Manchester City have been handed their second major setback in recent days after having to cancel their second pre-season friendly.
The Cityzens were scheduled to face newly-promoted French side Troyes in France after facing Championship side Preston North End. The match was supposed to take place on Saturday, July 31, but has now been canceled altogether due to new untimely restrictions enforced by the UK government.
The government has imposed a five-day quarantine rule on arrivals from France without prior notice, due to which the club has been forced to stay back in England. According to reports, City investigated different routes to make the friendly possible against their sister club but were left with no choice in the end.
The two matches – against Preston and Troyes – were scheduled to give some playing time to new faces, but that has taken a whole different outlook after a Covid outbreak in the City training camp.
The outbreak, which occurred about ten days ago when U18 and U23 players were training at the City Football Academy camp, has caused significant disruption among the club staff and players. A ten-day rest period was observed by the club personnel, during which the facilities underwent deep cleaning.
With Guardiola missing more than half his first-team players due to international duty at the Copa America and European Championships and few academy talents, he is left with a handful of players who will look to gain some playing time in the upcoming friendly against Preston on July 27.
Youngsters such as winger Ben White, full-back Yan Couto, and defender Shea Charles, among others, are expected to star in the friendly.
Before the 2021/22 Premier League season officially kicks off, Manchester City faces Leicester City in the Community Shield on August 7.
The Cityzens open their league account against Tottenham Hotspur on August 15.