Manchester City’s squad arrived at the City Football Academy for Coronavirus testing as they prepare to begin training this week.
With the eventual return of the Premier League just around the corner, Manchester City have taken the first step in their return to the pitch with the initial testing of players.
The entire squad arrived at the City Football Academy as the first step in resuming training before the Premier League’s goal return date of June 19. Moreover, according to reports, City’s second-leg Champions League fixture against Real Madrid will take place on Aug. 7, a full 174 days since City’s stunning 2-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Although the hopes of a third straight league title have been dashed, there is still so much to play for in Europe, meaning any news of a restart, at least from a purely on-field perspective, is good news. Reigning champions Liverpool were knocked out just before the suspension of global football, and with a looming two-year Champions League ban and uncertainty surrounding City’s date in court with CAS, 2019/20 remains the club’s best chance at European glory.
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City players Raheem Sterling and Sergio Agüero have expressed concerns about the prospect of a restart, but Premier League shareholders today voted to return to small-group training beginning tomorrow following the Bundesliga’s return this past weekend. Social distancing protocols must be respected in these training sessions, and this first stage has been approved after discussion with players, managers, medical experts, and the government.
This time away from football has not been easy, and while heath concerns undoubtedly remain, a return to training is a big moment for the club, the league, and supporters. Safety must remain the top priority, but for now, City are set to return to the pitch.