Manchester City 2015-16 season preview: Sky Blues aim to regain their league crown
Picture source: Jonny Walsh (VAVEL) - Sergio Aguero and summer signing Raheem Sterling will be hoping for an excellent campaign together

Manchester City 2015-16 season preview: Sky Blues aim to regain their league crown

After a topsy-turvy campaign in the 2014-15 campaign, Manuel Pellegrini's men will be hoping for a more competitive title charge this time around - as they continue to improve their squad depth.

Football365Mo
Mosope Ominiyi

Last season was far from spectacular from the sky Blues, and they'll be desperate to regain their Premier League crown as well as improving all-round in European competition too, as they continue to strengthen their ranks. 

Manuel Pellegrini has not won any silverware for two seasons now, and with a club like City, the assumption is that you should be winning at least a trophy every year. Admittedly, the Chilean has not done a bad job of proceedings at the Ethiad during his tenure thus far, but his tactics seem to be getting all the more predictable and City are still not truly seen as one of the best clubs in world football.

Time to silence City's critics 

It's his job to change that, and to be fair to him, he's gradually getting there. Signing the 2014 Golden Boy, is a good way to start. £49million pounds is granted, an eyewatering sum of money to splash on a 20-year-old, but Raheem Sterling is undoubtedly one of the best in his position and critics are forgetting that City are not only paying for his transfer valuation now, but the sheer potential for which he has to succeed in the not-too-distant future. 

The fact he left Liverpool, in search of silverware at one of their rivals, is an encouraging sign for City supporters. Why? Well, it proves they're able to attract some of the best and biggest names to their side - even though many have suggested they are not prestigious enough to pull world-class players in. 

Squad continues to improve in quality

David Silva and Sergio Agüero in particular, spring to mind here. Silva is one of the best creative midfielders in the league, and continues to get better every term - last season was his best with the Citizens, where he tallied twelve goals and 14 assists. Sergio meanwhile, is the best striker in the league. Arguably, the best in the world. 

It's all well and good watching this formidable duo at work, hassling opposition defences for fun and making football look easy. But, the rest of the team struggled for consistency last season, it must be said. Club captain Vincent Kompany, was a shadow of his former self. Troublesome injuries plus the lack of stability with a centre-back pairing meant the towering Belgian looked a different player at times - was making rash challenges and mistakes-galore. 

Yaya Touré was another player who looked poor at times too. The powerhouse Ivorian, who is known for his trademark galloping runs through midfield, was limp and his ball retention was poor as he seemed to wane and looked vulnerable. He showed flashes of his individual brillance, but they were too few and far between. 

In-fact, the only few players who were actually encouraging apart from Silva and Agüero would have to be Fernandinho and Martin Demichelis; funnily enough two of the most under-rated stars within the squad itself. Fernndinho was more-than-solid in midfield as he often overshadowed Touré's presence in the middle of the park, whilst Demichelis, who initially struggled during his first season in English football, looked exactly like the seasoned veteran he is - taking command from the back and making important interceptions despite his lack of pace. 

Joe Hart too, deserves an honourable mention. A goalkeeper does not win the Golden Glove for performing badly throughout the season, and the experienced Englishman often had to make fantastic saves to deny opposing attackers through on-goal. His most memorable save though, was the acrobatic parry over the bar to deny Swansea centre-back Federico Fernandez in the latter stages of the season.

Prediction

Obviously, it'd be far-fetched to expect City to win the league. However, stranger things have happened. After all, Chelsea have not upgraded much from last season, which could close the gap at the top between their respective rivals. Also, Pellegrini's men have strengthened - as well as their noisy neighbours Manchester United too.

The reality being, City finished second and United fourth last term. Of course, everyone wants to improve but it cannot always be the case. Louis van Gaal is still tinkering over his strongest starting eleven, and with all the additions in mind, he will not find that perfect balance immediately. City's defence is their weakest component, and it is gradually starting to strengthen. Many critics have already suggested this could be Arsenal's year to clinch the title, but it seems as though they've been saying that for a while now.

If the sky Blues can get everyone fit, and firing on all cylinders, there is no limit to the possibilites at hand. Premier League glory is obviously good, but any sort of silverware would be valued - as well as a deep run in the Champions League, as long as they do not get Barcelona or Real Madrid early on.

They have the quality, it's time to apply that on the big stage and assert their credentials as the top team they've been showing glimpses of over the past few seasons.

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