Manchester City vs Atletico Madrid: Stories to watch for as City wrap up pre season

Manchester City prepare to face Atletico Madrid in Seoul in their final pre-season friendly.

The champions have thus far won both their friendlies on their Asian tour. A 5-3 win over J-League side Yokohama F.Marinos was followed by a 2-1 win over Bayern Munich.

As Manchester City prepare to wrap up their pre-season, there are stories to watch for in the final friendly before the serious football starts.

Can Kalvin Phillips stake his claim for more first-team opportunities?

Kalvin Phillips has another opportunity to stake his claim for more first-team opportunities with a good performance against the Spanish side. Phillips has made two appearances in the treble winners’ first two friendlies, and he seems to have adjusted to the demands of Pep Guardiola after a tough first season at the Etihad.

Spots in the center of midfield will be at a premium this season at City. Rodri, John Stones and recent signing Mateo Kovacic appear to be Guardiola’s preference in the middle of the park as it stands currently.

An impressive showing here from Phillips will go a long way in showing he’s ready to compete for more first-team chances this season.

Will Pep Guardiola show his strongest lineup ahead of next week?

Another story to watch is if Pep Guardiola will give his first eleven more minutes together against Atletico Madrid. Thus far on tour City has played a different eleven for each half of the two games. Understandably, Pep has heavily rotated the squad. He has ensured every player has gotten minutes in the buildup for the champion’s treble defense next season.

This being the last game before the serious challenges begin, it may present the perfect chance for Guardiola to pick his best lineup from the start.

With the Community Shield against Arsenal next Sunday, Pep settling in his preferred eleven leading into the game may be on show against Atletico Madrid.

Will Kevin De Bruyne feature in City’s final hit out?

There was good news earlier this week with Kevin De Bruyne returning from his hamstring injury earlier than expected.

City’s Belgian midfield maestro looks in sparking form judging by his form shown in training in Seoul yesterday.

With every player of the City squad featuring for the champions, it does seem that De Bruyne will play some part in the game against Atletico Madrid.

A fit and firing Kevin De Bruyne is a huge weapon in the treble winner’s arsenal. If he can get some minutes into his legs here it will bode well for the start of next season given the congested nature of the champion’s start to the season.


Pep Guardiola’s squad appear ready for the beginning of next season which starts next Sunday. Another polished performance against Atletico Madrid will lay a solid foundation for the Community Shield against Arsenal next weekend.


Tags Atletico Madrid John Stones Kalvin Phillips Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City Mateo Kovacic Pep Guardiola Rodri