Manchester City have been getting things right at both ends of the pitch so far this season, scoring ten goals and conceding none on the way to securing maximum points.
Manuel Pellegrini’s charges have averaged 57.8% possession in their four matches this term, but how have they fared with and without the ball in Premier League games since the start of the 2014/15 campaign in relation to their major rivals?
POSSESSION OVER 50%
The Citizens have enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in 36 of their previous 42 top-flight games, a record bettered only by Manchester United with 37. Louis van Gaal’s men have won just 18 of these encounters, however, whilst Manchester City boast a league-leading 23 victories. When it comes to points per game, the Etihad Stadium outfit rank second behind Chelsea with a figure of 2.11.
POSSESSION UNDER 50%
On the six occasions on which Manchester City have had to play second fiddle in the possession stakes, they have still managed to secure five victories. Somewhat unsurprisingly, their points per match average of 2.50 is the best amongst the leading clubs, as well as being better than their average when enjoying over 50% of the ball, albeit from far fewer encounters.
Along with Chelsea, the Citizens are the only team to have averaged over two points per game when operating both above and below the 50% possession threshold. This is the sort of consistency that wins championships, so the omens look good for Manchester City.
Manchester City visit Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. Despite their impressive start to the season, the Eagles have averaged just 41% of the ball in the Premier League this term.
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