A collective pledge was made in 2015 to reach that standard by August 2017, with the league subsequently giving all promoted clubs an extra two years from when they came up. They have not yet reached the heights that City have, but it's a fine line, and neither team has had a real test yet.
Big money moves were once again the talk of the window in the upper echelons of the league, where the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, and Liverpool, all forked out huge sums for players they hope will guide them to glory.
"There are still big questions about both United and City".
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"Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City spent the most of any Premier League club during the summer transfer window " £215 million while United splashed out more than £140 million.
'Now we are recovering Hazard after a bad injury, and recovering Pedro after a bad start to the season with injuries. City are sitting first due to alphabetical "advantage".
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Manchester United v Southampton match preview. City have conceded in two out of the 5 games, with United keeping a clean sheet in 4 of their 5. United were top of the league after three games last season but slumming it in sixth place by December.
City are fantastic to watch going forward but I have a sharp memory of the opening blows in their big win over Liverpool and had Jurgen Klopp's very risky strike force been in form, that game might easily have turned a different way. They have showed certain weaknesses against both Stoke and Everton. Since their last Premier League title, back in the 2012/13 season, United have won the treble mentioned above, and a solitary FA Cup.
I backed City to win the title before the season started and I wouldn't go back on that now, but I am no more confident now because United have really impressed me.
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Arsenal and Everton must scale the Europa League mountain at the same time as pushing for a top four finish, though, and few teams have been able to succeed while attempting to do that in recent seasons. Liverpool have not fixed the defensive issues that derailed last season and Everton's aspirations of significant forward steps appear doomed already.