Manchester City looked jaded against a dynamic Arsenal in the Community Shield last weekend, but manager Manuel Pellegrini is sure to select a far stronger starting XI for their Premier League season opener away to Newcastle.
Pellegrini has been selective in the transfer window: the free transfer of Bacary Sagna earlier this summer was a sign that City would not match the spending sprees of previous seasons.
That said, the smart addition of Porto duo Fernando and £32 million Eliaquim Mangala shows that even a club in breach of Uefa Financial Fair Play regulations can still make a splash in the transfer market.
Newcastle United meanwhile have overhauled their squad with a fresh batch of French and Dutch recruits. Manager Alan Pardew could catch the title holders cold this afternoon, but only if new signings like Daryl Janmaat and Emmanuel Riviere settle quickly into the Premier League pace. If they are up for the fight, and City’s mesmeric attack is not firing on all cylinders, then Newcastle could have a dream Premier League start.