The best team in the Premier League hopes to win a sixth consecutive match to start the season and a tenth overall victory with a visit to Swansea City on Saturday. Pep Guardiola's perfect start has been a joy to watch, and Manchester City look as strong as ever.
While Guardiola and City players ask that the outsiders don't get excited with what has been happening so far, that's simply impossible. The Sky Blues have played incredible football, dominated their opponents tactically and it doesn't look like they've been coached by Pep for only two months. Each game is a step in their evolution under Pep Ball, and the perfect results give the players confidence that their manager's style actually works in England.
But starting this weekend, Guardiola will have an opportunity to learn how good this team really is. The Citizens will play three straight matches away from home, first against the Swans, then in the Champions League against Celtic and then at White Hart Lane against Tottenham. None of these games promise to be tough, and we will learn the true strength of this team for the next seven days.
Fasten your seatbelts, we're in for a fun ride.
Date/Time: Saturday, September 24, 2016, 3pm local time (UK), 10am ET, 7am PT (US), 7:30pm IST (India)
Venue: Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wales
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
TV listings: Premier League Extra Time (US), NBC UNIVERSO (US - Spanish), TSN4 (Canada), Star Sports 4 SD/HD (India), elsewhere
Man City team news: Pep Guardiola can finally count on his best striker in domestic matches, as Sergio Agüero returns from a three-game suspension right into the starting lineup. Nolito picked up a three-match suspension of his own, however, and with two games left to go on his ban, he can't play at Liberty Stadium and won't play for City in English competition until after the international break.
David Silva and Fabian Delph are still doubtful to play as they recover from minor muscle injuries, but both should be fit enough for the bench. Vincent Kompany made a great return from injury in the midweek EFL Cup match against the Swans, but hurt his groin in the final minute and will once again miss some time. There's no official word from the club on a timetable for recovery, but the City captain won't be available for Saturday and the next few weeks, apparently.
After resting plenty of legs in midweek, Pep is likely to bring his best players again, including Bravo, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Gundogan and Sterling. Leroy Sané will start on the wing in place of Nolito, hoping to build upon his solid performance at Liberty Stadium with a good performance at Liberty Stadium.
Predicted Man City starting lineup (4-1-4-1, r-l):
Bravo; Sagna, Stones, Otamendi, Kolarov; Fernandinho; Sané, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Sterling; Agüero
Swansea team news: Francesco Guidolin could be getting sacked in the morning if he doesn't get a great result on Saturday, and thankfully for him all of his best players will be ready to play. Only winger Nathan Dyer is injured, but the rest of the squad is fully fit and available for Saturday.
Predicted Swansea starting lineup (4-2-3-1, r-l):
Fabianski; Naughton, Fernández, Amat, Kingsley; Cork, Fer; Barrow, Sigurdsson, Routledge; Llorente
This won't be an easy game, but with the big boys back and rested, this shouldn't be too tough and the perfect start will continue. 2-0 to the Sky Blues.