The severity of the injury to Matija Nastasic’s ankle sustained against Sunderland in the Asia Cup is still unknown, but reports coming out of Eastlands suggest the rock-solid Serb could miss the start of the season.
Following Kolo Toure’s departure for Liverpool, Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping senior centre-backs Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott can stay fit as City launch their campaign to regain the Premier League title after surrendering it so feebly last season.
At 9/4 the Sky Blues are a decent price to top the pile this season as the squad is stronger than ever and the arrival of Pellegrini will add balance to City’s play after the often bewildering tactics and attitude displayed by Roberto Mancini last term.
The former Real Madrid and Malaga supremo has been joined at the club by two of La Liga’s most prolific attackers in the form of 25-goal Alvaro Negredo and lightning winger Jesus Navas, and the £30 million payed to Shakhtar Donetsk for Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho speaks for itself.
Montenegrin forward Stevan Jovetic turned down regular first-team football at Arsenal to compete for a striking berth at City, which indicates how far behind the favourites Arsene Wenger’s fledgling squad has fallen.
Despite these gains City’s Chilean boss knows that defence is an area that requires strengthening and will be looking to spend big on cover for influential but injury-prone Captain Kompany whether or not Nastasic’s injury is as bad as it seemed.
If Pellegrini can add a quality central defender and a utility full-back to his impressive roster then City can bridge the gap to neighbours United and also see off Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea as Roman Abramovich prepares for financial fair play by reigning in spending.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date