Pep Guardiola: Man City need to improve attacking to have title hopes

Antonio Conte led Chelsea to the title in May but a repeat is likely to be too big an ask

Manchester City could hand debuts to four summer signings.

"The difference [this year] is the quality of the players".

Gael Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna all left the club on free transfers at the end of last season.

However, I think Manchester City will finally come good under a very good manager, as long as he is able to implement his style of play.

Enormous fees spent on new full-backs Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo, which surpass £100million, show improved options in defence following the release of a number of defenders at the Etihad.

Let's not forget the leader from the back Vincent Kompany.

"Expectations are loaded on Guardiola who, after his first season grappling with a new league and new squad, will provide a fascinating study as he seeks to remind us why he arrived with such fanfare and glittering reputation".

Mangala and Denayer seem to be on their way out with the latter looking to go out on loan once again.

City's breakthrough came within minutes of Guardiola bringing on Leroy Sane, just one member of a star-studded bench from which Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling later emerged.

Arsenal lifted the Community Shield but it's hard to see them being in the title mix by May

The attacking duo of Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero have formed a lethal partnership, as was evident in the pre-season. Wilfried Bony should in all possibility be on the way out, not that it would affect the Manchester club in any way.

"Keep doing what we've done in the last three games and it should be exciting".

Third placed City finished 15 points behind Premier League champions Chelsea, crashed out of the Champions League against Monaco and failed to reach either of the domestic cup finals.

"The prime error was an unbending emphasis on attack that meant Guardiola expected all opposition to be snuffed out via ball retention and the notion City should score more no matter how many were conceded".

But when they did it was a hint of what was possible as Aguero converted after a slick move with Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva.

"He then has the impossible task of working the likes of Yaya Toure, Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan into the line-up". We spent, of course, but all the teams spent - except maybe Tottenham. Their doggedness against the Premier League's most gifted opposition suggested they are unlikely to be a soft touch for anyone.

This simple yet effective formation would be identical at the back to the 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-4-1. "We are going to see at the end of the season what happens, knowing how hard it is".

City are the favourites and Guardiola will face some "pointed questions" if his side fail to establish themselves as "English football's dominant force", says Dickinson of the Times.

All in all Pep has a lot of decisions to make and a lot to live up to this season.

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