• Johnathan Wright

No Need to Panic for Man City As They Remain Favorites to Win The EPL

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

  • Man City defeat Burnley 5-0 with a hat trick from Mahrez.

The vocabulary of Guardiola is building up from behind, possession, the speed of the ball is more important than the speed of the legs, always play attractive football to keep your fans happy. - Jordia Cruyff (son of Johan Cruyff)

Pep Guardiola has carried this methodology with him throughout his coaching career and has found success with his teams. He won La-Liga as the Barcelona coach, the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich, and the English Premier League (EPL) with his current team, Manchester City. Guardiola had the best EPL season statistically ever with Man City in 2018, accumulating 100 table points.

To start the 20-21 season, Guardiola's Man City team has underperformed. They sit in 8th place on the EPL table, even after today's thrashing of Burnley, 5-0. Many argue Man City's biggest problem is their lack of discipline in defense and too often get caught out on the counter. That may be true, but Man City's real issue is offensive. Man City only has a non-penalty expected goal (xG) per 90 mins of 1.2. This is not terrible, but in Guardiola's previous three seasons with City, he has finished the season with a non-penalty xG of at least 1.95 (1).

Although City is averaging a lower xG to start the season, the data believes that Guardiola's style and team are still favored to win the league over his coaching rivals Jurgen Klopp with Liverpool and Jose Mourinho with Tottenham. Man City has a 48% chance to win the EPL team despite their rough start to the season, Liverpool has the second-highest odds at 22% (2). The Cityzens are also predicted to win the Uefa Champions League with the highest prediction at 22% chance (3). City scored their season-high of goals today with five, as they dominated Burnley. This may be the game City needed to get back into their goal scoring form. In a wide-open Premier League and a slow start from the typical favorites, Man City's attractive brand of football is still predicted to end on top.

"In the end, football always wins." - Dani Alves


1.Doyle, T. (2020, November 12). Liverpool And Manchester City Look Ordinary. Are They? Retrieved November 28, 2020, from https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/liverpool-and-manchester-city-look-ordinary-are-they/
2.Boice, J., Fischer- Baum, R., Wolfe, J., & Silver, N. (2020, November 28). Premier League Predictions. Retrieved November 28, 2020, from https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/soccer-predictions/premier-league/
3. Boice, J., Fischer-Baum, R., Wolfe, J., & Silver, N. (2020, November 28). UEFA Champions League Predictions. Retrieved November 28, 2020, from https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/soccer-predictions/champions-league/

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