Manchester City Vs Yokohama Marinos Premier League Football Match 2023
Making their return to action following last term’s Champions League triumph, treble-winners Manchester City play their first pre-season fixture on Sunday, when they meet Yokohama F Marinos in Tokyo. The European champions will get preparations for the 2023-24 campaign under way against another club from the growing City Group stable, with only two weeks to go until they visit Wembley for the new season’s curtain-raiser. A fortnight before they kick off against Premier League runners-up Arsenal in the Community Shield, Manchester City will seek to shake off some cobwebs this weekend, as they begin a brief tour of Asia.
Pep Guardiola’s side will visit South Korea and Japan during their week-long stay in the region, facing Yokohama F Marinos and Bayern Munich at the National Stadium in Tokyo before meeting Atletico Madrid in Seoul on July 30. A tantalising early test of their credentials then awaits against a newly-reinforced Arsenal squad on August 6, ahead of their Premier League opener at Vincent Kompany’s Burnley the following week. Between now and the champions’ clash with last term’s Championship winners – which comes just before they contest the UEFA Super Cup – Guardiola will aim to tune up his well-oiled machine for a campaign in which his side have plenty to live up to, given their brilliance towards the end of last season.
City’s star-studded squad only reconvened for the start of pre-season training on Monday, before departing for Japan two days later, so matching the fluent displays seen during a scintillating springtime may be a little too much to ask, though, at this early stage. The Manchester club’s opening pre-season opponents have generally prospered since joining the City Group nine years ago; most notably, Yokohama F Marinos ended 15 years of drought by winning the J1 League title under new Tottenham coach Ange Postecoglou in 2019. They were also crowned champions again last year.
One of 13 clubs in an ownership group that spans five continents, Marinos hold the distinction of being the longest-serving side in the top flight of Japanese football, having played at the elite level since 1982. Now meeting Manchester City at Japan’s National Stadium, across the city from their Nissan Stadium headquarters, the Tokyo side sit second in the J1 League table after 21 matches, level on points with Vissel Kobe. Although they recently exited the Emperor’s Cup before suffering a last-gasp derby defeat to Kawasaki Frontale, Kevin Muscat’s men have averaged two goals per game in the process, and an impressive friendly victory over Scottish champions Celtic this week further demonstrated their potential to cause an upset on Sunday.
Marinos started the scoring through Brazilian forward Anderson Lopes, who capitalised on a mistake by Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart, and a brace from former Arsenal man Ryo Miyaichi also helped the hosts to a spectacular 6-4 success. In addition to recently returned full-back Joao Cancelo, Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola can call upon new signing Mateo Kovacic for this weekend’s game. Treble-winning winger Riyad Mahrez has been left out of the City squad, though, as a switch to Al-Ahli moves nearer, while Kevin De Bruyne continues to recover from a hamstring injury sustained in the Champions League final.
With captain Ilkay Gundogan having departed for Barcelona, young hopefuls such as Maximo Perrone, Cole Palmer and James McAtee may all be given a chance to impress on Sunday. Yokohama F Marinos, meanwhile, could make some changes to the lineup which put six past Celtic on Wednesday, with Ryo Miyaichi hoping his double against the Bhoys earns him promotion to the starting XI. Kevin Muscat will most likely turn to two Brazilians to lead his attack, as ex-Cruzeiro winger Elber links up with Anderson Lopes, who has scored 26 goals in 50 matches since returning to Japan from a short stay in China.