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The Premier League champions are back in action. Goal.com's Rishabh Ghai looks at the time table for Manchester City's pre-season friendlies.

In the span of just two minutes of injury time Manchester City turned from being runners up to being champions last season on the final day of the Premier League. City’s form dropped at a very crucial moment handing Manchester United the impetus to go forward. But eventually City recovered late on and stole the league from under United’s nose.

Back to work from July 9th

City would not like to leave it this late next season and therefore be well prepared this time around. They have already held 5 practice sessions before they travel to Austria to start their pre-season preparations.

The absence of the names involved in the European Championships was obvious due to their extended season. City's pre season campign starts on the 13th of July. Goal.com looks at the friendlies in which the Premier League champions will participate before beginning their title defence.


Pre-Season Friendlies

I
Al Hilal v/s Manchester City
Date: 13th July, 2012

Venue: Innsbruck Stadium,Innsbruck

Result: Al Hilal 1-0 Manchester City

City began their preparations against Saudi's top club in Innsbruck in Austria. Roberto Mancini fielded a mix of first team players and young reserves but saw his side beaten by a second half strike in their first pre-season friendly.

 

II
Dynamo Dresden v/s Manchester City
Date: 17th July, 2012

Venue: Innsbruck Stadium, Innsbruck

Kick Off: Dynamo Dresden 0-0 Manchester City

The Citizens will play their second match against the German second tier team Dynamo Dresden. The match will be played in the same stadium as the previous friendly.

About the opposition-

Having no real star player in their team, Dynamo has had a commendable season. Finishing 9th in the German second division, they will go all guns blazing as they will have nothing to lose against City.

 

III
Besiktas v/s Manchester City
Date: 20th July, 2012

Venue: Innsbruck Stadium, Innsbruck

Kick Off: 23:00 IST
18:30 BST
17:30 GMT



One of the three major clashes in City’s pre-season is against Besiktas. The Turkish Super League team have time and again proved themselves on the European stage and would provide City a much bigger challenge than the previous teams.

About the opposition-

Besiktas has been one of the successful sides from Turkey in Europe. Their star man Simao would try to trouble City on the right flank. His clever link up play alongwith his ability to cross the ball well makes him the man to watch.

 

IV
Arsenal v/s Manchester City
Date: 27th July, 2012

Venue: Bird Nest Stadium, Beijing

Kick Off: 17:30 IST
13:00 BST
12:00 GMT

City will face a stern test against their Premier League rivals Arsenal. The game will be played at the Olympic Stadium in Beijing on the 27th July, 2012. Both the teams will test their resources to the maximum possible extent as they will  look to carry on a winning momentum into the season.

About the opposition-

Arsenal FC finished 3rd in the Premier League last season. They have several players to watch out for in their squad. Moroever, the recent additions of Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski in their ranks will further bolster their fire power. It will be interesting to see how Podolski performs against a team of City’s class and he will be the man to watch out for.

 

V
Malaysia XI v/s Manchester City
Date: 30th July, 2012

Venue: Bukit Jalil Stadium, Malaysia

Kick Off: To be decided

Just 6 days after their match against Arsenal, Malaysia XI will take on City in arguably what is their last pre-season friendly. Playing against City and Arsenal in the same week will definitely be a spectacle for the home crowd and also an honour for the Malaysian football and league.

About the opposition

Malaysian XI is a team which represents the Malaysian League in friendly matches. It is formed by the top Malaysian players.

 

 

 

Manchester City FC

Manchester City's Man to Watch- Carlos Tevez

After last season’s antics, City have forgiven their hero and would love to see him back to his best. Tevez will try to justify his inclusion by playing some scintillating football on the pitch. Moreover, his pace and trickery will provide a headache to the opponent’s backline.

 

What the Bench-warmers need to do...

Not only Tevez but also the fringe players of last season like Aleksandr Kolarov, Adam Johnson and Edin Dzeko would like to show their mettle. This might be their last chance to prove to their manager that they are worth a first team spot. As the competition hots up in the City camp for places, these players will have to step up the level to have any chance of getting a starting berth.

 

*Manchester City are apparently going to play another friendly against the German outfit Wolfsburg on 4th August but the club website has not provided any details.

 

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