Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Pep Guardiola expects Manchester City to face tougher title race

Pep Guardiola expects Manchester City to face tougher title race

But, newly appointed head coach Unai Emery will face a stern test against the defending champions, who are keen to maintain their dominance in English football.

"Most people recognised that our defence was poor last season, we conceded a ridiculous number of goals around 50 or something, which Arsenal hadn't done in maybe 15 years." he told Fox Sports.

"He's going to be a father for the second time so he must have been looking after his wife!"

"City, I think, after two years of working with Guardiola they have more stability, more security and when you watch City's matches, they are playing with a very, very great confidence in themselves".

Elsewhere, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was all smiles as he trained with his team-mates. A title challenge is very unlikely, but a top-four place isn't out of the equation. "We will have bad moments and we will have to work to overcome them because in the end the players react to what the club is, what the manager and the staff are and, of course, they know we work for them".

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Arsenal have turned to Unai Emery to replace Wenger at the north London side following the Frenchman's 22 seasons in charge.

The Croatian World Cup hero would be a welcomed addition to the lacklustre Arsenal backline, a problem which Emery has highlighted as his side's biggest weakness over the summer transfer window. "Every season we are the favourites".

Sergio Aguero is already among the goals whilst Leroy Sane is fresh after surprisingly not being included in Germany's World Cup squad.

"Even when you are flawless, the other team can be better".

However, this could be a good time to play them. He didn't play in Manchester City's win over Chelsea in the Community Shield.

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City have great depth, though, and the Gunners could be in for a hard afternoon as they try to welcome their new era in with a win on Sunday.

Favouring a 4-2-3-1 formation, Emery is likely to field new arrival Lucas Torreira at the base of his midfield with Granit Xhaka providing the necessary steel.

Left-back Benjamin Mendy could start his first league game since September 2017, when he suffered a cruciate ligament injury against Crystal Palace. The Brazilian has made this position his own and will be a certainty for City in this position not only in this match but throughout the season provided he his fully fit.

Defenders Sead Kolasinac and Laurent Koscielny are long-term absentees with respective knee and Achilles injuries.

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