Brighton Premier League season 17-18 preview: Martin Keown's guide

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Brighton Premier League season 17-18 preview: Martin Keown's guide

The settled nature and impressive depth of the squad will also prove crucial to United's chances both domestically and overseas but their surge back to the top of the table could well be disrupted by City, whose manager Pep Guardiola certainly has a point to prove after last season's showing.

I think they are heading back to the Championship - though I'd hate to see one of my former clubs go down.

Willian found himself behind Pedro and Eden Hazard in the team, but still scored eight times in the Premier League.

With Bernardo Silva added to the powerhouse attacking line-up available to Guardiola, the boss believes he is in a better place to execute his tactical plans in 2017-18, starting with Saturday's trip to newly promoted Brighton and Hove Albion.

"I just think that naturally, a manager in the second season knows the players and knows the club better".

"We needed to do that this summer because we have one of the oldest teams in Europe".

"I don't say I know the league better because I have been in this league for a long time".

United created a lot of chances against the teams in the bottom half of the table last season but were left frustrated on a number of occasions due to their profligate nature; Lukaku, though still raw in some aspects, will inject his new sign with the ruthlessness they sorely crave.

"If you see in the first games [last season] against Sunderland and especially against Steaua Bucharest, between last season and now, it's completely the same".

"I have a lot of respect for the players I had", he explained. "I think it is the objective of every one of the top teams and every one of the top team managers", he said.

"Of course now the full-backs are younger, they have energy in their legs and we are going to use them".

There should not be any shoehorning of players into unfamiliar roles this season after Guardiola signed three top-level full-backs - Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo - at a combined cost of around £124 million.

Having favoured a 3-4-3 system for much of pre-season, Guardiola confirmed he will alternate between three-man and four-man defences. "But we try to win the game". "If that is going to mean better results and the title, I don't know". The quintet seem to be archetypal Mourinho players - towering, physical specimens who follow the wants of their coach to the letter.

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