According to the prediction model developed by the CIES Football Observatory, Manchester City are most likely to win the Premier League in 2012/13 and finish ahead of rivals Manchester United and Arsenal.
The CIES model includes four main criteria for league success: international activity of players, their league experience, squad stability and the quality of signings.
The combination of all these elements suggests that the City, United and Arsenal have the best chances of finishing in the top three positions of the rankings, with City having the highest probability of winning the Premier League. City finishing in the top three in the Premier League this season looks to be as sure a bet as getting a four-of-a-kind hand at www.partycasino.com, but are they really the favourites for the title?
City’s transfer activity has mostly centered around refreshing the squad and simultaneously reducing the wage bill, while we’ve seen United and Arsenal add to their squads (but probably not enough) and Chelsea have significantly refreshed their squad.
However, the biggest benefit for City may be Tevez’s reintegration into the side and Balotelli’s growing maturity this season, plus the fact that they have a very stable squad and now that they have the league title under their belts, they are less likely to suffer from nerves this season.
Last season the league title came down to City holding their nerve while United (injuries and dropped points notwithstanding) losing theirs at key moments in the season.
This season, as long as United don’t fix their midfield problem and Arsenal keep selling their best players, City are by default the favourites for the league title. Even Chelsea, with a new manager and a relatively new team, are not ready yet to properly challenge for the title (although consistency through to December / January can change things quickly).