Men's Team

Talking Points: Houston, we have a derby!

THE MAN: A focussed Sergio Aguero
Talking points ahead of the Blues' first overseas Manchester derby...

A team of two halves?

Pep will want to give his squad plenty of playing time over the next fortnight but whether that will be one team for one half, and another for the second, remains to be seen.

The Houston heat at 35-degrees plus thunderstorms predicted, the roof will be on at the NRG Stadium tomorrow night and the humidity is likely to be even greater.

So, expect short bursts of activity from the squad and plenty of water on the touchline.

                        DRINK IT IN: Time to cool down
DRINK IT IN: Time to cool down

Battle of Belgium?

Vincent Kompany will get his pre-season well and truly underway against United when he comes up against Romelu Lukaku.

It’s likely that if both play, they will only face each other for a portion of the game due to the nature of pre-season friendlies, but it will be a good workout for the City skipper against his compatriot who signed from Everton in the summer.

                        STONES OR KOMPANY: It will be a busy evening with Lukaku now in red...
STONES OR KOMPANY: It will be a busy evening with Lukaku now in red...

Formation experiments

While the Blues summer shopping is unlikely to be over, Pep will use the International Champions Cup to find out which formations may work better throughout the Premier League campaign.

The introduction of Kyle Walker means it is likely the Blues will play with high attacking wing-backs, but with only two experienced full-backs in the travelling party, some of the youngsters will see some game time as well.

We may also get an inkling into how the Sergio Aguero/Gabriel Jesus partnership will develop over the coming months.

                        FRONT LINE: Kun and Jesus will lead against United?
FRONT LINE: Kun and Jesus will lead against United?

United head start?

Expect United to be slightly sharper having already played three pre-season games in the States.

The Reds arrived a good week ahead of the Blues and will have acclimatised more to the conditions as well as enjoying competitive workout against various US teams.

The fact that this is the first overseas Manchester derby means that, regardless of the match fitness of either side, this is a game neither will want to lose.

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