Manchester City Tour 2016/17 fixtures: List of pre-season friendlies Man City play before EPL
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City begin their pre-season preparation against Bayern Munich on 20 July which will see Guardiola returning to the Allianz Arena after leaving the German giants at the end of last season. City then travel to China to play in the International Champions Cup which will be a testing ground for the Pep philosophy which will come into effect next season in Manchester.
Manchester City won the Capitol One Cup and reached their first ever Champions League semi-final last season under Manuel Pellegrini. However, greater things have been promised by incoming Pep Guardiola who was announced as the new boss in April. The Blues managed to finish fourth in the Premier League allowing Pep Guardiola to have a crack at the Champions League next season. Pre-season will be equally important as the Spanish boss is expected to give the axe to several players who do not suit his system. It will be a litmus test for the players to prove their worth to the new manager on whose hands their future lies upon.
The first match of the International Champions Cup will see old foes Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola going head-to-head in the first ever Manchester Derby in Asia. The match will be held at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing on 25 July. It will be interesting to see if the mind games begin even before the season has started, considering the Pep-Jose rivalry which reached a boiling point in their managerial days in Spain.
City will face Borussia Dortmund next in the ICC on 28 July in Shenzhen. Regarding the China tour, Omar Berrada, Group Commercial Director of City Football Group, said: "Everyone at Manchester City is delighted to be taking part once again in the ICC and there is a great line-up of matches.
"We are excited to return to China and to the Bird’s Nest for what promises to be a memorable tournament.
"I’m sure our fans will create an incredible atmosphere in the Bird’s Nest and in Shenzhen and we are looking forward to connecting with them both on and off the pitch.
"We are committed to having a long-term presence in China and to developing football across the country. We know our visit in July will form a big part of our continued growth."
From Chinese soil, the Blues will travel to Sweden where they will go up against Premier League rivals Arsenal on 7 August in the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg. This will be the last opportunity for Guardiola to finalise his plans before the new EPL season starts. City’s last friendly against the Gunners took place in the Bird’s Nest in Beijing in 2012 where goals from Paolo Zabaleta and Yaya Toure handed the Blues a 2-0 victory.
Next season promises to be a season to remember and Guardiola is sure to go all guns blazing in order to land the Premier League title. The pre-season preparations will be crucial in deciding who plays for the club and whether Pep will be able to hand Sheikh Mansoor his much desired Champions League trophy.
|20 July||Bayern Munich||Allianz Arena, Munich||01:00 am|
|25 July||Manchester United||Bird’s Nest, Beijing||TBD|
|28 July||Borussia Dortmund|
Longgang Stadium, Shenzhen
|7 August||Arsenal||Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg||11:30 pm|