The opening day of the Premiership season was, at times, both frustrating and sublime. For Manchester City fans that’s similar to the whole of last season. Eventually the blues would get the three points, two goals and keep the clean sheet. Kyle Walker impressed but there was still that concern over not converting our chances.

That’s why I feel this friendly with Girona is not as crazy as it first might seem. Yes the game comes barely 35 hours after the final whistle went at the Amex Stadium, but I think it adds value to our season. Or at least the potential.

Firstly, we do not have to take to the pitch in the Premier League until Monday evening. That works in our favour, but also, don’t forget Everton actually also have a game midweek. Our opponents next Monday don’t have to travel on Thursday night, but Ronald Koeman will also not have the luxury of trying out new players. It is an important game and a must win essentially. Meanwhile Pep will see others coming back and maybe making final decisions on some of the youth.

Interestingly Kyle Walker did not travel but Ilkay Gundogan and Benjamin Mendy did. If they get some time and come out the other end okay it will be worth the trip in itself. After eight months on the sidelines it will be great to see Gundogan back in a City shirt. He certainly looked good in the games he did play last term. Don’t forget that, with the Confederations Cup in the summer, Pep did have a couple of players return late to the pre-season festivities. This will allow Pep to evaluate and work with these guys also, bad news is Bravo could start in goal.

Don’t forget also that Girona have several City players on their books, Alex Garcia, Marlos Moreno, Douglas Luiz and Pablo Maffeo will all spend their season at our opponents this season. It is a gamble but if, when City return to Manchester on Thursday evening, there are no new injury concerns, it will have been a success.


Squad List:

1. Claudio Bravo

3. Danilo

4. Vincent Kompany

5. John Stones

7. Raheem Sterling

8. İlkay Gündoğan

10. Sergio Aguero

15. Eliaquim Mangala

17. Kevin De Bruyne

18. Fabian Delph

19. Leroy Sané

20. Bernardo Silva

21. David Silva

22. Benjamin Mendy

24. Tosin Adarabioyo

25. Fernandinho

27. Patrick Roberts

30. Nicolas Otamendi

31. Ederson

32. Daniel Grimshaw

33. Gabriel Jesus

35. Oleksandr Zinchenko

42. Yaya Touré

47. Phil Foden

55. Brahim Diaz