Finally a test at the height of Manchester City: after a start of campaign with fanfare, the two-time defending champion will face Tottenham, his first rival of the "Big Six", Saturday during the second day of Premier League.
Winners on the West Ham field (5-0) on the opening day, the Citizens had not forced. They had crushed the Hammers, thanks to a hat-trick of Raheem Sterling and a Riyad Mahrez festival. But against the Spurs, Pep Guardiola will have to expect another opposition.
"I know how good Tottenham is, the second best team in Europe," he told a press conference on Friday. "Tottenham is really, really, a good candidate." Since I arrived in England every season, the Spurs are true contenders. "
The Catalan struggles to find the solution against his counterpart Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentinian had also created the surprise last season by leaving Guardiola in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, before reaching the final, lost to Liverpool (2-0).
Be careful, especially since Tottenham was solid after being led by Aston Villa on the first day, with a goal from Tanguy Ndombélé for his first official match with the Spurs, then a pair of Harry Kane ( 3-1).
City's main rival, Liverpool, will travel to Southampton after defeating Norwich (4-1) and his European Supercup success against Chelsea on Wednesday (2-2, 5-4).
Jürgen Klopp will face uncertainty: who will be able to align in goals?
His goalkeeper Alisson Becker was injured for several weeks against Norwich and his N.2 Adrian took a blow to an ankle in Istanbul by a supporter after his decisive stoppage in the shootout. His N.3 Caoimhin Kelleher is him, still not 100%. The German coach could turn to veteran Andy Lonergan (35), signed for a short contract ... but who played in the third division last season.
Program of the 2nd day:
(13h30 / 11h30 GMT) Arsenal - Burnley
(16h / 14h00 GMT) Aston Villa - Bournemouth
Everton - Watford
Norwich City - Newcastle
Brighton - West Ham
Southampton - Liverpool
(18h30 / 16h30 GMT) Manchester City - Tottenham
(15h / 13h00 GMT) Sheffield United - Crystal Palace
(5.30pm / 3.30pm GMT) Chelsea - Leicester
(21h / 19h00 GMT) Wolverhampton - Manchester United
© 2019 AFP