The Premier League champions have been forced to changed their plans as a result of new coronavirus restrictions leading to the postponement of their trip to France later this week.
City are, in theory, behind their rivals with regards to preparations for the new season having yet to take to the pitch since the summer break.
Nevertheless, a lack of game time did not hinder Pep Guardiola's side during the last campaign, and the Spaniard is unlikely to be too concerned at this stage.
The biggest blow came when a coronavirus outbreak among the club's academy players forced Guardiola to rethink his plans for the short trip to Deepdale.
Guardiola wanted to assess some of his prospects at the Etihad Stadium, but he will now use the behind-closed-doors fixture to get his senior players up to speed ahead of the Community Shield on August 8.
At a time when newspaper reports about finances and regulations threaten to distract City, Preston are fully focused on putting the final touches to their pre-season.
Failure to defeat either Bolton Wanderers or Accrington Stanley is also less than ideal at a time when the new boss is attempting to turn Preston into playoff contenders.
That said, games against City and Manchester United should force North End to up their performance levels, like they did against Celtic earlier in the summer.
Preston's only goal from open play during their last three fixtures was scored by Jamie Thomas, a trialist who is currently with non-league outfit Bamber Bridge.
After representing their respective nations at Euro 2020 and the Copa America, as many as eight City players are yet to return to training.
While McAvoy made widespread changes during the game with Accrington Stanley, the Preston head coach should name his strongest team for this contest.
Thomas, who has been allowed to continue training with the Championship outfit, could be given an opportunity from the substitutes' bench.
Head To Head
City and Preston have squared off in 94 competitive fixtures over the years, the Premier League edging the head-to-head by 42 wins to 34.
Just two matches have taken place over the past 19 years with City prevailing in FA Cup and EFL Cup ties at Deepdale.
We say: Manchester City 3-1 Preston North End
With City still missing many of their first-team squad, Preston will view this game as a window of opportunity to cause a surprise. However, there are players who will wish to impress Guardiola, leading us to predict a comfortable triumph for the top-flight side.
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