Although Manchester City still kept more clean sheets than any other team in the Premier League last season, the form of captain Vincent Kompany seemed to dip significantly in comparison to their title-winning campaign previous.
Kompany’s distribution was sometimes disappointing, he got caught pressing the ball too high up the pitch and therefore left space in behind and even lost more than his fair share of headed duels.
Roberto Mancini’s tinkering between formations would have had an impact, while there were certainly lots of chopping and changing in terms of who was picked, especially in the early part of the season.
However, in the victory against Manchester United, there were clear glimpses that Kompany was back close to the level that he consistently performed to when Man City were crowned champions in 2011/12.
His harassing of Wayne Rooney was particularly noteworthy, while he made some telling interceptions and dominated in the air.
The impressiveness of Man City’s display has caused them to shorten from 12/5 to 9/5 to win the Premier League this season and their upcoming fixtures are also more than winnable.
Of their next six, Everton and Norwich visit the Etihad, while they face Aston Villa, West Ham and Sunderland away.
The stand-out tough game comes away to Chelsea, where it will be interesting to see if Man City cope as well against a team playing a world class number 10 and runners that like to get beyond him.
Neither Yaya Toure or Fernandinho are naturally defensive midfielders and space can be found behind them, which is where Oscar, Juan Mata or whoever plays in this position for Chelsea could exploit them.
With Chelsea 11/5 second favourites to win the Premier League, this match could hold a bigger sway than the Manchester derby as to which team will lift the title at the end of the season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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