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"When Liverpool believe they need to spend on these players, it's because they believe it's for the best for them..."

The London clubs are expected to battle for fourth place with Chelsea, who have a new manager in Maurizio Sarri, listed at 12/1 and Tottenham, who bring back mostly the same roster, at 16/1.

"I'm not concerned about what one of us said one day, the circumstances change".

History is against him, however, as no Premier League team has successfully defended the title since United in 2009 and Guardiola concedes past achievements will count for nothing if results go awry.

"It's alright", said game-for-a-laugh Silva.

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Guardiola has strengthened his squad for 2018-19 with the addition of Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City, and Villa believes the defending champions are favourites to retain their crown. "The pressure of the national team you have to put on other players, not on Phil". He's a fantastic player who can improve our team.

It leaves Guardiola short of options ahead of Wednesday's International Champions Cup match against Liverpool at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which could be a prequel to a rivalry that is set to intensify throughout the season.

United were contenders last season but they could not stop City romping to the championship with record tallies in terms of points (100) and goals scored (106). "I think it was the key piece of the puzzle for Liverpool, we've been talking about the goalkeeper for many years, I think Jurgen appreciates that as well".

"I'm an ambitious player, I want to win trophies every season", Mahrez told the media.

The 24-year-old was also asked about the club's transfer targets but wasn't too anxious about that issue as he said, "That's up to the gaffer and the chairman, from our point of view we've got a great squad that's getting better each year".