Manchester City vs Urawa Red Diamonds: a few things to watch for

Manchester City begin their FIFA World Club Cup campaign this evening with a semi-final clash against Urawa Red Diamonds. The winner will move on to the final to take Fluminense who beat Al Ahly 2-nil in yesterday’s other semi-final. Here are a few things to watch for in what promises to be an exciting encounter.

Can Manchester City limit their mistakes?

Pep Guardiola’s side have been plagued by errors in recent performances. The issue returned with a vengeance against Crystal Palace and ultimately cost City dearly. They squandered a two-goal lead and cost themselves two points in the Premier League.

Against the J-League side and off a short turn around the European champions will look to limit their mistakes. If they can regain their composure and play the football they’re capable of they should begin to rectify their recent errors. It could go a long way in a game against quality opposition. Japanese sides are generally very good technically and have the ability to cause an upset. City will need to limit the mistakes that have plagued their season so far.

City on the stage they’ve coveted

Tonight’s semi-final will represent Manchester City’s first trip to the FIFA World Club Cup. It has been a stage the club has long coveted to be on. After winning the UEFA Champions League earlier this year the chance to play in FIFA’s premier club competition is one that had to be earnt the hard way.

City manager Pep Guardiola spoke of how much of an honour it is to take City to the FIFA World Club Cup. Speaking pre-game he said: “It’s Manchester City’s first time here and it is a pleasure to be here – an honour. We take it as a privilege, it’s an honour to be here. To be sitting here and play tomorrow means you have done something exceptional in the past. We have to take it, play a game tomorrow and deserve to be in the final.”

How his side performs on the stage they’ve coveted will be worth keeping an eye on during tonight’s semi-final.

Will Kevin De Bruyne feature?

News broke yesterday that Kevin De Bruyne returned to training with his Manchester City teammates. While he isn’t expected to feature at the tournament is there a chance that he could?

The treble winners have missed their inspirational midfielder and based on the videos and images shared by Manchester City’s official X account his teammates and the City staff are happy to see him return.

De Bruyne returning to training is already good news for the European champions but a return to the pitch from the club legend would be a bigger story again.

Tags AFC Champions League winners Crystal Palace English Premier League European Champions FIFA Club World Cup Fluminense J-League Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City Pep Guardiola Saudi Arabia Treble winners Urawa Red Diamonds