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Who could topple high flying City?


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Antonio Conte admits it will be 'difficult'. Jose Mourinho maintains 'there is plenty of time'. Mauricio Pochettino says he is 'ambitous'. Three different views of three managers who all still maintain title aspirations, however, will any of them be good enough to overturn City's impressive start?

Whilst City have been almost flawless so far this term, their closest challengers have all had problems of their own. Close neighbours Man United have had problems, with discontent over style and rumours of behind the scenes frustrations that have seen United drop points away at Huddersfield and Chelsea, as well as a disappointing performance at Anfield. 

Champions Chelsea had a turbulent start to the season - losing at home to Burnley before a surprising defeat to Crystal Palace. They have some impressive wins behind them too though and Alvaro Morata looks as sharp as a tack. 

Perhaps the most impressive team this term bar City have been Spurs who have been looking to overturn their Wembley curse. Spurs find themselves off the pace by 8 points however, with Harry Kane scoring for fun and a defence that has only conceded 7 goals so far, life at Spurs has never been sweeter. Their points tally needs addressing though. 

Guardiola's men have already won 10 games this season, scoring 38 goals, 15 more than 2nd place Manchester United. References will be made to last season where their early start quickly tailed off and left City finishing 15 points off eventual winners, Chelsea.

Talk has also been of City's poor winter performances in recent years. City last season dropped 9 points from a possible 18 in December, with worrying performances against Leicester and Liverpool and were hammered by Everton in early January. Pep Guardiola however insists the mentality of the team is now stronger than ever.

The question remains though is Mourinho still the second season master?

Whilst City continue to dominate, United and Mourinho still believe they can chase own their city neighbours. Whilst recent performances suggest otherwise, it must be pointed out that Mourinho's record during his second season at clubs is nothing sort of superb. 

At Porto, his final season resulted in a treble, including a famous Champions League win whilst both times at Chelsea his second season resulted in winning the Premier League.

Mourinho also beat Guardiola to the title during his second season at Real Madrid whilst guiding Inter to a treble in his second term there - a failure to win the league this season would be the first time in his career that his second season has ended without a title.

But can Conte work his magic again?

Chelsea eased to the title last season however it must be remembered they started the season, like this season, in poor fashion.

Conte's men find themselves 9 points adrift of City, a similar deficit (8 points) to what they overturned over City last season.

Rumour's surrounding Conte's future have been rife over the last week however a 1-0 win over United last Sunday could bring refound confidence for the team that took the Premier League by storm last season.

It is difficult to see anyone matching City - even at this stage an 8 point lead is very comfortable and it would be tough to see the blues losing that. It would also require a pretty much flawless performance from rivals.

It would be difficult to see Chelsea matching their 14 successive wins last season and injury and form issues at United could end their bid. Spurs are likely to continue applying pressure, however, their records in big games and heavy reliance on Harry Kane may see them struggle, as they demonstrated with a recent loss at Old Trafford. It is difficult to see any of these challengers getting to City. 

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