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Sky Blue News: Barca Friendly, Jill Retires Too, Palace Officials Set, and More...

A mid-week friendly and we’ve got all the headlines to get you ready.

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It’s Matchday vs. FC Barcelona. This one doesn’t count, but it means so much. City and Barca are joining forces to raise awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. But before the match starts, you can catch up on the headlines right here with Sky Blue News.

Man City’s Barcelona getaway: Pep, Phillips and Alvarez set to benefit from team bonding trip - Jonathan Smith -

An in-season friendly could give Pep the chance to get a long look at several of the new players.

Any friendlies once the season has started are extremely rare, particularly for leading clubs like Manchester City who plan for a long campaign by attacking every cup competition.

Last season City played 58 competitive matches, 61 the season before and 59 the previous year, and Pep Guardiola will be hoping and expecting for a similar amount this time.

But he’s also mindful about taking care of players who have such a heavy workload and with the added requirement of international football - even greater this year because of the mid-season World Cup in Qatar, so it might seem strange to add an extra unnecessary fixture.

However, the City boss was delighted to take his squad to Spain ahead of a charity fund-raiser at Camp Nou in support of former Barcelona goalkeeper and coach Juan Carlos Unzue, who was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) two years ago.

Charity Game — Match Preview: Manchester City vs FC Barcelona - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

Saul notes that City and Barca are putting some recent friction aside for a good cause.

Manchester City’s trip to Barcelona comes amid some animosity between clubs as the Bernardo Silva saga has winded a long way since the start of this summer’s transfer window.

For this match though the cause is noble as the charity match is played for awareness and funding for ALS research. From the press release:

In 2020, Juan Carlos Unzue, a former Barcelona player and coach and friend of Pep Guardiola, was diagnosed as having amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an incurable neurodegenerative disease that sees patients suffer a progressive loss of function, with their life prognosis shortened by four to six years.

All funds raised through ticket sales for Wednesday’s match will go towards aiding ALS research through the Luzon Foundation.

At FC Barcelona and Manchester City, we are committed to the fight against ASL.

City will expect to have a rotated squad for this one. The way Pep spoke it could be a good way to get some academy and fringe players some time on the pitch. Let’s hope for no injuries and a clean, fun game.

Manchester City vs Barcelona: Team News - Dylan McBennett - City Transfer Room

A look at some of the players who could be featured at Camp Nou, and injury updates on Laporte and Ake.

Many players are expected to be rested as pre-caution, but both teams are expected to have somewhat strong teams on the pitch.

Team News

Aymeric Laporte may just miss the game, but is expected to return soon. He is currently training at Athletic Bilbao’s training ground Lezama as gets his fitness back.

Nathan Ake did not travel with the squad after picking up a groin injury against Newcastle United. The extent of the injury is currently unknown. Jack Grealish has travelled, but it is unlikely he will be risked. He may get some minutes to build back up fitness.

11 changes from the draw at Newcastle - Predicted XI: Barcelona vs Manchester City (Friendly) - Srinivas Sadhanand - City Xtra

Many changes expected from the side that faced Newcastle on the Weekend.

In what is undoubtedly a clash held for a crucial cause, here is how we expected Pep Guardiola’s side to line up on Wednesday night.

Stefan Ortega is likely to make a return to the side from Manchester City’s pre-season tour of the United States.

After making his Premier League debut against Bournemouth, Rico Lewis - who clearly seems to be admired by Pep Guardiola - could start at the Spotify Camp Nou.

Finley Burns could also make his first start for Manchester City, ever since his outing in the senior team’s 6-1 victory against Wycombe Wanderers last season.

The youngster may be partnered by Luke Mbete, who has been a regular fixture in the Sky Blues’ matchday squads so far this term.

The Premier League champions’ newest addition, Sergio Gomez could also start proceedings against his former side at left-back.

England Euro 2022 hero Jill Scott retires at 35 after finally helping bring football home in her TENTH major tournament... following the lead of her long-time team-mate Ellen White - Kathryn Batte - MailOnline

City bid farewell to another former star for the Women’s side.

Another City Women’s legend and 2016 WSL winner calls it quits after winning Euro 2022 for England.

Scott, who has been capped 161 times by her country, has played in 10 major tournaments including eight for England and two for Team GB.

Scott announced her retirement on Twitter on Tuesday, saying: ‘Right, we’re not crying. I promised myself. I’m retiring from football. And I’m leaving with a gold medal swinging from my neck.’

She came off the bench in the Euros final and played a crucial role in extra-time as the Lionesses beat Germany 2-1.

The midfielder was without a club after leaving Manchester City in the summer.

Scott is the only person to play in two European finals for England.


Walking away after a career filled with success and silverware for both Club and Country.

A central figure in City’s success, Scott helped guide the Club to Continental Cup glory in our first season as a professional outfit, going on to win a further six domestic trophies during her time in Manchester.

Making 161 appearances for her home nation over a 16-year-period, her legacy on an international cannot be overstated, having also been a part of the Lionesses squad to end England’s 56-year wait for a major honour this summer at Euro 2022.

It means Scott bows out at the pinnacle of women’s football alongside fellow former City and England teammate, Ellen White, who announced her retirement earlier this week.

Confirmed Match Officials: Manchester City vs Crystal Palace (Premier League) - City Xtra

The officials have been announced for the match against Crystal Palace this coming Saturday.

Graham Scott will take charge of proceedings at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The 54 year-old has officiated two matches so far this season, most recently Brighton’s goalless draw against Newcastle.

Scott took charge of 23 matches last season, showing 79 yellow cards and four red cards.

Manchester City’s 5-0 win over Norwich in August 2021 was the last game Scott officiated involving the Premier League Champions.

That’s My Club: Hollywood MCFC - Thomas Duck - Bitter and Blue

And finally... Another week, another Official Supporters Club featured on Bitter and Blue. This time we get to know Hollywood MCFC.

BnB: What is your favorite memory your club has made together?

HMCFC: Besides 93:20 the best memory we have is the 2017 friendly against Real Madrid. It was at the Coliseum and we brought a massive group somewhere near 170 people to the match. Some of our members haven’t made a trip to Manchester yet and being able to see the team play in Los Angeles was fantastic. We were making so much noise the reps from City came up to thank us for the support and other blues from all over the stadium were trying to crash our section. After the match a few of us were invited to meet the team as they left, it was just a great day all around.

That’s it for today. Follow along with @bitterandblue1 on twitter for all the reactions to the match against Barcelona. Come on City. #ALS #WhateverItTakes