Manchester City vs Yokohama F.Marinos: What to watch for

Manchester City are back in action for the first time this season, following on from last season’s treble. In their first pre-season friendly of their Asian tour they come up against J-League side Yokohama F.Marinos at the New Japan National Stadium. There will be plenty to watch for as the champions return to the pitch.

Mateo Kovacic debut

The debut of new signing Mateo Kovacic is something to keep an eye on for the treble winners. Signed from Chelsea in the summer he is City’s only summer signing thus far. The Croatian international will be keen to make an impression in his first outing for the club.

How Kovacic fits into the City machine will be of interest in this match. The Croatian comes with an impeccable pedigree, but time is usually needed for any new signing under Pep Guardiola.

Can the City new boy hit the ground running for the treble winners?

Joao Cancelo and Kyle Walker

There are also questions about the futures of several key players. Whether Joao Cancelo and Kyle Walker feature for City will be worth keeping an eye on if they feature in today’s game. Cancelo on his return to the club, and Walker with his heavy links with a potential move to Bayern Munich.

Pep Guardiola spoke of Joao Cancelo’s return to the club pre-game. It does seem a long way back to the first team for the Portuguese full-back after last season. After the circumstances Cancelo left City last season, if he features here it may hint at a possible return to the fold for the fullback. If he doesn’t feature at all it may signal the end of Cancelo’s time at the champions.

With the links to Bayern Munich growing stronger by the day, how much Kyle Walker features here is another interesting plot line. With a move to the German champions possibly on the horizon it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the England international barely feature in today’s game.

City youngsters get their chance

Another story to watch for is if Oscar Bobb and James McAtee feature throughout today’s game. Both youngsters have been linked with more first-team opportunities this season. The game against Yokohama F.Marinos gives them both an early opportunity to stake their claim for more minutes as the pre-season games begin.

The youngsters have the talent to succeed on Pep Guardiola’s side. They both ooze class and technical ability. There is an opportunity for both in the City squad now that Riyad Mahrez has almost completed his move to Al-Ahli.


While the result isn’t important, Pep Guardiola’s men must start on the right foot as this clash is one of only three friendlies before the Community Shield against Arsenal.

Being a pre-season game it’s all about getting minutes into the player’s legs as the new season gets closer.

Tags FA Community Shield James McAtee Joao Cancelo Kyle Walker Manchester City Oscar Bobb Pep Guardiola Yokohama F.Marinos