Premier League team guide: Manchester City in the spotlight
Manchester City have won four of the last five Premier League titles — but Pep Guardiola will not be resting on his laurels.
The Catalan tactician will be looking to claim top spot again this time around, while adding a first Champions League to the club's burgeoning trophy haul.
With Norwegian superstar Erling Haaland joining an already star-studded cast at the Etihad, expect another dominant season from the Citizens in 2022-23.
Last season: First
Liverpool pushed City all the way last season, when they took the title race right down to the final day.
But Guardiola's outfit ultimately prevailed, after mounting a comeback from 2-0 down to triumph 3-2 over Aston Villa.
The Citizens racked up 93 points and scored 99 goals across the campaign — and they are likely to need a similar total this term, in order to ward off the looming threat from Jurgen Klopp's Reds.
They will also be aiming to go one better than last season's semi-final exits in the Champions League and FA Cup, while improving on a fourth round Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham.
There has been a greater turnover of players than usual at the Etihad this summer, with club legend Fernandinho, England star Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko all departing.
However, they have been replaced by goalscoring sensation Haaland and combative midfielder Kalvin Phillips, 26, who arrived in a £45million deal from Leeds.
Another intriguing addition is 22-year-old Argentine forward Julian Alvarez, who posted some remarkable numbers at River Plate — including an outrageous double hat-trick against Alianza Lima in the 2022 Copa Libertadores.
4-3-3: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancelo; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Haaland, Foden.
It is virtually impossible to guess Guardiola's team selections each week, such is the wealth of options at his disposal.
The Citizens' rearguard looks relatively settled though, with Ederson, Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo all likely to start when fit — though John Stones and Aymeric Laporte will compete for the final centre-back berth.
Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne could be deployed in deeper or more advanced positions, while the likes of Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez and Alvarez will fight it out to flank Haaland in the front three.
Star man: Erling Haaland
There is unlikely to be a bigger transfer this summer than Haaland's move from Borussia Dortmund to City.
The 22-year-old striker's goalscoring record is simply sensational, having netted an outrageous 85 goals in 88 games for BVB.
It is therefore easy to see why the club parted with £51m to secure his services — especially as the Citizens were lacking a natural No9 to spearhead their attack.
Another big campaign is surely on the cards for one of Europe's hottest talents.
Up-and-comer: Liam Delap
He may not have the long-throw skills of his father Rory — but youngster Liam Delap is making waves in Manchester.
City's 19-year-old starlet scored 24 goals in just 20 Premier League 2 appearances back in 2020-21, before adding another eight strikes at that level last season.
The centre forward has also made six first-team appearances across all competitions for the club, while featuring at the European Under-19 Championship with winners England this summer.
A reported transfer target for Southampton, Delap will hope to be handed more opportunities in the starting line-up over the months ahead.
The boss: Pep Guardiola
A footballing visionary, there are arguably no better or more influential managers in the modern game than Guardiola.
He has won trophies galore at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now City — amassing 10 league titles, two Champions Leagues and nine domestic cups.
But the 51-year-old is still searching for the holy grail of a European trophy with the Citizens, which will truly solidify his reputation as one of the true managerial greats.
It would be foolish to bet against the dynamic coach adding to his sizeable medal collection in 2022-23.
All information correct as of 11am, July 29, 2022