Pep Guardiola said the razor-thin margins that have decided the Premier League title race in recent years means it is crucial that Manchester City hits the ground running when its campaign begins on Sunday.

City beat Liverpool to the title by a point last season and in the 2018-19 campaign, and Guardiola said any slip-up could result in a team being out of the race by November, when the league goes on break for the World Cup.

"I have the feeling every time we start the press conference that this season is harder," Guardiola told reporters on Friday ahead of the season opener at West Ham United. "I think next season cannot be harder but it is.