Manchester City will play against Spanish side Girona FC this Saturday afternoon in a club friendly match at the Academy Stadium at 13:00 (UK) or 15:00 (CAT), ahead of next week’s Carabao Cup fourth round clash with Liverpool..
After a long period without club level action for Pep Guardiola‘s men, this game will prove to be vital in preparing for the season to resume after the international break.
Most of the Manchester City players are back from the World Cup but Julian Alvarez is yet to return as he is the only one left in the tournament. He will be representing his country – Argentina on Sunday in the 2022 FIFA World Cup final against France.
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However, many of those who were in Qatar are yet to return to training as Guardiola seeks to give them appropriate rest ahead of a grueling second half of the season. This is a good opportunity for youngsters to step up and provide the City boss with a broad senior squad selection range in the near future.
Last week’s training camp in Abu Dhabi involved seven first team players such as Riyad Mahrez, Stefan Ortega Moreno, Erling Haaland and Sergio Gomez as well as the entire Elite Development Squad. Kevin De Bruyne has also resumed training following his country’s exit from the World Cup.
Watch City’s training in the winter sun via the video below.
What To Expect
These days, it’s not often City come up against an opponent they’re not used to facing but Girona are exactly that.
Their Catalan sister club are currently in mid-table in La Liga but tend to spend more time battling relegation than seeking European qualification.
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For that reason, Man City have only played the Estadi Montilivi side once previously – a friendly in Catalonia in 2017. That ended 1-0 this weekend’s visitors with a 14th minute Portu goal splitting the sides.
However, the two current squads do have some familiarity with each other after they used Girona‘s La Vinya training ground during a warm weather camp in August.