Man City VS Girona LIVE Football Score 17/12/2022

Man City VS Girona LIVE Football Score 17/12/2022

Manchester City kickstart their preparations for a return to Premier League action when they tackle fellow City Football Group outfit Girona at the Academy Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Citizens have not taken to the field since losing 2-1 to Brentford last month, while their Spanish counterparts drew 1-1 with Osasuna on Wednesday. Pep Guardiola will be forced to watch his former student celebrate Christmas Day at the top of the Premier League table, as the reigning champions continue to play catch-up to Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal in the race for the 2022-23 top-flight crown.

A shock 2-1 loss to Brentford just before the World Cup break saw Man City fall five points behind the Gunners at the top of the rankings, although they were due to tackle the North London outfit earlier this season before Queen Elizabeth II’s death led to a major calendar shake-up. Prior to resuming their quest for a third successive Premier League title against Leeds United on Boxing Day, Guardiola’s side must pit their wits against old foes Liverpool in the fourth round of the EFL Cup next Thursday, and two fixtures with Chelsea in the league and FA Cup is far from a welcoming way to enter 2023.

However, what has been warmly welcomed by Man City fans is the news that Guardiola has signed a new contract at the Etihad until the summer of 2025, although Brazil are supposedly already prepared to test the English champions’ resolve as they search for Tite’s successor. For now, though, Guardiola will test out his first-team regulars and academy graduates in equal measure as his side prepare for their only winter friendly of the year, but while a training camp in Abu Dhabi was on the menu for City, Girona have been worked to the maximum during the World Cup period.

Ending the first half of the season with three successive wins under their belt was the perfect tonic for a Girona side whose quest to avoid an immediate demotion from La Liga did not get off to the ideal start. Only two of the visitors’ first 14 matches in the 2022-23 La Liga season ended in victory, but successive 2-1 wins over Athletic Bilbao and Elche just before the World Cup break allowed Michel’s side to surge to 13th in the table – five points clear of Sevilla in the drop zone.

Girona also secured victory by the same scoreline over Quintanar del Rey in the Copa del Rey and recorded a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Real Madrid during a five-game unbeaten run, and they carried that form over into their winter friendlies. After overcoming Standard Liege 1-0, Girona held Osasuna to a 1-1 draw in midweek as Aleix Garcia cancelled out Lucas Torro’s opener, stretching their unbeaten run across competitive and non-competitive fixtures to an impressive seven matches.

A remarkable 14-game scoring streak will also serve Girona well against a weakened Man City side, but the 1-0 success over Standard Liege also represents their only clean sheet from 18 matches in all competitions, and a well-rested Erling Braut Haaland can be sure to punish such frailties.

Man City attacker Julian Alvarez is preparing to start for Argentina in the World Cup final and thus remains absent here, while a host of other Qatar 2022 representatives are yet to return to training with Guardiola’s men. English quintet Phil Foden, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Jack Grealish and Kalvin Phillips are all taking more time off following their quarter-final exit, while Ederson, Nathan Ake, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo and Ruben Dias also suffered last-eight heartbreak.

Manuel Akanji, Aymeric Laporte and Rodri were all eliminated earlier and could therefore return to training sooner alongside Erling Braut Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne, who should both play a part in this one. Riyad Mahrez can also expect to line up for the Citizens, and Guardiola should also be working with a wealth of youngsters such as Cole Palmer, Liam Smith and Carlos Borges. City’s treatment room is empty at the minute, but the same cannot be said for Girona, who have Juanpe Ramirez and Ibrahima Kebe out for the long term with heel and knee injuries respectively.

Borja Garcia’s cruciate tear will also take slightly longer to heal, while David Lopez, Valery Fernandez, Javi Hernandez and Rodrigo Riquelme could complete a seven-man absentee list for the Spanish side. Two City loanees in Yangel Herrera and Yan Couto could come up against their parent club, although the former must also shake off a fitness concern alongside Reinier, who is enjoying a temporary spell at the club from Real Madrid.

Manchester City prepare for domestic action to resume by hosting sister club Girona at the Academy Stadium. The Premier League champions host Liverpool in the Carabao Cup fourth round next week and Pep Guardiola will, no doubt, use this friendly to get some minutes into the legs of his players that haven’t been at the World Cup, including Erling Haaland.

Julian Alvarez is the only City player still competing at Qatar 2022 after Argentina reached the final, so Guardiola is likely to have the bulk of his squad at his disposal. Girona, who sit 13th in La Liga, will probably have the edge on City in terms of fitness, having played two friendlies since the Spanish top division ground to a halt for the World Cup.

The two teams last met in August 2017, with the Spanish side coming out on top thanks to Portu’s first-half winner. Manchester City host Girona this weekend as they step up their preparations ahead of the 2022/23 season recommencing. The Premier League champions return to competitive action next Thursday when they face Liverpool in the Carabao Cup and, while several top-flight sides have been preparing for the restart with multiple friendly matches, the clash with Girona is City’s only winter warm-up game.

The Spanish side, who are 13th in La Liga, are part of the City Football Group and therefore a sister club of the Blues. Indeed, Yan Couto and Yangel Herrera are currently on loan from City at Girona, while Premier League supporters will also recognise Oriol Romeu and Paulo Gazzaniga, both of whom play for the Catalan club. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is about to find out whether his prediction that Erling Haaland will “behave” during the World Cup break was correct, as his side take on Girona in a friendly match on Saturday before the season resumes in earnest after the World Cup.

Norway’s failure to qualify for the World Cup has meant that Haaland has been able to benefit from a well deserved rest during the tournament. Although personally he would have been disappointed to miss out on the chance to play in the competition, City fans will no doubt be pleased that their star striker has had a chance to recharge his batteries over the past month. The 22-year-old featured in almost every game for his new side before the enforced break, with a small knock causing some concern when it came to Guardiola’s heavy use of the striker. Julian Alvarez’s campaign with Argentina will have reinforced the idea of more rotation with the Catalan manager perhaps, as he has shone in the South American’s journey to the final.

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