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Man City v Girona match preview – a chance for the youngsters to step up

Man City v Girona friendly match - a chance for the youngsters to step up

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

ALSO WATCH: Julián Álvarez picks Agüero, Zabaleta, Tevez and more in his Argentine Premier League XI

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.

ALSO WATCH: Match Highlights: Man City 3-0 Blackburn – City off to the next stage of the FA Youth Cup

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.

Only four players still at City got on the pitch that day – John Stones, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Ilkay Gundogan.

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.

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Premier League Table

# Team MP W D L F A G P
1 Liverpool 26 18 6 2 63 25 +38 60
2 Manchester City 26 18 5 3 59 26 +33 59
3 Arsenal 26 18 4 4 62 23 +39 58
4 Aston Villa 26 16 4 6 56 35 +21 52
5 Tottenham Hotspur 25 14 5 6 52 38 +14 47
6 Manchester United 26 14 2 10 36 36 +0 44
7 Brighton & Hov… 26 10 9 7 49 41 +8 39
8 West Ham United 26 11 6 9 40 46 -6 39
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers 26 11 5 10 40 40 +0 38
10 Newcastle United 26 11 4 11 54 45 +9 37
11 Chelsea 25 10 5 10 42 41 +1 35
12 Fulham 26 9 5 12 36 42 -6 32
13 Crystal Palace 26 7 7 12 31 44 -13 28
14 AFC Bournemouth 25 7 7 11 33 47 -14 28
15 Everton 26 8 7 11 28 34 -6 25
16 Brentford 26 7 4 15 37 48 -11 25
17 Nottingham Forest 26 6 6 14 34 48 -14 24
18 Luton Town 25 5 5 15 35 51 -16 20
19 Burnley 26 3 4 19 25 58 -33 13
20 Sheffield United 26 3 4 19 22 66 -44 13
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