Preston North End will provide Manchester City with the “perfect” pre-season friendly as they prepare to defend their Premier League title next season.
That’s according to retired forward Jon Macken, who had spells with both City and Preston in the late nineties and early noughties.
City’s preparations for the new campaign have been heavily disrupted after their friendly with sister club Troyes was cancelled, while there was also a coronavirus outbreak among the club’s U18 and U23 players just under a fortnight ago.
A ten-day rest period was observed by the club personnel, during which the facilities underwent deep cleaning.
That means Preston will offer the only pre-season friendly before City have to face Leicester in the Community Shield on 7 August, with their Premier League opener with Tottenham set for 15 August.
Macken is excited by the prospect of City’s meeting with the second tier side, though, and the ex-Ireland international believes Tuesday evening’s tie is an ideal matchup for Pep Guardiola’s side going into the 2021/21 campaign.
“I think it’s the perfect pre-season fixture for City,” Macken told ManCity.com.
“It will be a real challenge which is what you want but you look at City and the wonderful players they have and there is quality everywhere.
“From City’s perspective, it will just be good to get back involved in a match situation while for Preston it’s a fantastic prospect and very exciting.
“When you come back to pre-season the first focus is obviously on your sharpness and fitness, but you can’t wait for that first game to get back into the matchday vibe.
“I think that’s what all the City boys will be really looking forward to and they will be chomping at the bit to the back out there in game mode.
“For Preston, they have had a few matches already this summer, but they will be thrilled and excited at the thought of playing City.”
Guardiola is still without most of his first-team players, who are on an extended break following international commitments at Euro 2020 and Copa America during the summer.
The team Guardiola is expected to field against Preston will likely contain academy stars with a sprinkling of senior figures such as Riyad Mahrez, Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy.
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