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Gossip: Premier predictions and transfer verdicts

PREMIER FOCUS: City start the 18/19 campaign at Arsenal

PREMIER FOCUS: City start the 18/19 campaign at Arsenal

The wait is almost over!

Just under three months ago Gabriel Jesus clipped the ball over Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy to seal an incredible 100 point season - now the quest begins again at Arsenal on Sunday.

Friday's media is full of predictions for the campaign ahead, there's commentary on City's transfer activity in the men's and women's teams plus a run through of the rule changes for the 18/19 season...

First to Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson, who has had his say on City's opener at the Gunners.

He says: "If you had asked me last Saturday I'd have fancied Arsenal, but City were outstanding last weekend against Chelsea. I feel with the new manager, there will be a plan this time from Arsenal, whereas last year they got absolutely rinsed.

"But I think City will have too much for them. With these Arsenal players on the training ground, you've got to make drills monotonous to really ram home the message, but I don't think they've had the time yet.

"PAUL PREDICTS: 1-3"

READ: Premier League preview - five talking points

Next to Daniel Arzani, the young Aussie ace who joined City from Melbourne City early on deadline day.

THE LAST TIME... Bernardo celebrates against Arsenal

A report on his national team's website read: "The hard work as Caltex Socceroos boss starts now for Arnold and the chance to foster Arzani’s development could be high on his to do list.

"The Iranian-born attacker is one of several young prospects Arnold might look towards as he prepares to plot Australia’s defence of the AFC Asian Cup next year.

"Arnold says that Arzani’s confidence and composure holds him in great stead for his venture overseas and beyond.

“'He believes in himself a lot which is great,” he said.

“'It’s good to hear a kid have that confidence and belief in himself and I’m sure that he will do exceptionally well.'

"Arzani’s move to the reigning Premier League champions is a dream come true for the 19-year-old.

"The explosive attacker has just 15 Hyundai A-League starts to his name but has displayed a wealth of ability in his short senior career to date.

"He lamented his parting from Melbourne City, but the chance to rub shoulders with Europe’s elite proved too good an opportunity to turn down."

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City also signed striker Janine Beckie on Thursday in a move that caught the eye of the Toronto Star over in Canada.

They reported: "Canadian international striker Janine Beckie has joined the Manchester City women’s team in a transfer from Sky Blue FC of the NWSL.

"Beckie who turns 24 on Aug. 20, signed with the English team on Wednesday night after a whirlwind week of negotiation.

“'It’s a really exciting time,' Beckie told The Canadian Press. 'I’m still a bit on Cloud 9 . . . This really is a very great dream come true.'"

Such is the global appeal of the Premier League, plenty of international media have picked up on the opening weekend.

Here USA Today's reporters have had a go at predicting the winners (spoiler, City feature heavily!).

The write: "Less than a month removed from one of the greatest World Cups in history, the English Premier League kicks off on Aug. 10.

"England's top league is a 38-game roller coaster that goes all the way into May 2019.  Manchester City ran away with the title last season, winning 32 games with four draws and just two losses – finishing with 100 points, a new league record.

"While City is the popular favorite to win the league again, no team has managed to repeat as champion since Manchester United went back-to-back in 2007-08 and 2008-09.

"The USA TODAY Sports soccer staff gives its predictions for how the new season will shake out..."

And finally new season, new rules. Take a look at this handy piece from Sky Sports detailing everything from new extra time rules, news suspension rules plus technology in the technical area.

That's all for today, we'll be back same time same place on Saturday for more build up

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