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Pep Guardiola travels to the capital with a significantly under-prepared side due to the international commitments of his star-studded squad.
With less than two weeks of pre-season preparations for a large share of first-team players, Manchester City are expected to have a slow start to the season as the squad find their footing and snap back in to match fitness in the coming weeks.
Having picked up injuries at the tail end of last season, Pep Guardiola confirmed Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne’s unavailability for Manchester City’s season opener in his pre-match press conference on Friday.
Phil Foden, who had to wear a protective boot after picking up a foot injury in England training, has since made progress and was seen without the protective equipment earlier this week.
In addition, the 21-year-old himself provided an update on his situation, stating that he would require ‘around three to four weeks more’ to get back in action.
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Speaking of Kevin De Bruyne, he too picked up an injury to his ankle ligaments during the European Championships.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said, “He’s getting better, every day. We’re still waiting. He cannot do the full training session, some with us and some alone. We’ll see what happens in the next days.”