Benjamin Mendy, Ilkay Gundogan out for Manchester City

Guardiola denies Man City now shaped in his mould

City spent around £120m on full-backs alone, with Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy replacing the four full-backs that left in the summer.

However, the season will end in heartbreak for Premier League new boys Huddersfield who are tipped to finish rock bottom.

But during a press conference on Friday ahead of their season's opener, Guardiola said: "Last season we were favourites too and we finished 15 points behind".

"Six players were out of contract".

The Gunners offered little protection to goalkeeper Petr Cech past year, conceding 44 goals, which was the worst record of the big six.

A player with an exquisite first touch and eye for a pass, many feel he is tailor-made to excel under Guardiola's guidance, and City's open, attacking brand of football was a major reason he decided to make the move to the Etihad.

They scored just 26 times at home, lower than the likes of Leicester City, Bournemouth, West Brom and relegated Hull City.

Guardiola said the current spike in football transfer spending, which culminated in Neymar's recent world record move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for €222 million (£200 million, US$260 million), had been building for some time. It started with Real Madrid and [Cristiano] Ronaldo going for £80m and then [Gareth] Bale for £85m.

Going forward Manchester City are very strong, and they have bought players at the back.

Henry is one of (if the outright) finest strikers of the Premier League era - and a record of 175 in 258 games tells you everything you need to know. We were not able with those players to find a solution.

Guardiola struck a satisfied tone when discussing his raft of fresh full-backs and their ability to have a transformative effect on City's play this season.

Patrick Vieira - Vieira's aggression was coupled with the competitive arrogance and touch of flair one would expect from a French player taught by Arsene Wenger in that Arsenal side. We tried to make it a young squad and we did it earlier and we are lucky because it would be more expensive now in the last weeks.

"That is why the club was clever to do that because we anticipated what we needed and we tried to do our best, not just for next season but the future". Harry Kane is the best finisher with the types of goals he scores so I'd go for him if I had to bet on the nose but I do fancy Lacazette each-way at 10/1. "Here when I get the ball, I always have options of passes, so it gets easier".

Ederson is now expected to step in as Pep Guardiola's first-choice 'keeper at City following Claudio Bravo's underwhelming debut season, for which he was widely criticised by fans and pundits alike.

Which of last season's top seven would you back to win the title? "It will not be easy but we travel to win the game". The big fail now takes one week in football. The pressure it's never a big problem.

But I really can't see how that squad stays up; if he manages it Wagner will have pulled off a miracle and should walk into a massive job.

I've been really pleased with how Liverpool have shaped up in pre-season and Mohamed Salah has been quite incredible. We have to deal with that and handle that.

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