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 By Simon Curtis

Manchester City can fix defence without dropping Vincent Kompany

The ESPN FC crew give their opinions on who will win the Premier League this season, and while predictions vary, everyone agrees that Chelsea will be the side to beat.

The Manchester Evening News offered its readers a choice of six different centre-back combinations for the start of the season in an online poll Monday. It is perhaps a sign of the times that the sixth option might well be worth dwelling on longest after a strangely unfulfilling preseason for the club.

That sixth option involves the pairing of steady Martin Demichelis with young gun Jason Denayer and there's something to be said about it. Vincent Kompany's injury-ravaged 2014-15 season does not tell...

 By Simon Curtis

Manuel Pellegrini in final preparation to get Man City on the title trail

Manuel Pellegrini insists Raheem Sterling will justify his £49 million fee this season at Manchester City.

Although it would seem Manchester City's spending has not yet finished this summer, manager Manuel Pellegrini will be closing in on his chosen side for the season opener at West Brom on Monday Aug. 10

Being once again selected for the first Monday night fixture of the season means the Blues will start from the very first game of the campaign playing catch-up on the rest of the runners and riders. While the psychological effect after one game can only be minimal, City will already know they need...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Manchester City, Manchester United trying to beat Chelsea to John Stones?

ESPN FC's Dan Thomas and Craig Burley discuss the recent reports that Everton have turned down another Chelsea bid for John Stones.

As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to all the latest rumours and gossip. See all the latest deals here.

TOP STORY: City, United join Chelsea chase for Stones

With sources telling ESPN FC on Wednesday that Chelsea have seen an improved bid of £26 million for John Stones rejected by Everton, the Mirror reports that Manchester City are ready to join the race for the 21-year-old centre-back.

While City would reportedly rather let Stones have another full season...

 By David Mooney

Man City Premier League campaign will hinge on defensive improvement

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says he expects Raheem Sterling to show he is worth the 49 million pounds the club paid for him, after the forward grabbed another two goals in preseason.

It's understandable that confidence has returned to Manchester City supporters ahead of the 2015-16 season. The disappointments of the previous campaign have been swallowed in a wave of optimism, which began to arrive as the club announced the signings of Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph.

The former seemed to be the answer to offensive problems encountered in Manuel Pellegrini's poor title defence. The side frequently looked like it couldn't break down opponents, and they had an alarming lack of...

 By Simon Curtis

Pellegrini under pressure at Man City with Guardiola spectre looming

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says he expects Raheem Sterling to show he is worth the 49 million pounds the club paid for him, after the forward grabbed another two goals in preseason.

Manuel Pellegrini is under pressure before a ball has been kicked in anger in this season's Premier League. And the pressure is coming from three major sources: from himself, from the club's owners and from the national press.

That the stakes are high this season for the Chilean is without doubt. After a superb start to his City career, where insufficient praise came his way for claiming two trophies in his first season, 2014-15 represented something of a disappointment.

Having secured the Premier...

ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

How does Arsenal's spending compare to the top six? Get your calculators out

ESPN FC's Ross Dyer analyses how both Arsenal and Chelsea conduct their transfer business after Jose Mourinho commented on the Gunners squad and spending.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says his Premier League rivals are now the ones attempting to buy their way to glory, a charge that used to levelled at the Blues.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is already ramping up the mind games and we're still a little under two weeks from the start of the Premier League season.

Indeed, with Chelsea set to take on Arsenal at Wembley on Sunday in the Community Shield, rival manager Arsene Wenger has already become the focus of his attention.

"If you add up the amounts clubs have spent in the last three or four years I think maybe you will find a surprise," Mourinho said, in an obvious attempt to add pressure on the Gunners...