It’s safe to say that the pre-season trip to the Far East hasn’t worked out very well for the two Manchester clubs, but City can at least get some game time today against Borussia Dortmund, even if they’re set to come up against a much better prepared outfit.
Having seen United thrashed 4-1 by a fully fit BvB last week, Pep Guardiola was supposed to get his first taste of something resembling a Manchester derby on Monday, only for the game to be called off due to heavy rain rendering the pitch at Beijing’s Birds Nest unplayable.
So the new Man City boss heads into this game having overseen just one pre-season game so far, a 1-0 defeat eight days ago versus Bayern Munich in which many of his first-team stars were absent.
In contrast, Dortmund are in full flow – this will be the Bundesliga club’s sixth friendly fixture – and their extra preparation was abundantly evident in their comfortable victory over Jose Mourinho’s Reds.
Mourinho made it clear that United’s game versus Dortmund was little more than a run-out, as the Portuguese still has two friendlies to play, in addition to the Community Shield versus Leicester, in order to get his Red Devils ready for the new season.
But with only one more pre-season game against Arsenal to come, time is ticking for Guardiola and City before their season opener.
City should be better equipped to handle the German side than their local rivals, although having not played for a week, they’re sure to find it tough going.
But if Sergio Aguero plays, then the two-time Premier League champions can always cause trouble.
The Argentine star is 4/1 to open the scoring in the Longdang Stadium in Shenzhen, the same price as Dortmund’s most likely first goal-getter Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
City can’t afford to treat this game against Die Schwarzgelben like United did, but match fitness can’t be underestimated and the blue half of Manchester looks set to join the red half in returning from a wasteful China trip winless.
But those who fancy Guardiola, Aguero and co to kick-start their pre-season can enjoy our pre-match price boost of Man City to win and both teams to score was 11/4 NOW 7/2.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.