You thought it was because Liverpool are looking good and Pep Guardiola’s side have dropped points against Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, but that’s not the reason.
No, of course it comes down to what Manchester City are wearing.
This season, having joined forces with Puma after six years with Nike, City’s first-choice outfit features white shorts and socks.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with the strip – for what it’s worth, it’s a bit bland for what a top club might expect and the purple trim doesn’t grab us – but the weakness lies in the fact that sky-white-white is a combination in which City have already won the Premier League and they don’t tend to do repeats.
Witness their four title-winning kits since establishing themselves as one of the major powers in English football:
City had sky-blue shorts and hooped socks in 2011-12; white shorts and socks two years later, the first with Nike; white shorts and sky-blue socks in 2017-18; and white shorts and navy socks as they retained the trophy last season.
While there may have been mashups common to more than one season, each default look is unique among the four and this season’s kit format replicates that of 2013-14. That means you’re better off putting your money on Liverpool to end what is now a six-year stretch without a team in red winning the league.
The last time that this happened was from 1957-58 to 1963-64 (Wolverhampton Wanderers twice, Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur, Ipswich Town and Everton). Should City manage to overcome history and make that drought seven years, it would match that of 1923-24 to 1929-30, when Huddersfield Town won three in a row, with Sheffield Wednesday claiming two (one as The Wednesday) and Everton and Newcastle United also came out on top).
If we’re right and City are limited to one Premier League win per kit combination, they still have quite a few to get through – might we suggest the royal blue and red socks from the early 1970s as the next one to get them in the winners’ enclosure?