Manchester City's Pep Guardiola not fazed by title-favourites tag

Gibson was called up to the England squad in 2017

Gibson was called up to the England squad in 2017 Credit GETTY IMAGES

Misgivings over Jerome Boateng's fitness and Bayern Munich's reluctance to do a loan deal ruled that option out, while Atletico Madrid were contacted about Diego Godin but it quickly became evident that the move was a no-go.

But no team has successfully defended the Premier League title since Manchester United in 2008 and 2009, while City were unable to maintain the standards of their 2012 and 2014 title wins in the campaigns that followed.

Their next Premier League encounter of the season after Leicester will come against Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday August 19. But I think they will win.

On the race to finish in the top four and secure Champions League football, Barnes added: "Manchester United, you know the harmony isn't great there, but they've obviously got great players, a great manager".

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There may be some worry that their World Cup stars - Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, John Stones, to name only three - will start the campaign slowly, but the squad has such strength in depth that City will cope with any early-season fatigue.

Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw struck as Manchester United did enough to defeat Leicester City 2-1 on Friday.

"But looking at the squad Jurgen Klopp has assembled, I will be amazed if Liverpool don't push them very, very close".

Mauricio Pochettino wanted Jack Grealish, however, Aston Villa refused to sell.

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Spurs had nine players in Russian Federation until the final weekend and they only returned to training on Monday, with the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Jan Vertonghen and Hugo Lloris having differing levels of fitness.

"We didn't sell players and with 25 players in the squad it is hard to add players".

Cardiff have spent around £28.5m net this summer, boosting their squad with six arrivals, and Warnock, speaking before Saturday's game against Bournemouth, said: "We're not throwing money away or doing things we can't sustain".

In contrast to the changes in west London, Tottenham in the north of the English capital has yet to add a single signing ahead of its first season in a new 62,000-seater stadium.

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