"City are the favourites, the other two clubs are less impressive".
"As always, the first game at home is very important, we have to have the ball and get more rhythm than them".
"But you need different things, to do different things, a different spirit, have a different mentality".
"I think that, contrary to what everybody thinks, Madrid is more of a team without Cristiano", he told Marca. Obviously, I was a little tense with all the talk after my move from Real Madrid and not scoring, so there were a lot of expectations, but I thank my team-mates for supporting me throughout.
Los Blancos are strong candidates to secure a fourth successive crown and, interestingly, Alves thinks the 13-time champions are actually even more unsafe without Cristiano Ronaldo.
Bale is still under contract with Madrid until the summer of 2022, however, so it would take a rather extortionate amount of money to lure him back to north London.
It's certainly an interesting take given Ronaldo's 450 goals account for a huge portion of Madrid's overall tally during his nine years in the Spanish capital.
City have been touted as one of the favourites to clinch the European Cup this time around, but with elite clubs like Juventus, Liverpool and Barcelona gearing up to dislodge Real Madrid from the pedestal they've hogged for the last three years, Guardiola's men will have to show a steelier resolve this time around.
It seems the veteran full-back could well be onto something.