+ goal striker when fit. That may not be all season, but he has clearly the highest scoring potential of any player, thus it’s a HUGE risk to start without him. Last season it paid off, but I’m not willing to take it. He’s a gun.
You’re taking a huge risk in not selecting a City attacker.
Next up we visit the other side of Manchester.