Raheem Sterling is in the Manchester City starting XI to face Tottenham due to his better recovery abilities to his other England teammates.
Pep Guardiola named Sterling in his City team to start the Premier League opener against Spurs despite having less than a week of training under his belt. Fellow England international Jack Grealish makes his Premier League debut, but has an extra few days of training under his belt, but Kyle Walker and John Stones are on the bench.
Other internationals who were late returning to pre-season are on the bench, with Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus available to Guardiola, along with Kevin De Bruyne.
And the manager told Sky Sports that Sterling is in a slightly better physical condition to other players, as he preached the value of utilising his whole squad over the course of the season.
“Raheem has a special physical quality,” he said.
“His recovery and muscular issues are exceptional, others need more time. The selection today more thinking for the guys have been from the beginning [of pre-season]. We work on many things.
“Two days ago the first time we were all together. Some people get the condition quicker. I’m pretty sure Kyle could have played, John arrived in perfect condition, Aymer arrive so good on weight and body fat.
“It’s just the first fixture, there’s 38 games and they know everyone is going to be involved. today we decide and hopefully we can do a good game.”
Grealish looked to be named in a midfield three, rather than a wide position, but Guardiola urged fans not to look too much into his selection against Spurs in relation to his long-term City career.
He said: “Jack is not going to solve our problems or good things. We involve him in the way we want to play and be part of something.
“After that the quality he has helps him to be involved in the game as much as possible. He has to be himself. we will wait for him. He didn’t come for one or two games, he come for many years. Maybe he adapts quicker, or maybe we adapt to him, but we are going to wait.”