Pep Guardiola not thinking about retaining Premier League title

Kevin de Bruyne did not feature for Manchester City in pre-season friendlies

Arsenal host Manchester City at the Emirates tomorrow (Sunday).

'People say we have to forget what we did last season.

Emery faced Pep Guardiola regularly when they were in charge of Valencia and Barcelona respectively.

Emery, even if successful in the long-term, will probably take time to assert himself at a club used to only one man for 22 years.

"City topped the table by 19 points last time around - 37 clear of Arsenal - but Guardiola, who will not be offering any words of advice to his opposite number this weekend, is confident the men from north London will be in the mix come the end of the season".

"I know exactly what we did to achieve that and we start from there".

The pair missed the Community Shield last week after returning to training late following the World Cup.

Emery has European pedigree in that competition though and that could remain their best chance of getting back into the Champions League. The moment I am not hungry I am leaving, the moment the players are not hungry any more they are going to move on.

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Sergio Aguero is already among the goals whilst Leroy Sane is fresh after surprisingly not being included in Germany's World Cup squad.

He admitted: "Even sometimes after being ideal, the others can be better". Maybe Tottenham could not spend because of the stadium but there is Chelsea with Jorginho, Kovacic and Kanté in the middle, and Hazard, Willian, Pedro and Morata up front so you cannot say they are not contenders to win. Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and a Silva - either David or Bernardo - is a familiar trio for the away side. A lot will depend on his performance against Aubameyang if the defending champions are to kickstart their campaign with a win on Sunday.

"I don't want to forget what we have done last season". But, owing to match fitness and sharpness, Maitland-Niles could well start.

The Gunners are expected to start with Ainsley Maitland-Niles at left back. With Sead Kolasinac's knee injury keeping him out of action for the next two months, Nacho Monreal is the natural replacement for the Bosnian.

Arsenal are also without long-term casualty Laurent Koscielny, while England worldwide Danny Welbeck also misses out.

Considering a 4-2-3-1 formation, Emery is set to go with a central defensive partnership of Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi.

Despite last season's stunning achievements, Guardiola was his usual guarded self when talking about City's prospects for the year ahead, believing as many as five other teams could prevent him from becoming the first manager in a decade to retain the title.

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