Your guide to Manchester City’s pre-season friendlies

The Citizens return to action from 16 July, and will play 6 pre-season matches. Goal takes a look at all the upcoming friendlies.
After a promising 2011-12 season, that saw them crowned as the Premier League champions, last season was one to forget for the Blues.

Losing the Premier League to their city rivals, the Citizens' performances in the Champions League were even poorer, and a loss to Wigan in the FA Cup final only compounded their problems. This led to the sacking of Italian manager Roberto Mancini, and he was replaced by Manuel Pellegrini. With two promising faces recruited in Fernandinho and Jesus Navas from Shakhtar Donetsk and Sevilla respectively, the upcoming season promises to be an interesting one for the Blues faithful.

Back to work from 16th July

The first team returns to training on 5th July ahead of the 2013-14 season.

Manuel Pellegrini has outlined his motives of changing the style of play at the club and toppling Manchester United as well.

Pre-Season Friendlies

SuperSport United vs Manchester City
Date: 14th July, 2013

Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Tshwane

Kick Off: 15:00 pm (SAST)
     13:00 GMT
         08:30 pm IST

The South African Club hosts the Premier League runners-up Manchester City in the Nelson Mandela Football Invitational Cup.

The Citizens arrived in Durban on July 11, where they will train ahead of the two matches. The visit to South Africa marks the peak of their preparation for the 2013014 season, and these two encounters come ahead of the team’s tour to Hong Kong.

A lively encounter can be expected with SuperSport United set to take on the Blues with their famed academy graduates.

About the opposition-

SuperSport United is a South African football club in Pretoria, plying its trade in the Premier Soccer League. United is known as Matsatsantsa a Pitori amongst its supporters. Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville is their home ground.

The club have a reputed youth academy in PSL, and have a partnership with Tottenham Hotspur.


Amazulu FC vs Manchester City
Date: 18th July, 2013

Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban.

Kick Off: 18:00
        16:00  GMT
          09:30 pm IST

To solemnize the club's 80th anniversary in 2012, AmaZulu had played a friendly against City's crosstown rivals Manchester United on July 18, 2012.

City should be anticipating a tough battle as Manchester United just scraped past with a 1-0 win.

About the opposition-

AmaZulu is a South African football club based in the city of Durban. The club was formed in 1932 by Zulu migrant workers and was originally known as Zulu Royals. The club's nickname, Usuthu, is a Zulu war cry.

They play in the Absa Premiership League and the club are coached by Philani Mabaso.

Ayanda Dlamini is the player to watch out for, as the forward was a revelation for his side during the course of the last season.


South China vs Manchester City
Date: 24th July, 2013

Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban.

Kick Off: 18:00 (SAST)
            16:00  GMT
               09:30 pm IST

South China Athletic Association is a football club, plying its trade in the Hong Kong First Division. The club is reknowned for its rich history, having won most honours in Hong Kong with 40 First Division League titles.

They won all the 4 major trophies on offer in the 1987–88 and 1990–91 season. In November 2001, the team was awarded the AFC Team of the Month by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC),

About the opposition-

Nicknamed "Shaolin Temple" and "Caroliners", South China has produced many great footballers over the years.

Brazilian playmaker Dhiego Martins is the man to watch out, having scored 11 goals in 20 games for the club.

AC Milan vs Manchester City
Date: 31th July, 2013

Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich

Kick Off: 18:15 CET
            16:00  GMT
               09:30 pm IST


Italian giants AC Milan will face Manchester City at the end of July in the Audi Cup. The Rossoneri finished third in the Serie A last term, in a season of ups and downs. The 2006 Champions League winners will battle it out against the Premier League outfit in the Audi Cup. Whoever wins shall thereby face the winner of Bayern Munich vs Sao Paulo in the final.


Arsenal vs Manchester City
Date: 10 August, 2013

Venue: Neutral

Kick Off: TBC

The Blues then entertain Premier League rivals Arsenal in their last game of the pre-season friendlies. Both the teams will look to win and carry the winning momentum into the start of the season.

Last season when the two sides met in the pre-season, City ran out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Pablo Zabaleta and Yaya Toure.




Manchester City FC

Manchester City's Man to Watch - Fernandinho

Following his exploits for Shakhtar Donetsk, Fernandinho will be keen to impress his new club with some top performances in the pre-season. Known for sending in key passes and a lot of pace to burn, he will add the much needed creativity in the middle of the park for the Citizens.


 What the Bench-warmers need to do...

Pre-season friendlies are vital for benchwarmers, who can claim a first team spot for the next season by chipping in with some good performances and catching the eye of the new manager.

Alexander Kolarov, Scott Sinclair and the rest will try to appeal for a first team spot.

Joleon Lescott, who was frozen out of the first team last season due to the summer arrival of young Matija Nastasic,shall put the disappointment behind him and start afresh this season.

*Manchester City play another Barclays Asia Trophy game on Sat 27 July 2013, but the club website is yet to provide the details on the opponents and the time.

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