Premier League predictions: Top four

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Second Place: Manchester City

Manchester City finished last season well behind rivals Manchester United, failing to reach the euphoric  heights of the previous season in which they won the title in the most dramatic of fashions.

The lack of silverware last season however cost Manager Roberto Mancini his job sending a message to all his potential successors that failure is not acceptable. 

In steps the Chilean, Manuel Pellegrini. He was the unfortunate man to lead Real Madrid to a record breaking points total for the club (96), only to be beaten by the brilliance of Pep Guardiola's Barcelona side. He was sacked after only a year in the job.

Make no mistake Pellegrini is an exceptional manager. In 2008 he broke into the big two of Spain by finishing second with Villarreal, who he also led to a Champions League Semi-Final in 2006 only to be eventually knocked out by Arsenal. Given the chance he has the knowledge to make it at the top of the Premier League.

Manchester City have learnt from last season’s failings in the transfer market and have spent heavily on some class talent. Fernandinho, Navas, Jovetic and Negredo are all very talented players who's combined fee's cost around £90 million. Pellegrini's first challenge will be fining a way to integrate these players into the starting 11.

Manchester City have a wealth of talent and probably the best squad in the league, they should do considering the huge amounts of money spent on it. The wealth of talent at City may prove to be their biggest problem. Having lots of fantastic players is great but finding a way to use them all is very difficult. 

They have an abundance of option in attacking areas but have looked sloppy in defence during pre-season. Pellegrini admitted this himself after the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal at the weekend, he said: 'We had problems defending and we will try to improve this week'

'If we buy someone, then ok. But otherwise, we have a good squad. But, yes, we have conceded many goals, we will have to find ways to change this.' 

'You are always concerned when you are 3-0 down but we lost in pre-season. We did not lose three points and that is important. We will be at our best for the Premier League.'

City clearly have the squad depth to win the Title but I feel it will take time for Pellegrini to find the right balance and get the team playing the way he wants. So I can see them falling just short of first place this season. I doubt they will finish the season empty handed however.

Manchester City
Manchester United
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