On 15 July France hoisted the 2018 FIFA World Cup, routing Croatia 4-2. Benjamin Mendy was the only representative for the Blues in the final, albeit he did not feature in the match. Meanwhile, Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne faced teammates Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph and John Stones in the third place playoffs (Kyle Walker was an unused substitute). In what was reported as a glorified friendly, the Belgians overcame their English opposition 2-0.
With the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup, the Blues will now gear up for the upcoming 2018/19 season. The Mancunian club will travel to the United States for three international friendlies before they see domestic action on 5 August. Several senior players will be absent, however, as they are on holiday. Notable absences include those who played in the FIFA World Cup third place playoffs, as well as the Argentines, who were knocked out in the Round of 16, and the Brazilian contingency that bowed out in the quarter-finals.
These absences, however, will present the younger players with an opportunity to challenge for a place with the senior squad. Oleksandr Zinchenko, Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz started training with the first team earlier this month. Should they have a strong preseason performance, it is likely they will be recalled to the first team. Lukas Nmecha and Tosin Adarabioyo, who made limited appearances last season, will also seek to make a positive impression.
Regulars Aymeric Laporte, Claudio Bravo and Leroy Sané will travel as well.
City fans will be eager to see Riyad Mahrez and Claudio Gomes join the senior team, where both men are projected to participate in the tour in the United States. Currently their only purchases in this summer’s transfer window, City fans are excited about the talent these men may bring to the Mancunian side.
Finally, should they not be sold beforehand, outcasts Joe Hart, Eliaquim Mangala, Jason Denayer and Patrick Roberts may travel on City’s preseason tour as well.
Can City pick up from their phenomenal form from last season? How will the senior team fare during the preseason?
The list of upcoming matches can be found below:
20 July 2018: Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund (Chicago) – Champions Cup Round 1
25 July 2018: Manchester City vs Liverpool (New York) – Champions Cup Round 2
28 July 2018: Bayern München vs Manchester City (Miami) – Champions Cup Round 3
5 August 2018: Chelsea vs Manchester City (London) – Community Shield
The 2018/19 English Premier League will then start during the weekend of 10/11 August. The defending champions will travel to the Emirates on 11 August, where they face Arsenal. The full list of their 2018/19 fixtures can be found here.
EDIT: The full preseason squad list was released later today and can be found here.