After losing by three goals to one at the King Power Stadium in the Community Shield last Saturday evening, the boys in blue will be looking to kick off their Premier League season with a victory.

The defeat against a strong Liverpool outfit last time out is nothing to be disheartened by. With new players still adjusting to the Guardiola way, it is surely just a matter of time before it all clicks into place.

The citizens will be in search for a fifth Premier League title in just six seasons after they fought off keen contenders Liverpool last season by just one point.

The introduction of Erling Haaland from German side Borussia Dortmund has caused excitement amongst fans, but is he the key to unlocking  that long awaited piece of European silverware?

  • Story of Last Season

City finished the 2021/22 Premier League season in a remarkable first place for the fourth time in five years.

They managed 93 points with an astonishing goal difference of 73.

However, it was not an easy ride for Pep's men as the title race with Liverpool went down to the wire.

The blues marginally claimed the trophy on the last day as they overturned a 2-0 Aston Villa lead to win 3-2. Three goals in five minutes stole the points in astounding fashion. A brace from midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and a long range side footed effort by Rodri set the stadium alight.

For the other domestic trophies, City had no luck, going out of the EFL Cup fourth round on penalties to West Ham United, and losing 3-2 to Liverpool in the semi-finals, who eventually went on to lift the cup.

In Europe, a consecutive Champions League final looked set up until Real Madrid's Rodrygo scored two very quick goals in added time of the semi-final to send City packing.

Whilst the Citizens didn't have a distinctively known striker throughout the season, they still managed to record a total of 99 Premier League goals, and 151 goals in all competitions.

Kevin De Bruyne was City's top goalscorer in the league with 15 netted, putting him 6th in the golden boot race. Meanwhile, in all competitions, winger Riyad Mahrez managed 24 goals, more than any other player at the club.

Consistency is key but with Pep roulette its hard to gain. However, defender Joao Cancelo was trusted massively throughout the last campaign, registering a gargantuous 3228 league minutes. Portuguese teammate Bernardo Silva stood out also, making the Premier League team of the season, alongside De Bruyne and Cancelo. 

Phil Foden won the PFA young player of the year for the Blues, fending off Mason Mount, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Bukayo Saka.

The Man City player of the year award however, was gifted to number 17 Kevin De Bruyne.

(Photo by / Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Regan / Getty Images)
  • Outgoings

The champions have lost some key first team assets this summer, with forward, Gabriel Jesus leaving to join London Rivals Arsenal, and England International Raheem Sterling joining Chelsea.

Also joining the Gunners on a permanent deal, is 25-year-old Oleksandr Zinchenko, who during his time at the Blues, became the most successful Ukrainian footballer to ever grace the Premier League.

Central midfielder Fernandinho has gone back to Atletico Paranaense after 264 appearances for City.

Furthermore, youngster CJ Egan-Riley has joined Championship side Burnley on a 4 year deal, who are currently under the reign of Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany.

Several players have been loaned out this summer including goalkeeper Zack Steffen who has joined Middlesbrough for a season, James Trafford has fled to Bolton Wanderers, Taylor Harwood-Bellis has joined Burnley on a season long loan and finally, Tommy Doyle is at Sheffield United until the end of the campaign.

  • New Signings

With many key players making way, it was vital that City brought some new life into the club.

22-year-old Erling Haaland, whose dad Alfie Haaland also played for City, signed for the Blues for a bargain of £51 million. After registering 86 goals in 89 games for the German giants in all competitions, hopefully he is that firm number nine that the champions have been searching for.

Midfielder Kalvin Phillips has also made his way into the club for a sale of around £42 million after he has stood out in a Leeds shirt over recent times.

After signing in January on transfer deadline day for £14 million, Julian Alvarez was sent back to Argentinian club River Plate on loan until the end of the season as Pep wanted to ensure his game time was kept to a maximum. However, going into the 2022/23 season, the 22-year-old is a bright prospect in sky blue, already registering a goal for himself against Liverpool in the community shield.

The centurions have also signed German goalkeeper Stefan Ortega for free on a three year deal. The 29 year old's contract had ran out at Arminia Bielefeld. 

Daniel Arzani, Diego Rosa, Ryotaro Meshino and Aro Murić also signed for Man City this summer.

  • The Manager

Guardiola says he is very happy with the balance and quality at his disposal, as well as the atmosphere in the dressing room. 

"Erling and Julian are here and will have a positive effect on our game," he said.

"We scored a lot of goals last season; we won the Premier League and got the semifinals of the Champions League. We were one of the top scorers in Europe.

"So far I am so excited and so happy [with the makeup of the squad]. 

"Sometimes the market was strange for us. Normally we are a team that buy and didn’t sell much. This summer for different reasons, we sell some players.

"Sometimes you want to do it but you cannot. This summer it happened so quick. not just first-team players - academy and loan players. New players have come and we continue with them."

Ederson should always start between the sticks unless he picks up an injury, however, Pep may give some game time in the cup competitions to less experienced goalkeepers. 

The centre-back pairing is easily interchangeable with John Stones and Nathan Ake fulfilling a good standard. 

With left back Marc Cucurella looking almost certain to sign before the end of the window, he could provide some healthy competition for Joao Cancelo in the full back spot. 

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barrat - AMA / Getty Images)
(Photo by Robbie Jay Barrat - AMA / Getty Images)

On the other flank, despite Kyle Walker's age slowly starting to catch up with him now he's 32 years old, his spot is secure if he stays injury free. 

For the role of the holding midfielder, Rodri is the clear man for the job, but Kalvin Phillips is there to keep him on his toes, especially since Fernandinho has made his way out of the club. 

De Bruyne and Bernardo work brilliantly together in that middle, but there is hope for youngsters coming through the ranks to get some game time in there for example James McAtee. Ilkay Gundogan is also a trustworthy replacement in that midfield.

On both wings there is competition, but for me Phil Foden has to start. The youngster has shown why he is one of the best youth talents in the world, but former Aston Villa player Jack Grealish is not far behind.

On the opposite side, Algerian Riyad Mahrez has performed brilliantly for City in recent times, and was the top goalscorer last campaign. Despite this, the likes of Kayky, Cole Palmer and Samuel Edozie will all be hoping for more first team action this season.

The number nine spot has Haaland's name on it, however the Norwegian is prone to an injury, so for Julian Alvarez and 19 year old Liam Delap, there may be an opportunity.

  • Talking Points

One of the main talking points going into the season has to be Erling Haaland, as there is a curiosity around how he will perform and if he will live up to his expectations. 

Man City have not had a solid number 9 since the departure of Sergio Aguero, so it will be interesting to see how the team adapts.

Bernardo Silva, who is regarded as one of the Citizens best players was heavily linked with Spanish side Barcelona over the summer. The multiple time Champions League winners were in favour to sign the 27-year-old until Pep Guardiola stated, he did not expect Bernardo to leave the club, and Manchester City mirror the stance of their manager. They do not expect Bernardo to leave.

Another talking point is the promise of £100 million signing Jack Grealish living up to his hype. After an underwhelming first season for the boys in blue, can Jack finally get back to his goalscoring ways?

(Photo by Visonhaus / Getty Images)
(Photo by Visonhaus / Getty Images)

 

  • Expected Finish - 1st

After winning four Premier League titles in five seasons, Guardiola's men are the team to beat. Especially since signing new striker Erling Haaland, they will be looking to hold the top spot and fend off rivals Liverpool once again.