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Robin van Persie will hope to inflict further damage on City.
Matches against last season's top five: Manchester United (Home, Sept. 21; Away, March 1), Chelsea (Away, Oct. 26; Home, Feb. 1), Tottenham (Home, Nov. 23; Away, Jan. 29), Arsenal (Home, Dec. 14; Away, March 29)
The days City fans will have their eyes on are the ones against the closest title rivals. These are the teams best equipped to challenge for the silverware, and the ones that will likely give City the most trouble.
The Manchester Derby has favored City just a bit recently, with the "noisy neighbors" winning three of the last four. This includes the 6-1 win at Old Trafford and the 1-0 reverse fixture that put City back on top late that season. Both Pellegrini and David Moyes get an early first look at this heated rivalry.
Chelsea, as mentioned before, halted City's unbeaten run in 2011/12 with a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge, and with Jose Mourinho back at the helm, perhaps the Blues will be sparked into new life to add to their European success with a domestic title.
Tottenham will provide a stiff test as usual, especially if they manage to hold on to Gareth Bale. Andre Villas-Boas—who himself recently quashed exit speculation—will be looking to get his side back in the Champions League after two straight narrow misses.
Arsenal are still perennial top-four contenders, even if they haven't won anything in the last eight seasons. But they're looking to beef up their squad with Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain as a top target, an addition that will surely be a great one.
There are a lot of factors at play here, with three new managers and a lot of player movement in and out of these squads—and surely more to come. For example, City have countered United's signing of pacy winger Wilfried Zaha with the addition of Jesus Navas.
Overall, City would hope to win all four of the home matches. More importantly, getting points in the away matches will be key to keeping up a title run. It will be a tough run, but pulling 18 out of 24 (one road win, three draws) will prove a fantastic haul.