Manchester City romped to the Premier League title last season, becoming the first side in history to rack up 100 points in a season. Many expected City to be in a similar position this campaign, but with just one major transfer over the summer, the Citizens are now chasing Liverpool in the title race.
You can’t rest on your laurels in the Premier League, and although it's a touch harsh to say that Manchester City have, with around £500 million spent since Pep Guardiola arrived at the club, there is a sense of naivety surrounding the champions.
With that amount of cash spent in two and half seasons, City should be walking the Premier League and be closer in the Champions League. Since becoming one of the wealthiest clubs in the world, they have only reached the UCL semi-finals once, where they failed to score over two legs against Real Madrid.
It’s the next step for Man City, so can you can deliver the European Cup for the ‘noisy neighbours’?
Manchester City have a five star rating on FIFA 19, which is made up by an 85 attack, 87 midfield and 82 defence.
You should stick with Man City’s default 4-3-3 holding formation. If you want to go more attacking, you could go for a 4-3-2-1, 4-5-1 attack or 3-5-2.
Quality ball player Ederson (91 GK kicking) takes the spot in goal, with his back four made up of Kyle Walker, Vincent Kompany, Otamendi and Benjamin Mendy.
The evergreen Fernandinho (88 interceptions) offers protection in midfield, with sensational pairing Kevin De Bruyne (94 vision) and David Silva (94 ball control) running the game in the middle of the park.
Agile wingers Raheem Sterling (95 acceleration) and Leroy Sane (96 acceleration) flank the clinical Sergio Aguero (93 finishing) in attack.
On the bench go for Claudio Bravo, Aymeric Laporte, Fabian Delph, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus.
Tactics and instructions
It’s simple, with this Manchester City side you should be able to dominate your opponents with the quality and quantity of attacking options.
The midfield duo of De Bruyne (92 short passing) and David Silva (93 composure) will allow you to dictate play, and with them you should look to play in your tricky wingers down the flank.
Man City score so many tap-ins because the likes of Sterling (87 positioning) and Sane (88 agility) are superb at finding space, which allows them to pick up the ball in dangerous areas or arrive unmarked at the back post.
You then throw in the attacking ability of full backs Kyle Walker (93 sprint speed) and Benjamin Mendy (87 crossing) as well as the deadly Sergio Aguero (92 positioning), and you have a recipe for goals.
Altering player instructions can help you enormously, and with so many players getting forward, you need to adjust the attacking support of David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne. They are currently on ‘get forward’ but against an opposition sitting deep, they will be better operating from deep. Switch it to ‘balanced attack’ to give them a greater impact and make them harder to pick up by the opposition.
Raheem Sterling bagged 23 goals and 17 assists last year, and this is mainly down to the England international getting himself into the box. Alter his chance creation to ‘balanced width’ and his support on crosses should be ‘get into the box for cross’. You could do also the same for Leroy Sane if you wish.
Training allows you to improve your players outside of matches, and to make the most of your time you should use players with high development. At Manchester City this includes, Bernardo Silva, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Benjamin Mendy and Phil Foden.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £168 million
Starting wage budget: £305,000 a week
Who should go
Manchester City have a fantastic squad, riddled with top class talent. There is then a massive drop off from the first team to the recent academy graduates, with very few of them having a long-term future at the club.
Two first team players can be shown the door however, with Eliaquim Mangala and Oleksandr Zinchenko holding fairly redundant roles in the squad. Mangala is the fifth choice centre half and Zinchenko the third choice left back, so you should look to sell the pair for a combined total of just over £8 million and free up £112,000 a week in your wage budget.
As for the youngsters, you should let go of goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw, defenders Cameron Humphreys-Grant & Joel Latibeaudiere, midfielders Luke Bolton & Tom Dele-Bashiru and winger Benjamin Garre. They will fetch you a combined £1.6 million and save £32,000 a week in wages.
With that gulf in class between the first team and reserves, there are two names you can afford to send out on loan. Eric Garcia and Claudio Gomes can reach potentials of at least 81, so look to send them away for the campaign.
Who to sign
New transfer budget: £178 million
New wage budget: £458,000 a week
New starting left back
Despite Benjamin Mendy being a fantastic outlet at left back, he is the weakest player in the starting lineup. The French World Cup winner does have a strong potential of 86, so you only need to have a replacement for two seasons.
An experienced left back is the Spanish Jordi Alba, who for many is the best in his position in the world. On FIFA 19, his 87 overall makes the Barcelona man the second best on the game, with his best stats his 93 sprint speed, 93 acceleration and 91 stamina. You can sign him for close to £45 million with wages of £220,000 a week.
|Filipe Luis||32||Atletico Madrid||Brazil||85||85||£25m||£71k|
|David Alaba||26||Bayern Munich||Austria||85||87||£48m||£97k|
Future defensive midfielder
Fernandinho seems to be getting better with age, but City need to start thinking about bringing in an understudy. When the Brazilian international doesn’t play, they really struggle, with Pep Guardiola trying Ilkay Gundogan, Fabian Delph, John Stones and Danilo at CDM this season.
Tanguy Ndombele looks to be the front runner in real life, but you need someone more defensively solid. Frenkie de Jong is allegedly on his way to Bayern Munich, but you should swoop and pick up the highly regarded Dutchman, who can also play in defence. On FIFA 19, the 21-year-old has an 82 overall rating which can improve to an 89 potential, with his best stats 88 ball control, 87 short passing and 86 dribbling. You may need to match his £44 million release clause to sign him with his wages currently only £18,000 a week.
Just three men have contracts coming to an end at Man City, with just one name needing renewal. Aged 32, Vincent Kompany may not be in your starting lineup, or on the bench by January but you will still want the club captain around due to the amount of fixtures you have to deal with him. Try to keep him around for one or two more seasons.
Two others also have deals running out, but you should be looking to sell Eliaquim Mangala and Tom Dele-Bashiru.
It won’t surprise you that with Man City you will be expected to win the Premier League and FA Cup for your domestic success objective. As for continental, you will have to achieve the big one and lift the Champions League title for the first time in their history.
Brand exposure has a critical importance, and here you will need to gain £176 million in shirt sales. With Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez this won’t be a problem.
Youth development has a low importance with City, and here you must sign a player from the youth academy and play them in five games over the season. Not only that, two players younger than 20 must be signed, and their potential must be higher than the average current overall of players in the same position in your squad.
The next step: Champions League glory
The Champions League has to be the goal with Manchester City, and with so much quality and depth, they are well set up to go all the way. The only difficulty is the amount of competition in the Premier League as well as the other tournaments English clubs have to deal with. City have four competitions to deal with (five if you include the Community Shield) so be sure to rotate your squad.
City have reached the League Cup semi-finals in real life, but you must disregard the competition if you wish to win the other three major trophies. One or two more signings will make you Champions League favourites, with your starting lineup able to punish any opposition on the continent.
Full Manchester City player ratings
|Fabian Delph||28||LB CM||England||80||80||£10m||£106k|
|Kevin De Bruyne||27||CAM CM||Belgium||91||92||£90m||£312k|
|David Silva||32||CAM CM||Spain||90||90||£53m||£251k|
|Bernardo Silva||23||CAM CM RW RM||Portugal||86||91||£52m||£158k|
|Ilkay Gundogan||27||CM CDM||Germany||84||84||£28m||£154k|
|Phil Foden||18||CAM CM||England||74||88||£10m||£34k|
|Claudio Gomes||17||CDM CM||France||68||81||£1m||£9k|
|Luke Bolton||18||RM CF||England||61||79||£500k||£6k|
|Raheem Sterling||23||RW LW||England||86||89||£50m||£172k|
|Riyad Mahrez||27||RW RM||Algeria||85||85||£36m||£180k|