Where will Manchester City finish?

Mancini (Getty)

The Roberto Mancini era is underway at Manchester City and hefty expectations abound. Between the transfer money at his disposal, and the ambition of City's owners, Mancini has quickly embraced the ambitious mentality, declaring intent for a top four finish and a league title challenge.

Two wins from his first two games in charge — over Stoke and Wolves — is a good start. City is in fifth place, just two points behind fourth-place Aston Villa with a game in hand. Plenty of work remains, but with the transfer window about to open, Mancini will likely try and sign a player or two next month.

With January quickly approaching, here's a question for SBI readers: with Mancini now at the helm, where will City end at the season? Have your vote in the poll below.

What do you think? Will City be able to pull off the ambitious top four finish? Or will they have to settle for the Europa League or less?

Share your thoughts below.

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37 Responses to Where will Manchester City finish?

  1. IMSYE87 says:

    bc im a liverpool fan… europa league :D!~~

  2. Pete says:

    Top four finish.

    Mancini is looking to be re-united with Ivan Cordoba from Inter milan. Man City is offering 5 Million euro’s.

  3. Full Disclaimer, I’m a Man U fan…

    I’ll say Europa League because they’ve got the talent, but they still have a ways to go before they can fully mesh and become a fearsome squad. The team still has its flaws (namely, the lack of chemistry in defense and the lack of a CONSISTENT killer instinct in front of goal), but if Mancini can get this team to click, then anything is possible. But Man City fans shouldn’t expect a turnaround overnight. Set the bar high, but don’t set the bar so high that everyone thinks its impossible and sets undue pressure on the players and staff.

  4. grubbsbl says:

    Liverpool will be battling it out in the Europa league next year too.

    Man City will finish in the Europa league too. (Someone in the CCL spot will win both the FA Cap and Carling Cup). Man City lack the defensive dominance to push for a top four finish.

    Liverpool are just bad. Their win yesterday is going to overshadow the fact that they were outplayed all game. Pray for a healthy, in form Torres for the rest of the season.

  5. japan says:

    Europa League. Sacking Hughes was a terrible idea. They need to buy a whole new defense and a striker. Liverpool to finish 4th.

  6. EDB says:

    Spurs to get 4th

  7. OmarVizquel says:

    One reason why typical American sports fans won’t take soccer seriously? Scarves. (I’m not advocating this view…I think there should be a dress code in the NFL. Imagine Bill Belichicks in a scarf!)

  8. OmarVizquel says:

    Man U have built their legacy by winning ugly (often in generous injury time…). It’s the “mark of champions,” or at least Man U fans keep telling me…

  9. SBGarrett says:

    Ives, Aston Villa is in 6th currently…

    City 5th and Tottenham is 4th, which is quite impressive, but Arsenal potentially higher than Man Utd is up there as well.

    City/Tottenham will battle out for 4th with City sneaking in over the last 2 wks.

  10. Zero says:

    Na, my friend. Because you’re rational, Europa League. Not to say ‘Pool finishes in the CL (Although I hope they do) I can’t see Citeh finishing with a CL spot, too many holes to fix first.

  11. Josh D says:

    Has to be in the top 4. Hughes wasn’t the man to take them there and now with a proven coach with a lot of credibility in the market place as well as connections, expect January to bring needed reinforcements.

    Mancini is a very strategic, defensive coach and will not be pleased with the defense he has inherited. He will bring in a few defenders and shore up the defensive mindset of his midfield.

    They have the players, the cash, and now the brains to win it.

    Their main competition is Spurs but I can’t see them holding on to their excellent form. Villa and Liverpool will fight for 6th and 7th.

  12. Josh D says:

    By win it I mean win a place in the Champions League.

  13. Adam M. says:

    The answer lies with Robinho. If Mancini can finally get the superstar — and those with short memories forget that Robinho is absolutely world class — on the same page as the rest of the squad, then Man City will be a top four team. Same if they unload him and use the money wisely to improve the defense. If not, I see them in Europe. Either way, all those naysayers who claim that competitive teams can’t just be bought are being proven wrong. That Man City is even in the conversation for a top four finish is proof of that.

  14. skawars1 says:

    I think that the good side of Manchester will come out of the season with a coveted champions league spot. No I am not talking about Man u. It’s about time for spurs to take their normal nose dive. Who knows where the scousers will end up. Chelski will win the league followed by Man u, City and THEN Arsenal.

  15. 123 says:

    Considering Hughes managed to snatch the much coveted 10th spot despite huge investments last season and now had two wins from 11 matches, he doesn’t seem to be a true mastermind. Considering the owner makes huge investments and is determined to make ManC the biggest club in the world… how long are you supposed to keep a mediocre manager?

    And as of strikers: they have Tevez, Adebayor, Bellamy, Santa Cruz and Robinho (plus Benjani as backup). Maybe they all aren’t the best in the world, but it’s relly hard to find a team with a better collection of strikers. Well, maybe they sell Bellamy and Santa Cruz and buy Villa or Ag├╝ero. That could make them better, but I feel their problems lay elsewhere.

  16. japan says:

    It takes more than a season to build a squad capable of breaking an established top 4. His only investment last year was Robinho who came right before the season started and Given, Bellamy, Kompany, and De Jong in the winter when they were already out of the race. This is his first season where he got the players he wanted and had time to work with them from the preseason. 2 wins out of 11 seem bad but they were still in a good position to get 4th and are in semi of CC. I hope the owners and you don’t expect them to be the biggest club in the world in 2 years.

    Bellemy and Robinho are not true strikers. Santa Cruz is never fit. Adebayor is only good in the beginning when he has to prove himself to the fans. Once he does that, he becomes lazy and useless as you can tell from his time in Arsenal and now with City. So all you now have is Tevez, who is very good but is not known for scoring many goals. Surely you don’t think Benjani can get you into top 4. Strikers are not the main problems, but they need to fix it along with their back 4.

    The main problem is the lack of patience from the owners and people like you.

  17. japan says:

    I think you are taking it out of context. No one really said competitive teams can’t be bought. They just meant that you can’t buy a team and win the title in the first season.

  18. Don says:

    City will finish in the same place they would have if they had retained Hughes–5 or 6. He was replaced because they wanted a big name coach and knew it all the time. The owners timed the dismissal to give Mancini two easy games to start. They would have had a harder time justifying the firing, if they had waited and City won these two games under Hughes.

  19. Joamiq says:

    “It’s about time for spurs to take their normal nose dive.”

    This is humorous, because as everyone knows, Spurs had a horrendous START to last season and then had a fabulous turnaround in the second half to end up with another strong finish. So there’s no reason to think Spurs will falter, especially given that 1) they’ve gone much of the season so far without their playmaker in Modric and 2) the backline has proven to have the depth to withstand a barrage of injuries.

    City hasn’t yet shown that it can gel all the pieces together. Until it can, I expect it’ll be Spurs 4th, City 5th, Villa 6th, and Liverpool 7th.

  20. City says:

    So a win against Sunderland (Hughes’ last game) following games against Bolton and Hull isn’t easy enough? it’s not a conspiracy like you think

  21. japan says:

    Hughes’ final 7 games were Liverpool away, Hull home, Arsenal home (CC), Chelsesa home, Bolton away, Tottenham away, and Sunderland home. Those are not easy at all. I agree with everything Don said.

  22. mkf25 says:

    Considering the fact that under Hughes they were one of the least organized sides ever and have still managed to hang around the top 5 or 6, you’d have to think that unless Liverpool gets red hot City are going to sneak into the top 4.

  23. City says:

    what I mean is that it’s not as if the team were losing.. it’s still tough to justify firing a coach who had lost twice out of 17..

  24. City says:

    It was an inevitable change even before the season, no doubt, but people are painting the City owners and CEO as conspirators who have zero football sense.
    Honestly, the easiest thing to do right now, in the football world, is to rip on City. admit it.

  25. yeah says:

    hahaah wishful thinking. Liverpool are a much stronger team. pool will finish fourth, city for 6th and villa for 5th.

  26. prr52 says:

    The team hasn’t played nearly at all to their full potential, and yet here they are, in 5th, game in hand from 4th. they have shown flashes of what they can fully do against Arsenal, Chelsea, United, etc. as the season rolls along, they will gel even more, and get it right. they have played half a season in second gear and sit nicely in (potentially) 4th. the train is now leaving the station, top gear approaching.. who’s to say they won’t reach 3rd?

  27. cb says:

    @ grubbsbl

    did you watch that game? Villa had resorted to long balls bypassing the midfield the whole game, got a few scraps of chances but had no possession. fact is big players win big games, and villa just dont have any, liverpool have two in torres and gerrard.

  28. cb says:

    and don’t give me the “well thats all they have” bollocks. by that logic, all united have is wayne rooney, all chelsea have is drogba and lampard, and all arsenal have is cesc.

  29. C says:

    Right Now City have a semi-major injury crisis at the back – Toure (along withe Ade) is gone to the African cup of nations, and Onuoha, Bridge, Lescott are injured. Micah Richards has a little bit of an injury as well – so are Ireland and Wright-Philips.

    So during the break Mancini must secure the services of at least one Centre Back, possibly a left back and hopefully another creative midfielder… If City get 8/9 points in January, I think they will finish Fourth…

    Tottenham have money to buy, during the window, but I have heard they may sell Jenas, Pavlyuchenko and Bentley, at least… I think the battle is definitely between Tottenham, City, and Liverpool (assuming Gerard and Torres are healthy). If either of Gerard or Torres is injured at any point during the second half, Liverpool are toast. Villa don’t have a deep enough squad, or enough true match-winners to stay in the race for Fourth.

    Mancini will get City there – look for Robinho to have a sort of reawakening in the coming weeks…


  30. skawars1 says:

    Spurs have had a great start to the season. I don’t think they can keep it up though. The Rednap revolution will falter.(I maybe biased since I hang around with some West Ham fans) City on the other hand are in a great spot and haven’t even shifted into high gear. I think it was stupid to sack Hughes, but we will get a proper defense out of Mancini. That’s their biggest problem right now. Shore up the back line and City are a team not to be messed with.

  31. c says:

    following up… over the last five seasons, 70 points in the Premiere league was good for 4th – in one season, third and fourth (arsenal and liverpool) were tied on 68 points. This season, city are on pace for 70 points (they have 35 from 19), ahead slightly of Villa and Tottenham (because City have a game in hand).

    Also, to those slighting Tevez as “not a goal-scorer” – he is currently on a run of 8 goals in 7 games… in a team paired up top with either Bellamy or Robinho, Tevez is going to score, because they are creating open chances for him… Check the highlights from the last two matches availabe at http://www.mcfc.co.uk... he is playing out of his mind (check his second goal against Wolves)…

  32. japan says:

    oh sorry I must have misunderstood you. I agree, its hard to justify firing him. I don’t think a lot of people were ripping them until they got rid of Hughes when they really didn’t have to. People have been tearing Benitez and Liverpool up far more often than Hughes and City. The owners and the CEOs are not conspirators but they really don’t have an idea of how hard and how long it takes to build a squad as good as they want.

  33. japan says:

    Just because he is on a good run, lets not pretend like he is a great goal scorer. Great goal scorer will score consistantly over the season and get to 20 goals. Tevez will probably get to 20 this season but he will not get it consistantly. I checked wikipedia to see his stat. 7 goals in 29 games for West Ham. 34 goals in 99 games for Man Utd. 12 goals in 22 games for Man City. Take the last 8 games where he scored most of his goals and its 4 in 14 games. Thats not a return of a great goal scorer. His a great player no doubt, but scoring is not his specialty.

  34. C says:

    Fair enough regarding the stats, but this year, barring injury, Tevez is having a good year – and he should. He is motivated by many things –

    (1) sticking it to Fergie/United/Rag fans,

    (2)the World Cup,

    (3)getting City into the Champions League.

    Say what you will about Tevez, but no one would argue that he is a big game player, and if motivated for every game, should get a decent goal return.

  35. prr52 says:

    It doesn’t really matter if his 20 goals would be consistent or not. at the end of the season, it would just matter that he got 20 goals, and would probably be one of four or five strikers to do so.

  36. japan says:

    This example is a bit extreme but if he got 20 goals in the first half of the season and 0 in the second half of the season, it matters a lot. My main point was that if a player scores in streaks, they will not consistantly hit 20 goals because there will be seasons where they will not have thier streaks.