Pep Guardiola vs Jose Mourinho Take Two

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 27 July 2017, 14:05

Pep Guardiola vs Jose Mourinho dominated the build-up to the 2016/17 Premier League season to an almost unbearable degree, as both gaffers made their eagerly anticipated debuts in charge of Man City (Guardiola) and Man Utd (Mourinho).

The frenzied pre-season hysteria spectacularly failed to live up to expectations as Antonio Conte stormed into the frame, snatching all the plaudits after leading Chelsea to the title. But, as we venture into the 2017/18 campaign both Guardiola and Mourinho will be desperate to make amends.

Guardiola, being Guardiola, is meticulously preparing for his second season in English football. The Spaniard’s debut campaign in charge of Man City didn’t quite go to plan, as he ended an underwhelming campaign trophyless, and a disappointing 15 points behind champions Chelsea in the league.

However, after splashing the cash this summer on the likes of Bernardo Silva, Danilo, Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker - they haven’t finished yet! - who have been added to a team that is already soaked in immense talent: Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne.

Wow, just wow.

If the former Barcelona boss can gel together his own team sooner rather than later, then the rewards could be staggering. With this in mind it will surprise few that Guardiola’s troops have been installed as the 15/8 favourites for Premier League glory, as the club bids to hoist the title for the first time since 2014.

Hot on Guardiola’s tail is Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho who can be backed at 100/30 to end United’s lengthy league title drought, which dates back to 2013.

The Red Devils may have lost star man Zlatan Ibrahimovic (for now!) but they’ve spent a whopping £75m (at least…) on striker Romelu Lukaku (25 PL goals last season), with whom Mourinho hopes will fire the club to glory.

Mourinho is one of three current Premier League bosses who has actually won the English title - along with Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte - with three triumphs, although he only has one in the last 11 seasons.

United's league campaign may not have gone to plan - they finished 6th, 24 points behind Chelsea - but Mourinho will be content with a treble of sorts, with the club's Europa League triumph propelling his troops into the Champions League.

Make no mistake about it though, the Portuguese coach is under pressure to mount a serious title challenge this term, and United have every chance of steaming out of the blocks with their first seven fixtures against West Ham, Swansea, Leicester, Stoke, Everton, Southampton, and Crystal Palace.

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