After a disappointing penalty shoot-out defeat against Wolves in the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy, the Blues move on to the next fixture of their pre-season tour – A match against Kitchee SC in Hong Kong.
Now that the PL Asia Trophy is done and dusted, the pressures of winning any pre-season silverware has gone. Now is the opportunity for the squad to fully focus on getting their fitness back and match ready for the upcoming Premier League season. As well as enjoy the remainder of the trip around Asia.
In terms of team news, it is expected that the squad will be rotated once again with a mixture of regular starters and younger players getting match time and experience.
Phil Foden will be joining the squad for the remainder of the pre-season tour and could be in contention for some game time in tomorrow’s fixture. Pep Guardiola was full of admiration for the fitness of the youngster by stating, “He (Phil Foden) was on holiday for one month but I saw him and he is so fit.”
In the pre-match press conference ahead of the clash with Kitchee, Pep Guardiola did confirm the return date for the blues that spent a prolonged period on international duty with their respective nations. On the topic of those on duty with South American countries, Pep Guardiola stated, “…29th or 30th (July) while others will be 3rd or 4th (August). They decide. I don’t want them to come back when they’re not ready.” The return of Riyad Mahrez was also touched on by the Catalan manager, stating the Algerian winger ‘had not finished until recently’.
The game against Kitchee will be the penultimate match in City’s pre-season tour of Asia, the final fixture will take place on Saturday July 27th against Yokohama F Marinos in Japan.
This will be the final match played in Asia before the first cup competition takes place against last years closest rivals Liverpool for the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium on August 4th.
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