But if recent history is anything to go by, taking on the defending champions on the opening weekend of 2018/19 might prove to be a blessing in disguise.
That's because Pep Guardiola's side will need to buck a recent trend if they are to make a winning start themselves.
After 24 successive seasons in which the defending champions started unbeaten, the last two have both suffered opening-day defeats.
Up to the start of 2016/17, out of a possible 72 points up for grabs for teams who had won the title, only eight had ever been dropped.
Champions on opening weekend
But Man City can take hope from their own record as reigning champions.
Part 1: Premier League fixtures for 2018/19 announced
Part 2: Champions City hand Emery a tough start
Part 3: London and Merseyside set for triple derby special
Part 4: Goals and shocks in store on Boxing Day
Part 6: Promoted clubs eye historic winning treble
Part 7: Top five set for late-season showdowns
Part 8: Tough finishes can inspire Wagner and Hughton
Part 9: Drogba the last of the MW1 hat-trick heroes