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Skoorb sent VMC the following:
Friday 21 July 2017
International Champions Cup
Manchester United v Manchester City
NRG Stadium, Houston
Kick off 20:30 (20 July – local) 03:00 BST
Live within the UK on MUTV
It has been 60 days since Pep Guardiola signed off his first season in the English football with a thumping 0-5 victory over Watford to secure third place in the league. Champions League football secured for another season without the necessity of the banana skin of a qualifying tie; an FA Cup semi-final lost by a narrow margin and some scintillating play from the bright, fresh talent recruited by Pep…as well as, once again & for the fifth time in six seasons, finishing above the Rags…
How things have changed.
On 15th June 2007 I had made a note in the notebook I used to keep on City’s seasons (yes, I know, sad isn’t it but I think my children will cherish them when I am gone…
‘Takeover is a shambles; no manager; no coach; no pre-season friendlies; two key players left; no signings…’
By the beginning of July the takeover by Thaksin Shinawatra had been completed, Sven Goran Eriksson had been installed as manager and some pre-season friendlies had finally been sorted – against stalwarts such as Doncaster Rovers and Shrewsbury Town…
Thankfully those dark days are past together with the distinctly unstable nature of the previous owner’s involvement. We are now moving in entirely different circles, ably guided by competent executives, on a sound financial footing and looking to consolidate and grow in a football market that has become truly global.
The embodiment in the rise of City’s standing in World football takes the shape of the club’s participation in the International Champion’s Cup. Involving 15 clubs at venues across the USA as well as China and Singapore the tournament includes the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Inter Milan & Barcelona. The Premier League representation includes Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham as well as City & the Rags – one third of the teams involved serving to highlight the popularity of the league around the world…and why the PL is considering kick offs as early as 11.30am in the future. But I digress…
First up for City in the International Champions Cup – the Rags – and the first ever Manchester derby to take place on foreign soil. The Rags already have two matches on US soil under their belt whilst City arrived in Houston only on Monday preferring to get some solid training at the CFA under their belts before travelling.
I am quite sure that neither Maureen nor Pep really want this fixture to take place at all – they would much rather save their powder for the full heat of battle in the league but will be faced with the dilemmas of which of their stars to put on show whilst wishing to give some fringe players experience prior to the season proper. Maureen has already gotten his disclaimer in early stating that…’I know Manchester City is our city rival, I know Real Madrid is the European champion but it’s not so important for us to play for a result.’ We will see.
There were some unexpected inclusions in City’s touring party including the likes of Samir Nasri and Jason Denayer who travelled alongside new City signings Ederson and Kyle Walker. The only player potentially to be unavailable for this game is Ilkay Gundogan who, whilst well advanced in his recovery from the cruciate ligament injury which kept him out of most of last season, may not be involved until later in the tour. Bernardo Silva will not be on show though due to his involvement in the Confederations Cup; Kelachi Iheanacho has not travelled amid strong speculation linking him with a move away from the club; Fernando is also absent – again strong rumours abound that he is on the verge of joining Galatasaray.
We will wait to see who Pep deploys in his first match of what promises to be an intriguing build up to a potentially very exciting season.
With MUTV holding the TV rights to this game domestically City fans may have to resort to the internet if they wish to watch the game live or subscribe to the Premier TV channel should they want to watch highlights on Saturday evening.
Football is back – only 23 days to go until the start of the new season. Hang tight!
In the meantime…we have the Rags to deal with.
Come on City!!
First Overseas Manchester Derby Preview
Football is back – get in!