After a week of pre-season training, Manchester City will take on Preston North End in a friendly match ahead of the 2021/22 season. (Manchester City’s friendly match against French club Troyes was canceled after the United Kingdom recently announced new coronavirus travel restrictions.)
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The announcement means that the game against Preston will be City’s only pre-season match between now and the FA Community Shield in early August. This will not give City manager Pep Guardiola much time to prepare for the latter fixture, in addition to City’s season opener in the English Premier League on 15 August. Following the Community Shield game, Manchester City begin their 2021/22 EPL campaign away at Tottenham Hotspur.
The Sky Blues are still without most of their veteran players as the majority of the team is still on holiday. This further adds to the complexity of City’s pre-season preparations ahead of the 2020/21 season. Only Fernandinho, Benjamin Mendy, Riyad Mahrez, and Scott Carson are available from the City first team.
As a result, Guardiola will rely on his younger players. While only a pre-season friendly, it could give some of them an opportunity to showcase their talents to the City manager. Should they put on a good display, they could be potentially called up for the early rounds of the EFL “Carabao” Cup and FA Cup.
Some of these young players could also feature in Manchester City’s FA Community Shield match against Leicester City on 7 August. They will also have an opportunity to play in front of the City fans.
talkSPORT recently reported that coronavirus restrictions have been lifted for this match, meaning the Sky Blues and Foxes could play this game in front of a full capacity crowd. The United Kingdom’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport issued this new guidance on 22 July.
City face Preston on Tuesday, 27 July at 17:00 GMT. The match will be lived streamed on CITY+.