Can Manchester City Be The Next “Invincibles”? If Not, Are Manchester United Good Enough To Catch Them?

Posted: October 30, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Religion, The FA Cup
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Back in 2003, when stubborn old man was quite a good manager, his team managed to go through an entire season without losing a single game in the Premier League.

Back in the 1880’s, when stubborn old man was just a small garçon in Strasbourg, Preston North End managed to go through an entire season without losing a single game in both the league and the cup. In doing so they were, and still are, the only one of the seven double winners to achieve the task without losing a game. They also won the cup without conceding a goal.

There is a slight chance that the Arsenal achievement could be matched by Manchester City this season. There is a much slighter chance that the Preston achievement could be matched but City’s defence probably isn’t good enough for that one.

The toughest game City have faced so far was the Chelsea match at Stamford Bridge. As the reigning champions this was one where a loss would have been no great surprise. They came through, however, with flying colours and dominated the game despite the winning scoreline only being 0-1.

They may face tougher games and, indeed, they may even lose easier games, who knows? But this team, assembled by Pep Guardiola, certainly seems to have the capabilities to go the season undefeated.

The telling factor is that they are winning games, either reasonably comfortably or very comfortably, whilst being without Vincent Kompany and, occasionally, Sergio Agüero.

In the past, the absence of either of these players was usually the start of an inconsistent streak of form during which games that should have been won were drawn and games that should have been drawn were lost.

This time around though, they are winning with and without those two players. In fact, Kevin De Bruyne is, at present, arguably their most valuable player and the one whose absence would negatively affect results the most.

So barring a major injury crisis there does not appear to be any reason why City could not achieve the feat of remaining undefeated throughout the season.

Even so it is still a huge ask so another question springs to mind. If City are to have a blip at some stage, are Manchester United suitably equipped to catch them?

The gap between the two currently stands at five points with City having a superior goal difference which, effectively, stretches the gap to six. This obviously means that City would have to lose two games, which looks unlikely at the moment, and United would have to win two corresponding games.

We don’t see a problem with United winning if City were to lose occasionally, it just seems too much of a stretch to expect City to lose enough games and United to win enough games to make a difference over the course of a season.

Having said that, bigger leads than City’s have been lost before and the crunch period in the Premier League usually begins after Christmas.

The other factor is the games against each other. If the derby games are drawn or City win one of them, then there is no change to the situation. However, if United were to win them both, which may he asking quite a lot, then the current gap would be wiped out immediately.

The simple fact of the matter is that City need to slip up. If they don’t then nobody can catch them, never mind United.

If they do slip up, United may well be better equipped to take advantage by the time the January transfer window ends. At present, they still seem a little lightweight and, whilst still picking up points, appear to have struggled more without the likes of Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Eric Bailly.

They will also have Zlatan Ibrahimović back which will give them another option so, assuming they make at least one signing in the next window we can see them giving City a run for their money.

This assumes, as we said earlier, that City have a bad spell which Pep Guardiola will be doing his utmost to avoid.

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