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Stats suggest Manchester City won’t be runaway Premier League champions this year

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The whole country started to shake, Jurgen Klopp joked, with news then of Kevin De Bruyne’s impending return to the pitch for Manchester City.

The German’s comments may very well have been tongue-in-cheek, though there may be more than a smidge of truth attached in reality.

The classy Belgian playmaker has already been impactful in his first two games, registering an assist in the FA Cup against Huddersfield and two goal contributions in the 3-2 win over Newcastle United in the league.

But does the Sky Blues’ inevitably superb run of form for the second-half of the season make them the out-and-out favourites for the league title?

What do the stats suggest?

According to FootyStats, Liverpool are narrowly overperforming their xG (+0.05), in stark contrast to Manchester City (+0.32).

It’s worth noting that Pep Guardiola’s men are significantly underperforming their xA (-0.21), with the Reds overperforming (+0.33).

Whilst, overall, the Reds are overperforming (+0.47) for expected goals and assists compared to City (+0.12), there arguably isn’t enough of a disparity to suggest the incumbent champions will be running away with this year’s title race.

The return of De Bruyne will, of course, in the minds of many, tip it in favour of Manchester City.

Only time will tell.

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