After a warm weather break in Abu Dhabi, Manchester City head to the international break, where no less than 15 players have receive call-ups from their national teams. Eleven youth players from the CFA will also represent their countries at the youth level. Two players from City’s senior team are part of that, as Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz will represent England and Spain’s U-19 teams.
The list is long and heavy:
Belgium - Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany
Games: Saudi Arabia
Brazil - Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho, Ederson Moraes
England - John Stones, Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling
Argentina - Nicolas Otamendi, Sergio Agüero (omitted due to injury)
Games: Spain, Italy
Germany - llkay Gundogan, Leroy Sané
Games: Spain, Brazil
Ivory Coast - Yaya Touré (has decided to withdraw for personal reasons)
Games: Togo, Moldova
Portugal - Bernardo Silva
Games: Saudi Arabia, Netherlands
Spain - David Silva
Games: Germany, Argentina
Ukraine - Oleksandr Zinchenko
Games: Saudi Arabia, Japan
U-19: Brahim Diaz (Spain), Phil Foden (England)
U-18: Curtis Anderson (England), Joel Latibeaudiere (England), Felix Nmecha (England), Ian Poveda-Ocampo (England)
U-17: Tommy Doyle ( England), Eric Garcia (Spain), Richard Dionkou (Spain), Nabil Touazi (Spain)
The fact that the list is so long and heavy is not a surprise given the strength of the whole club and how good the first team squad is. Most of the senior team players were called up to represent their countries, with only Aymeric Laporte, Danilo, Fabian Delph, Benjamin Mendy and Tosin Adarabioyo not receiving any call-ups. Claudio Bravo pulled out of Chile’s games due to a reported issue with the team’s goalkeeping coach. Agüero is working with Argentina, but it has been confirmed that he will not face Italy at the Eithad and is unlikely to feature against Spain.
The biggest concern is the fact that Vincent Kompany has been called up for Belgium. Given his horrendous track record with injuries, and just how important he is for City, I’m a bit skeptical to have him playing in a meaningless friendly. He is extremely prone to injury and he really doesn't have to prove much to Belgium, since we all know he is going to Russia as the nation’s captain.
City are going to need Kompany for the important set of fixtures coming up, which include Everton, Manchester United, Liverpoo twicel in the Champions League and Tottenham Hotspur. All of those domestic games will decide the rest of the season, and we really need Vincent for most of these games. We can only hope Kompany returns healthy, ideally not having played even one second for Belgium.
Other than that, let’s just hope all of our players play well, stay healthy and return to us in good form. Gundogan also makes me nervous, given his injury record. But he is trying to get back into the very competitive German squad, so it does make sense for an in-form Gundogan to play and prove that he deserves a place in Russia.