Why is it so hard to defend the Premier League title?

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Guardiola has been foot ideal all summer and made big additions to his squad early and often.

With Pep Guardiola eager to add steel to his midfield, the Premier League club have made an enquiry over the availability of the veteran Barcelona midfielder this summer.

"At Barcelona or Bayern Munich, there you have to win by far".

"The 22-year-old, a graduate of Benfica's academy, was a pivotal part of Monaco's swashbuckling Ligue 1-winning side last year, contributing eight goals and nine assists, and should provide an additional cutting edge to a squad that, Sergio Aguero aside, under-delivered in terms of goal scoring last season".

"However all of those years of hurt seem to have caught up on football fans and the survey shows expectation and support for the national team is low compared to backing for club teams".

Which leaves, among the high-fliers at least, the enigma that is Tottenham Hotspur.

Past year he was named Man City's Player of the Season and is set to feature in Guardiola's first-team plans despite the arrival of Bernardo Silva from Monaco and the emergence of talented youngsters Phil Foden, Brahim Diaz and Jadon Sancho. Guardiola has made a decision to arrange a friendly with Girona between Premier League games.

In preparation for the new 2017/18 season, we're taking a look back at Manchester United's history against the other 19 top-flight teams.

There's deadwood and then there's City's six-feet-under-a-grave-of-reinforced-concrete-wood.

This season has been no different seasons but the standout newcomer to the Premier League is Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid. New faces had to settle in and the legacy players had to get used to the methods of their high-profile bosses. We want to put Manchester United back on the map. But as Guardiola found out last season, often with a look of painful frustration, it's not as simple as that. Kevin de Bruyne is all set to have a massive season, but the manner in which Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus have improved in the off-season ought to send alarm bells ringing across opposition defences. Hart, on a season loan with the Hammers from Manchester City, has a serious fight on his hands if he is to be Gareth Southgate's first-choice option in Russian Federation next summer.

Danilo is the other fullback to make his debut for City.

A familiar weakness remains, despite all of City's lavish spending.

Pep Guardiola's challenge can be crystallised into a simple question: Will the manager allow Manchester City to defend this season?

Slightly biased being a club I played at but always big expectation on winning a trophy. Again, there are long-standing injury concerns over one of Guardiola's options, with Gundogan yet to make an appearance this calendar year while he recovers from knee ligament damage.

Spurning interest from his former club Chelsea, Lukaku opted to join Manchester United in a £75 million deal that was a record for a transfer between British clubs. Ederson will have to be more Neuer than Bravo, and while early indications seem promising, the true test will arrive on August 12. There is, of course, nothing decisive about it - Chelsea began the 2015-16 campaign with a group featuring 23 Premier League starters and finished in 10th place before romping to the title with the same number a year later - but it does help to underline what is concerning Conte.

There'll be a victor from the top six (Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool) but if there's a surprise, maybe a team like Everton could string a season together that takes a progressive step.

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