Is an unbeaten campaign feasible for Manchester City?
They’ve been next to unplayable all season; blowing opponents out of the water with relative ease. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City continues to lead the pack in England’s top division without breaking a sweat. Unbeaten in their first 12 League games and winning 11 of those, can the Citizens continue their unbeaten run till the curtain falls on the season?
Last season, Manchester City started in breathtaking fashion, thumping through their first six League games without dropping points. But when they lost their first game to Tottenham, things never remained the same. By the time they played their 12th League game, they had already drawn twice and lost once with the cracks becoming evident and a trophyless campaign threatening.
The story has been a lot different this campaign. City lead the Premier League by eight points. The fact that they’re top of the league aside, Manchester City have so far been unscathed, dropping only a couple of points. It’s led to talks in some quarters that the Etihad outfit could become the second Premier League team in history to go unbeaten through a 38-game season.
Former Arsenal player, Martin Keown, who was an integral part of the Gunners 2003-04 invincible team, told the BBC:
"I don't see anyone who is going to stop them. They could get complacent but Guardiola will stop at nothing. He is a serial winner who didn't win anything last year, so he wants to win everything this year."
16 consecutive wins in all competitions, 34 points from their first 12 league matches, Manchester City is indeed enjoying her best start to a Premier League season. Realistically, however, can they end the season invincible? If the answer is NO, what and who could stop City?
Injuries could be a bane for Manchester City. So far so good, they’ve come off unscarred despite injuries to a few key players.
Vincent Kompany only just made his return after a couple of months unable to compete due to a calf problem. Big-money signing, Benjamin Mendy, remains out of contention. The Frenchman is out until next year (April). Sergio Aguero isn’t 100% after fainting at halftime in an international friendly against Nigeria.
Raheem Sterling (back) and Fabian Delph (calf) are injury complaints City do not want at this time. For now, Manchester City looks to have any impending crisis under lock due to their enviable squad depth, so long as it doesn’t get worse.
The Citizens are flying high and yes, putting some daylight between them and their neighbours. Certainly, it’ll take an injury crisis to stop Pep Guardiola’s group.
Welcome to the Premier League. A division where the most unlikely of results are reasonably feasible. Take for instance Huddersfield Town beating Manchester United. Such an outcome points to the fact that after 12 games, talks of an unbeaten run by Manchester City is a little far-fetched. Nevertheless, City’s intimidating form cannot go overlooked.
Manchester City has shown they can perform in the big games. They brushed aside champions, Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and made light work of Arsenal at the Etihad. Still, tougher fixtures lie in wait for the Blues as the busy December period draws closer.
At the rate Guardiola’s men are rampaging through the division, they’ll require a team with sheer resilience and panache to stop them and hand them their first defeat. They play Manchester United on 10th December and then Spurs on the 16th. We’ll return for a discussion of an invincible campaign if they remain unbeaten by then.