Manchester City started their quest to re-capture the Premier League title with a dominant display against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night.
Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus got Pep Guardiola’s side off to the perfect start and one that is needed if they are to have any chance of winning the league once again.
Indeed, although Liverpool have already started off quickly with two wins from two, data produced by Betway shows that title contenders need to have a fast start to the campaign if they are to have any chance of obtaining the silverware.
The last two decades or so have seen a trend take shape whereby teams have had to be solid over the course of the season, rather than being able to have the reassurance that a blip is not necessarily costly.
Sir Alex Ferguson noticed this trend before anybody else, as he revealed the rise of Chelsea meant things had to change.
“If you go back 12 years, our norm was to start the season slowly and build up to the second half,” Ferguson said. “That changed when Chelsea won the title two years in a row. We had to change our pre-season approach.”
The data backed up his thoughts, as the 1992-2003 period saw seven different teams lead the Premier League after 10 games, but only 27% of the time would they go on to win it. Using the same factors, the 2003-2020 seasons saw just five different teams lead the division over the period, whilst the leader would go on to win the division on 59%.
In addition, the total average number of points needed after 10 games has increased, although it is hardly a surprise given the competition within the Premier League now. 20.8 points used to be needed, however 24 on average is now the benchmark (an extra win in essence).
Pep Guardiola’s side are no strangers to fast starts, though, as they registered 28 and 26 points after 10 games of 2017/18 and 2018/19, as they went on to win both league campaigns and the Spaniard will be demanding the same from his current group of players.
As mentioned, the win against Wolves was a great start, although the Citizens will need to continue in their winning ways if they want to challenge Liverpool once again.
With their next nine matches in the top-flight consisting of Leicester City (home), Leeds United (away), Arsenal (home), West Ham United (away), Sheffield United (away), Liverpool (home), Tottenham Hotspur (away), Burnley (home) and Fulham (home), there will be a degree of confidence that they can remain within touching distance at the top – if they are not already occupying top-spot.
There is no doubt that the game against Liverpool could be crucial, though.