The Pep Guardiola era at Manchester City officially gets underway in Saturday’s late kick off as his side take on Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium.
Having stagnated under Manuel Pellegrini, the Citizens have been busy adding to their squad and still appear keen to do business before the close of the transfer window.
There have also been plenty of changes at the Stadium of Light as, after finally appearing to bring stability to the club, boss Sam Allardyce was appointed England manager and it is now up to David Moyes to try and keep the inconsistent Black Cats afloat.
City are understandably the favourites and Guardiola will view this game as a superb chance to set his stall out. Nolito, Ilkay Gundogan and Leroy Sane are all among those who have been signed to give attacking impetus and Tuesday’s acquisition of John Stones should go some way to adding security in defence.
Their attacking options will give City fans plenty of optimism and they will be confident of a similar result to last season’s 4-1 win in this fixture, having scored at least twice in their last three home games.
It promises to be another interesting campaign for Sunderland, with Moyes becoming their third manager in a calendar year following Allardyce and Dick Advocaat.
The Scot struggled to impose himself at both Manchester United and Real Socieded but his stock is still high due to his exploits during his impressive 11-year stint at Everton.
Sunderland have, however, been rather sluggish in the transfer market due to the previous uncertainty over Allardyce and the team that lines up on Saturday could be much different to the one which features after the window closes.
They did finish last season with a run of six games unbeaten but will have their work cut out to get a result, having not defeated City away from home in any competition since 1998.
Four or more goals have also been scored on six of the last seven occasions these sides have met so over 3.5 goals may well be worth a look.