Pep Guardiola: "We are a strong club"

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City opened their Premier League account at the first opportunity

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City opened their Premier League account at the first opportunity

With both sides in the relegation area and Brighton preparing for a first-ever FA Cup final against Manchester United, they had plenty on their respective plates.

Brighton, on the other hand, managed to secure a return to the top flight and will compete after an absence of 25 years.

Five minutes later, Brighton defender Dunk slammed a header into his own net as he tried to clear a cross under pressure from Jesus, with the home side lacking the firepower to mount a comeback in the closing stages.

Guardiola will hope goalkeeper Ederson, acquired from Benfica for £34.9 million, is less error prone than Claudio Bravo, whose dismal season was a major factor in City's failed title challenge. Expect big things from Ederson this season. Brighton will receive an additional boost from Chelsea's Izzy Brown, who recently joined on loan. If the club decides "he's not able", we're going to take a solution. That was actually their only loss of the summer, which does show they are in good form.

"Keep doing what we've done in the last three games and it should be exciting". Getting a goal or two in early could amp up the pressure on the visitors.

"We were favourites last season and missed out by 15 points so being favourites this season means nothing".

"For us there are some great examples of teams that have gone up and stayed up". Their pre-season exploits have been quite impressive as well, thus leading to increased expectations.

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The formation allows an extra man in midfield, which has proved to City's advantage in warm-up victories over Tottenham, Real Madrid and West Ham. "You need to put the defeats and the poor performances behind you and look forward to that next one". City run very deep, and with attacking titles on the domestic and European front, he will need that depth - but so will his adversaries, and they will not have as much cover to utilise. However, with the reinforcements brought in by Guardiola this summer, City are likely to turn the tables.

"Brighton" lost only one of the seven previous matches. I also wished him luck and told him that he made a good decision.

City open their Premier League campaign on Saturday with a trip to newly-promoted Brighton.

He must beat a strong field of rivals at the same time as keeping his bosses onside because, whatever the public pronouncements may be, City's owners recruited Guardiola to make the club serial winners, rather than one that trailed in among the also-rans.

"But it's never a big problem". "Seagulls" have done fruitful work over the past few years, and for the exit to the Premier League club fought already in the season before last, but did not have enough luck in the playoff round of the promotion.

So what might their starting XI look like for their first match of the new campaign?

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