Manchester City are the most dominant force in English football at this very moment in time.
Not content with winning the Premier League in 2018 by a record point margin and by beating more opponents than anyone else, Pep Guardiola went and did it the following season.
And the Spaniard also retained the Carabao Cup and added the FA Cup to the growing trophy collection at the Etihad.
The only side that were able to get close to City were Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp’s men pushing the champions all the way to the final day of the season.
The clubs will meet for the chance to lift the Community Shield on August 4 at Wembley stadium in the season’s traditional curtain-raiser.
Keen to carry on the Citizens’ dominance, Guardiola has already made signings in this transfer window and is looking to complete more.
Left-back Angelino has returned to Manchester after signing for PSV Eindhoven last summer, while Rodri has also completed his move from Atletico Madrid for £62.5million.
With Vincent Kompany returning to Anderlecht, there is a gaping hole at the heart of the defence alongside Aymeric Laporte for someone to fill.
John Stones has struggled for consistency in recent years, with his performances at the Nations League doing little to dispel suggestions he can be a liability on the ball.
Instead, Guardiola has reportedly turned to Stones’ England colleague Harry Maguire. Rivals United are also interested in the Leicester defender, who is valued at £80m.
Maguire could be joined in a new look backline by Joao Cancelo. The Juventus defender is reportedly wanted by City, with Barcelona and Bayern Munich interested. So how could City look for the start of the new season?
LATEST FOOTBALL STORIES
Guardiola has favoured a 4-3-3 formation with a central pivot in midfield around which to start his attacks. One thing fans began to notice at Man City was the way in which the inverted full-backs to almost act as playmakers.
By playing Maguire and Laporte on the ‘wrong side’ (i.e. with their weaker foot) the full-backs can tuck inside and condense the middle. This means City can afford to commit more bodies forward and be comfortable in the knowledge a counter-attack coming back the other way will not be as dangerous.
Although Sergio Aguero is still one of the most lethal strikers in world football, the decision to hand Gabriel Jesus the number nine shirt, coupled with his incredible performances at the Copa America, suggest he could get more starting game time this season.
With Raheem Sterling and BernaRdo Silva supplemented by Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan (with David Silva from the bench) City could well dominate for years to come.
Could this be Manchester City’s XI to face Liverpool in the Community Shield?