Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed that summer signing Benjamin Mendy will not be fit in time for this weekend's season-opening trip to Brighton & Hove Albion. The teams that arrive, in the first four, five, six games they are so complicated. We played 3-4-3 with a diamond, it's such a demanding system, so attacking, but so demanding defensively, and we did it quite well, yet for me it doesn't matter as it's pre-season.
"With all respect to the players, last season we were one of the oldest teams in the Premier League". The arrival of 11 "important" players - as Guardiola refers to them - has handed the Spanish coach an embarrassment of riches up in attack and fresh energy throughout his squad, which now has an average age of 24.
"We did it earlier, so we were lucky because now would be more expensive after what happened in the last weeks".
"Last season in my first press conference we were the favourites so nothing has changed".
"Keep doing what we've done in the last three games and it should be exciting".
With the price of players on a sharp upward curve this summer, Guardiola feels the fees being paid are unsustainable over the long-term and will soon come down. We bought three and the market is so demanding not just for Manchester City.
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At the other end of the scale, Huddersfield Town, Brighton and Newcastle United will be hoping their top flight status will last more than one season, while Swansea City and Crystal Palace will hope to stay clear of the relegation zone where they spent the majority of last season.
After Diego Costa fell out of Antonio Conte's plans, the champions paid Real Madrid a reported £70million to sign Alvaro Morata, while United parted with £75million to buy Romelu Lukaku from Everton. "Sooner or later it's going to finish".
City have spent nearly £150m on the current transfer window and only one of his five signings to date has not been to strengthen his back-line.
The Serbia global played a key role in the Chelsea team that won the top-flight title with two games to spare in Antonio Conte's first season last term. "We are playing in a division now where we are going to be severely tested and we are going to have to vary our game at times".
But he says now that his squad is stocked with young players, the spending will slow down.