Somehow, we don’t think pre-season friendlies AFTER the Premier League season has started will catch on.
Manchester City played out an obligatory ‘early-season friendly’ against newly-promoted La Liga side Girona this evening, as part of an intensive training camp designed to galvanise the squad ahead of a testing new season.
And it looks like the Catalonia-based club forgot to read the memo, as they duly beat the English giants 1-0 in a fairly low-key affair.
Still, there were some positives for City.
For starters, no one picked up an injury, which anyone who wasn’t a City fan and is mildly cynical were kinda hoping would happen.
Also, long-term absentee Ilkay Gundogan made his first appearance for over eight months, coming on as a substitute in the 70th minute.
We also learned quite a bit about how Pep Guardiola wants his side to play this season, with Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane playing as wing-backs.
For what it’s worth, Silva looked short of match fitness but tricky on the ball, while Sane’s main contribution was to a curl a free kick just wide in the first-half – but he looked like a bit of a liability when asked to defend.
We also saw a more of teenage sensation Phil Foden, who actually managed to plant the ball in the back of the net in the second-half, only to see his goal ruled out for offside.
So why were City playing a friendly only days after their first Premier League opener against Brighton?
Well, City are somewhat linked with Girona, who are owned by Guardiola’s brother.
This means several City players have moved to the club on loan in the last year.
Youngsters Olarenwaju Kayode, Alex Garcia, Marlos Moreno, Douglas Luiz and Pablo Maffeo have all been sent out to Girona on loan this season for the club’s first ever campaign in La Liga, after they won promotion last term.
Girona face the mighty Atletico Madrid in their season opener this weekend, and on this evening’s display look well up for the challenge.
🚨 EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Premier League Top Goalscorer 🚨
ROMELU LUKAKU has come in to 2/1 to finish as the Premier League top scorer.
The Belgian scored twice against West Ham on Sunday to put an immediate market down in the Golden Boot race.
Harry Kane, who has NEVER scored a goal in August, is 2/1.
And there is value to be had in Alexandre Lacazette.
He is 8/1 even after scoring on his debut against Leicester last week.
Sun Bets have a blinding special offer for top scorer.
If you bet £25 on any player to top the table at the end of the season, they’ll give a £5 free bet for every game he scores in until October.
The offer is valid until midnight August 27 and is open to ALL customers.