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Jul 27, 2021 at 7pm UK
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Preview: Manchester City vs. Preston North End - prediction, team news, head to head

:Headline: Preview: Manchester City vs. Preston North End - prediction, team news, head to head:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Pre-Season Friendlies clash between Manchester City and Preston North End, including predictions, team news and head-to-head records.
Sports Mole

Manchester City are scheduled to play their only pre-season friendly of the summer when they face Preston North End on Tuesday.

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.

Match preview

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.

Head coach Frankie McAvoy will have cut a frustrated figure in recent days after new arrival Izzy Brown sustained an Achilles injury which will keep him sidelined for several months.

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.

Manchester City form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Preston North End pre-season friendlies form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D

Team News

After representing their respective nations at Euro 2020 and the Copa America, as many as eight City players are yet to return to training.

Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva and Nathan Ake are also unlikely to be involved in this fixture with their return to club duty scheduled for Monday.

However, Benjamin Mendy, Fernandinho and Riyad Mahrez are all expected to feature in the game at City's Academy Stadium.

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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