Mens Team

Bravo: Squad focused on season opener

BRAVO: The City 'keeper is back to full fitness and looking to enjoy a good preseason
Claudio Bravo says the City squad are already preparing for the Community Shield game against Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola and a 27-man squad touched down in Shanghai on Tuesday as our preseason tour of Asia got under way.

The team conducted an open training session at the Yuanshen Stadium ahead of Wednesday’s game against West Ham United in the Premier League Asia Trophy, with the winner of that game facing either Newcastle or Wolves in Saturday’s final.

And the Chilean goalkeeper, back to full fitness after almost a year out with an Achilles tendon injury, says he expects a difficult training programme as Guardiola looks to get his side fine-tuned before the season curtain-raiser against Liverpool at Wembley.

“We will spend a lot of time together on tour,” Bravo said. “We spent a lot of time at the CFA, we come early and leave late, and we spend plenty of hours together.

“The fact we’ll have more training sessions will help us improve our game, and we have an early match on the 4th of August. Our main goal must be getting ready for that.

“We respect every opponent but we also know we won’t be good if we don’t work hard, and any other team can make you struggle.

“It only depends on our work, on our set of players, on having good recovery in this period where we’ll have two training sessions per day. That’s the deal.”

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READ: City name squad for tour of Asia 

READ: Key info | 2019 Asia Tour

City play four matches during our summer tour - two games in the Premier League Asia Trophy in China, before matches against Kitchee in Hong Kong and fellow City Football Group side Yokohama F Marinos in Japan.

It will provide Guardiola with an opportunity to get a close look at his players before returning to Manchester at the end of the month.

Bravo can’t wait to experience Asia again and says the reaction the squad receives when they travel around the world is a source of huge pride.

“Just being in Asia is exciting,” he said. “We’ll meet warm and friendly people, and that’s special. It makes us feel proud when we go to these places and people there greet us with affection.”


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City have been back on the training field for just over a week, conducting double sessions at the City Football Academy as Guardiola and his staff assess the fitness levels of the players.

With the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus still away after international commitments over the summer, the squad has been bolstered by a number of younger players stepping up into the first-team setup.

Lukas Nmecha, Nabil Touaizi, Gavin Bazunu, Iker Pozo, Tommy Doyle, Luke Bolton, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Adrian Bernabe, Ian Poveda-Ocampo, Alpha Diounkou and Ben Knight have all travelled to China having been involved in sessions at the CFA last week.

Bravo says training so far has been positive and believes the quality the young players have shown is further evidence of the Club’s academy system bearing fruit.

“It’s been very positive,” he said. “We’ve come back from holidays and have started working on our objectives. It’s very important and everyone is feeling excited about the new season, that’ll bring plenty of challenges like in the last years.

“There’s plenty of young people, some of them were with us at this stage last season. That speaks for the good work the club is doing.

“We had a great pre-season in the US last season, and we’re hoping to repeat that in Asia this year with the young guys, with the people that are arriving after their holidays, which is the people who’ll be here all year round. We’re doing a great job.”

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