6 Things Manchester City Must Do to Ensure They Finish in the Premier League's Top 4

Pep Guardiola has endured a somewhat turbulent first season in the formidable English Premier League. The physicality of the game and the strength of the opposition has proven to be a stressful probation period for the ex-Bayern Munich and Barcelona manager. There's currently six points between City and fifth place in the league, but that could easily become just three once games in hand are played - leaving very little margin for error if Guardiola's side are to make it back into the...

Sane and Sterling Need to Stay Fit

Both blessed with blistering pace, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling are enjoying a spell of incredible form for the Sky Blues this season. More impressively, the versatility in playing styles these youngsters offer is unrivalled. 

Their switch of positioning with each other and sprints down the touchline, leaving full backs in their wake, is something fans are beginning to expect. 

With Jesus Navas out of form and favour under Pep, its vital these two stay fit - so much of the attack rests on their young shoulders. 

Defensive Solidity....They Need it

City fans have been crying out for a new centre back since...well, Martín Demichelis. With Vincent Kompany approaching the twilight of his career, Argentine Demichelis was hardly the stoic wall they needed at the back. 

Since he left, though, little has changed. An injury-prone Kompany, a young and inconsistent John Stones, a very 'Nicolas Otamendi' Nicolas Otamendi...City are struggling at centre back.

A marquee signing may come in the summer transfer window, but for now, tactical improvements are a must.

Pep Needs to Keep a Level Head

Manager Pep Guardiola isn't used to fighting for Champions League qualification - indeed, at Barcelona and Bayern Munich he reached the semi-final stage of the competition every season. Qualification was not an issue.

Life in Manchester, on the other hand, has provided something of a culture shock for the Spaniard - leaving Guardiola with a serious fight on his hands to avoid dropping down into the Europa League next season.

Dressing room conflicts are a constant of the trade, but how Pep handles the unusual (for him!) pressure through draws and defeat could be season defining. 

Pep Stays in the Job

During the rough spell City endured approaching Christmas and beyond, Pep came under unexpected pressure, with media outlets running stories forming speculation he may be replaced. 

Nonsense, right? Fast-forward a few months and think Claudio Ranieri. Leicester's saviour and managerial performer of the unthinkable is sacked. No one is entirely safe.

With City's dramatic early Champions League exit, a sudden dip in form in the Premier League could see City begin to fall into the clutches of seventh-placed Everton - spelling serious trouble for Guardiola. Whatever happens though, he must not be allowed to leave.

Claudio Bravo Needs to Raise His Game

Last summer, we saw City stopper and club hero Joe Hart depart for Torino. Claudio Bravo was brought in with the initial guidelines of 'improving distribution', for attacks starting at the back. Things...have not worked out that way.

There was one point this season at which Bravo had conceded 16 goals from just 24 shots on target. This has to improve if City are to finish this season on strong form.

That's if he even gets a game.

Sergio Aguero Evades Injury

Sergio Aguero has proved his worth in recent years and most would agree he's right up there as one of the best strikers in the world. 

Gabriel Jesus' arrival saw the Argentine drop to the bench for a couple of games - but since the young Brazilian picked up a nasty injury, things have been business as usual for Aguero, with goals galore.

For City to succeed, he must stay fit. Only Nolito and Kelechi Iheanacho are capable of filling his role, albeit with reduced effect. Media speculation may suggest the Argentine could be on his way out of Manchester after the season is over, but the club must wring every last bit of effort for him before that happens.

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