Pundit drops Man City title verdict after picking out three men who’ve dropped the level

Ciaran McCarthy
Matheus Nunes, Pep Guardiola, Manchester City, October 2023
Matheus Nunes receiving instructions from Pep Guardiola

Gabby Agbonlahor still believes Manchester City are “favourites to win the league” despite not having “looked as good in midfield” with the likes of Mateo Kovacic, Matheus Nunes and Kalvin Phillips.

City dropped to third in the Premier League after they were beaten 1-0 by Arsenal in their last game on October 8. After the Citizens took six points off their title rivals last season and won the title by five points, that could be a very significant loss.

That was their second loss of the season in the league, too, after Wolves stunned them the game prior.

City are also hampered by injuries, which hasn’t helped their cause. That a number of their best players are currently sidelined is the reason they’ve struggled over the past couple of weeks, according to Agbonlahor.

“When you look at it, everyone’s talking about Man United’s injury problems at the moment. But Man City have got those problems too,” he told Football Insider.

“Bernardo Silva, [John] Stones, [Kevin] De Bruyne – they are three guaranteed starters in the best side.”

Those injuries, particularly to Silva and De Bruyne, have led to players occupying the midfield that Agbonlahor feels have dropped its level.

“They just haven’t looked as good in midfield with the likes of Kovacic, Matheus Nunes and Kalvin Phillips coming in,” Agbonlahor added.

“You can add Rodri’s suspension into that as well.”

As such, Agbonlahor feels that when the starters are back in contention, City will be a stronger side, and they’ll use that momentum on their way to winning the title.

“Once they get two of those four players back, I think they’ll be back to normal. I still think Man City are favourites to win the league,” he said.

However, City do have more to contend with at the moment than they did last season. At this point in the last campaign, only Arsenal were above them.

Now, the Gunners are joined by their north London rivals in having surpassed City, with Tottenham currently top of the table.

If Spurs can keep up their form, City will have a harder run to the title than last season, potentially having two sides to contend with to the end instead of just one.

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