Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola addressed the media in the build-up to their clash against Bournemouth on Saturday, August 13. The Premier League defending champions will line-up at the Etihad for the first time this season as they welcome the newly promoted side.
On the occasion of the Premier League completing its 30 years, Guardiola was asked about the enticing rivalry Liverpool have established with Manchester City.
The two English giants have finished as the top two in the division thrice in the last four seasons. The Cityzens have beaten Liverpool to the title in three campaigns, while the Reds won in 2020.
Guardiola credits owner Sheikh Mansour's ownership as the responsible factor for a significant shift in the dynamics of the Premier League.
Further, the Spaniard added that he feels honored about Manchester City's rivalry with Jurgen Klopp's side, who have been their biggest opponents in England.
He said, via the Manchester Evening News (MEN):
"We were able to create this rivalry, the last years the biggest opponent we face in the titles is Liverpool, it's an honour. Before it didn't happen until Sheikh Mansour took over and make an investment to make a good environment to compete with the elite of English football. Sport is like this, individual and collective, you need someone to get you better."
Liverpool were able to get the better of Guardiola's team in the Community Shield clash earlier this month in a 3-1 victory at the King Power Stadium.
However, Manchester City bounced back well from the defeat to start their Premier League campaign in a confident and assuring manner.
They beat West Ham United 2-0 on the opening day away from home in comfortable fashion with minimal fuss. More importantly, Erling Haaland felt right at home with his new teammates and scored both of his side's goals. The Norwegian's addition to Guardiola's squad has made facing them even more daunting.
Not to mention, Liverpool already have some distance to cover as they could only draw 2-2 in their opening match against Fulham at Craven Cottage. New signing Darwin Nunez scored their second goal.
However, it's only just the start of the season and a lot of changes will occur in the Premier League table before a champion is crowned.
Pundit predicts Manchester City to thump Bournemouth
BBC pundit Chris Sutton has predicted that Bournemouth are about to get a thrashing from Guardiola's side as an early welcome to the Premier League. The Cherries started their campaign brightly by beating Aston Villa 2-0 in their opening fixture.
However, Sutton thinks they won't have a comfortable outing on Saturday.
While predicting the results and scores for the BBC, he wrote:
"Erling Haaland is going to be licking his lips before this one. If Manchester City score the first goal, Bournemouth are in trouble. I suspect the Cherries will try for damage limitation if they do go behind, but I'm not sure that will work. Bournemouth are the tallest team in the Premier League - and they are probably going to take the biggest walloping this weekend."