However, pre-season (and the first half of the UEFA Super Cup) indicated that United may actually try a back three at times too. Striker Alexis Sanchez, who has been ruled out of Friday's opener against Leicester, is in the final season of his Emirates Stadium contract.
The wide-man revealed that the Portuguese tactician wanted him to join the Red Devils along with him last summer, and further spoke about the mutual respect and friendship shared by the duo: "There were a few conversations with my agent".
"We needed to do that because it was one of the oldest teams in Europe, not just the Premier League, and we needed to change it. We were not able with those players to find a solution".
In an off-season that has seen more than 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) invested in players, Manchester rivals City and United have accounted for more than a third of that spending.
"We managed to assimilate very well what he asked us in the training sessions and things worked out". He is open. Obviously, we leave the door open for him to recover with us.
Those reasons for excitement include the arrival of striker Romelu Lukaku for 75 million pounds ($97.42 million) from Everton, Chelsea's Serbia midfielder Nemanja Matic (40 mln) and Sweden defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica (30 mln). In the last six or seven years Manchester City didn't buy full backs.
Take that high-water mark of 1999/2000, when United's attacking football lit up the Premier League. "The market is so demanding for all the teams, not just Manchester City".
Guardiola's side have been installed as title favourites but the former Barcelona boss is not taking anything for granted and anticipates a tough start.
With Diego Costa widely reported to be leaving the club, the main striker is Alvaro Morata, brought from Real Madrid, and while he is an undoubted talent, he is untested in English football. He has put his trust in me and in my work, and I was very grateful to him. Regardless of his age, the unwavering will to win is as strong as it has ever been. "I don't think I am in a position of moaning, crying, contesting or saying I am not happy".
He added: "If the remaining 25 per cent doesn't arrive by August 31, I will not moan".
"We are here to win the games and titles".
If either Messrs. Ivan Perisic or Gareth Bale come in (both far from likely as it stands), they will walk into the lineup at the expense of either Rashford or Mkhitaryan.