VINCENT KOMPANY has warned the moneybags Manchester clubs: There are no excuses this season.
The two old rivals go head-to-head in the early hours of Friday morning at the NRG Stadium here in Texas.
It will be an early chance to claim bragging rights before a campaign in which both clubs — and their illustrious coaches — need to do better.
City ended up 15 points behind champions Chelsea. As Pep Guardiola finished without silverware for the first time in his managerial career.
Meanwhile, despite picking up two trophies, Jose Mourinho’s men were a distant sixth, 24 points off his old club Chelsea.
City are poised to take their outlay to around £150m by signing Real Madrid full-back Danilo.
And United will not be far behind them if they can finally snare Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan in the next few days.
No wonder many experts believe it will be a shootout between the two for the Premier League crown come May.
Kompany said: “It’s hard to say who are going to be favourites. In my opinion, more teams than ever can claim that they want to be Premier League champions.
“Or not just can be — they HAVE to be. The distinction is important. They have to because everybody is investing heavily at the moment.”
It is three years since City last picked up the trophy and in that time they have tasted glory only once, last year’s League Cup.
The fact his team failed to mount a title challenge beyond the early days of April clearly hurt Guardiola.
He said: “We didn’t compete in the Premier League until the end of the season.