With the new Premier League season almost upon us, the early favourites for the title are Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s team are best priced 7/4 with a number of bookmakers, to be Premier League champions in 2017/18. After a disappointing tbird place finish last season, Guardiola has looked to improve his team during the summer transfer window.
One area that City struggled in last term was defence and Guardiola has looked to reinforce his back line with a number of acquisitions. Full-backs Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker and Danilo have all been signed, along with new keeper Ederson.
However, making a welcome return to the team has been City’s inspirational captain Vincent Kompany. The Belgian international has started all the preseason friendlies and if he can stay injury free will have a major influence on the Citizens title ambitions.
Looking at Man City’s last two league campaigns, where they finished third and fourth, Kompany only managed a total of 23 Premier League starts. The reason behind this low turn out can be attributed to his terrible injury record. Last season saw the Belgian defender suffer three different leg injuries, to leg, groin and knee, causing him to miss 22 games. In 2015/16, Kompany could only start 13 Premier League games, with calf and groin injuries causing him to miss a vast amount of matches.
In City’s more successful seasons Vincent played a much higher proportion of games. In the title winning teams of 2011/12 and 2013/14, Kompany made 31 and 28 Premier League starts for the club respectively. In recognition of his performances, Kompany was named in defence in the ‘PFA Team of the Year’ on both occasions.
After a successful preseason where City won three out of four games, Kompany has managed to come through unscathed. Guardiola will be hoping that his experienced leader will be the talismanic figure of previous seasons this time around. With the Citizens attacking talents not in question, a big season is needed from Vincent Kompany alongside the raw talent that is John Stones and inconsistent Argentine Nicolas Otamendi. If the big Belgian can keep fit and injury free, he increase any probability of City having a successful season and a third Premier League title could be destined for the Etihad.