Former Chelsea and Liverpool right-back Glen Johnson believes Manchester City’s failure to get a new number nine could cost them the Premier League title this season.
Johnson predicted Chelsea would win the league at the beginning of the campaign and, while he is less convinced about that happening after seeing City’s recent performances, he doesn’t feel the Manchester club will finish top of the table:
“I’ve always backed Chelsea for the title this season and I’m not going to change that mindset so early on in the season. It’s not that I believe that Chelsea are going to completely dominate the league this season because they, as well as Manchester City and Liverpool, are three fantastic teams. Earlier on in the season, I believed that Chelsea had more going in their favour, but then you watch that second-half between Liverpool and Manchester City then you wouldn’t be surprised if any of those two sides won the Premier League either.”
“Manchester City are obviously great but sometimes I watch them and they’re missing a gap in that number nine role. Sometimes their players are so good that it allows them to get away with it, but in the big games that missing forward could mean all the difference. However, City’s squad is so strong that they can deal with a lot of situations that are thrown their way.”
Most pundits have been rolling out the same argument about Pep Guardiola’s side in recent weeks. However, despite the lack of a prolific out-and-out striker, they have still scored 14 goals in their seven league matches so far.
The Citizens have now played their two most difficult away fixtures this season and collected four points. While it could well be a close battle for the title, it is hard to see why anyone wouldn’t back the reigning champions as favourites, especially after witnessing their displays in recent games.