One of the top football coaches in the world, Pep Guardiola, gets set for his first ever Premier League match on Saturday as his side Manchester City go head-to-head with Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium. The Sky Blues obviously go in as the favourites in the match, but what needs to be seen is if the favourites can really win the coveted title at the end of the season.
Former Everton defender John Stones, who became a record signing this time around as he was signed up by Guardiola's side for a reported £47.5m, could be set for his debut in a Man City shirt in the match, as the likes of Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi nurse some injuries.
The likes of Leroy Sane and former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan too will remain available as they spend time on the sidelines. There is a fitness concern over Kevin de Bruyne as well, but the other stars in Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Yaya Toure are set to feature.
For Sunderland manager David Moyes, it will be a tough task to get past City but no doubt with many new players being roped in, the Black Cats will be expected to give it their all from their very start. The Premier League side will be, at any cost, trying their best to prevent fighting relegation for yet one more season.
Highly-rated Manchester United youngsters Adnan Janujaz, Donald Love and Paddy McNair were brought on board by Moyes just ahead of the match and the trio could be set to feature. The most worrisome news for Sunderland is that star midfielder Sebastian Larsson is expected to be in sidelines for the next six months owing to a knee injury.
"We have quite a few injuries," Moyes said in the pre-match presser. "Seb Larsson has had an operation which we believe will keep him out for 5-6 months. [However] I'm very happy to put the young players out; some of them will be on the bench tomorrow [in the match] and some of them will have to play, but I'm happy to do that and what I've seen from the young players is very good.
"I will encourage them to keep it up and when the right opportunities come up I hope they're ready to take their chance," the former Manchester United manager added.
Guardiola, meanwhile, has asked his side to play with utmost pleasure in the match. "To create something you need time, to create ideas to attack, but for soul we don't need time," the former Barcelona manager said.
"Tomorrow I don't know if we're going to play good but I won't accept if we don't play with soul. We play tomorrow from the first day. That's what I'm looking for from our team. I want our fans in the Etihad to see that. I want my players to play their football with pleasure inside."
The match is scheduled to kick off at 5:30 p.m. BST (10 p.m. IST, 12:30 p.m. EST) on Aug. 13.
Where to watch live
UK: TV: BT Sport 1. Live streaming: BT Sport Live
USA: TV: NBC Sports, CNBC. Live streaming: NBC Sports Live