Saturday’s friendly against Hamburg is the perfect test at this stage of City’s pre-season programme.
That’s the opinion of Blues boss Mark Hughes, who takes the squad over to Germany on Friday afternoon ahead of the match itself, which kicks off at 3.30pm UK time
Still to come before the start of the Barclays Premier League season are a trip to Celtic and the visit of AC Milan on August 9th, and the Manager is delighted with what lies ahead.
“I think that our pre-season is on paper as good as any that I have been involved in,” Hughes declares, “because of the quality of the opposition we are facing and that we have competitive games interspersed as well. From my point of view, it’s perfect.
“If you could pick a pre-season for preparation purposes, you would struggle to top the one that we have this year. We have to make the most of it.”
Turning to Saturday’s match, Hughes intends to put out a strong side featuring players who did not feature in the UEFA Cup win over EB/Streymur.
“The Streymur game too soon for the likes of Elano and Corluka, so obviously I am looking to play them against Hamburg,” he continues. “It will be a good game for us, they are good quality opposition and we are looking to step it up for the ones that did not play last week.
“The other guys have 90 minutes under their belt, but some still do not so we will look to get some match time into the ones who returned a bit later.
“It’s a case of getting minutes into the players legs, we are taking a reasonably-sized squad that will be senior-based. The guys who were missing at the beginning of the preparation period need to get up to speed, so we will look to give them decent stints against Hamburg.
“That should help them with the games we have leading into the start of the Premier League season. It’s a key game for a number of players.”