The Premier League season opens this weekend, and Pep Guardiola's team is favoured to cruise to its third straight title.

Rafael Benítez is not the sort of coach who has ever seen a team he did not think he could outwit. If he has ever encountered an opponent too illustrious to overcome, or a gulf in resources too wide to bridge with some bright thinking, some grand idea, he hides it well.

His instinctive reaction, then, to the question of how to beat Manchester City, which on Saturday will open its campaign to win a third straight Premier League title,

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