Small But High Quality – How Pep Guardiola’s Squad Is Primed For Title Charge

24 Jan

This is a guest post from Dylan Walsh.

After a disappointing draw away to Southampton, in which City controlled possession but failed to make the most of their chances, the Blues’ lead at the top of the Premier League table has been cut to nine points. Liverpool still have a game in hand, meaning they could reduce the gap to six points – but City fans should still be confident of their chances heading into the final few months of the season. Check out the OlyBet website for the latest odds and offers across City, football, sports and gaming.

Pep Guardiola has assembled a squad packed full of high-class talent, players who can come in and make an immediate impact. Many talk about City’s squad depth as the deciding factor in any title race – but the reality is that City have a smaller group of players to choose from than the likes of Liverpool or Chelsea. The different is that every single players in Guardiola’s squad is capable of coming in, fitting the system and stamping their authority on matches.

There is not the drop off seen elsewhere. Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte may be the first-choice centre-back pairing currently, but should they both suffer injuries, John Stones is next in line and has shown his undoubted quality in recent years, and Nathan Ake is hardly a poor option to support. Likewise in midfield, Ilkay Gundogan has spent the past few games on the bench, but is one of Guardiola’s favourites and would start for any other team in the league.

In attacking areas, Riyad Mahrez’s return from the Africa Cup of Nations will provide another option for Guardiola, who has been able to leave Gabriel Jesus on the bench recently. City’s options at the top end of the field include Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling, not to mention the possibility of pushing Kevin De Bruyne or Bernardo Silva further forwards – or even look at the precocious talent of Cole Palmer.

So whilst those outside Manchester may claim that Guardiola has unlimited funds to spend on players and has built a deep squad to cope for any circumstance, the day-to-day reality at the Etihad Stadium is that City’s squad is small of quantity but absolutely packed full of quality, and it’s that extra cutting edge which should see the Blues storm home to retain the Premier League title.


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