Pep Guardiola believes Yokohama F. Marinos’ will provide an ideal test as he prepares Manchester City for the Community Shield tie against Liverpool.
With our 2019/20 curtain raiser just nine days away, the boss feels he is facing the perfect opponent in the final game of our preseason tour of Asia.
Guardiola acknowledged our City Football Group sister club’s possession-based attacking style ahead of Saturday’s contest in Japan, who, much like his team, have earned a reputation for attractive, expansive football under the stewardship of Ange Postecoglou.
“In nine days we have the Community Shield against Liverpool and having watched Yokohama videos this could be the best game we could play because of the way they play," he said.
“City and Yokohama have similar philosophies. It’s a pleasure to be in Japan again and hopefully the fans enjoy the football.
“Both teams want the ball and both teams want to play. Both teams want to attack and score and when that happens, football is magnificent.”
With stifling heat and humidity, conditions have provided an additional challenge throughout our tour of Asia, with the players usually leaving the pitch with sweat drenched shirts.
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Temperatures are far removed from what City are used to in England and though testing, Guardiola chooses to see the benefits of playing in a new climate.
“It’s not ideal weather conditions,” he added.
“Sometimes playing against good teams in tough conditions is the best way to improve and work on our mentality.
“Players always play well in good conditions, but that’s not the point.
“I’m excited and looking forward to the game tomorrow. After analysing our opponent, I know it’s going to be interesting."