Brighton bank on surprise factor to upset City

Solenn Plantier
Août 12, 2017

Benjamin Mendy, Danilo and Kyle Walker have followed, costing in the region of £215m, and the Catalan believes City would have been forced to shell out even more had they not acted quickly.

It has been another strong showing of City's financial muscle but Guardiola insists the club have only paid market rates and such major rebuilding work is a one-off. "Close to the box he has the quality to score a lot of goals and he's a fighter too so he's going to help us during the season". The Premier League is much deeper, standard wise, than the Bundesliga and La Liga versions, where his Bayern Munich and Barcelona teams won League titles with consummate ease....here, in England, teams floating around mid and low reaches of the table have a nasty ability to bite and take points off the "big boys" when least expected - and that hurt City past year, dropping points at Middlesbrough, Southampton, Leicester amongst others.

They are often tasked with positioning themselves between two central midfielder players, providing an extra diamond that offers greater passing angles, forming a shape that at times resembles the famed 3-3-1-3 of Pep's mentor, Marcelo Bielsa.

Across town at Manchester United, Guardiola's old sparring partner Jose Mourinho is also looking to kick on after ending a hard debut season with a silver flourish.

I just think Manchester City have strengthened in all the right areas where they needed to. Even though he only made 16 appearances last season, Gundogan looked unbelievable when he was on the pitch.

"I think soon [they will be back] but not for this game".

"Like every club that's promoted to the Premier League, it's to finish 17th or higher".

The 23-year-old became England's most expensive goalkeeper - and third on the world list - with a £30million summer switch from Everton.

The Match of the Day pundit told BBC Sport: "The top seven already are nailed on, I don't see any surprise breaking into there". The whole town is desperately looking forward to Premier League football - they have had to wait a long time to be back in the top flight.

Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach Guardiola claimed it was necessary to reinvigorate City's ageing squad but he will only seek to add one or two new faces in forthcoming seasons.

But those deals pale in comparison to City's spending and Hughton said: "Whatever City's starting team is against our starting team, there's no doubt there is going to be an incredibly massive difference". We can play good and we can win games.

Will Antonio Conte and his Chelsea team retain their title glory for a second season, or will they concentrate on a competition they were left out of last season?

"Last season we were [favourites] too and we finished 15 points behind".

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