Pep Guardiola will renew acquaintances with former club Bayern Munich when his Manchester City side face the Bundesliga champions at Lambeau Field in Wisconsin for a pre-season friendly on Sunday. Both Julian Nagelsmann and Guardiola will view this heavyweight clash – their final warm-up match of the summer – as a useful exercise against challenging opposition before turning their attention to competitive action next week. Bayern Munich kicked off their pre-season preparations with an emphatic 6-2 victory over Wayne Rooney’s DC United on Thursday, albeit without star striker Robert Lewandowski who has now joined Barcelona.
Summer signings Sadio Mane and Matthijs de Ligt both scored on their debuts for the Bavarian outfit, while Thomas Muller, Marcel Sabitzer, Serge Gnabry and Joshua Zirkzee were also on the scoresheet in Washington. Nagelsmann was understandably impressed with his side’s performance considering that it was their first run-out for over two months, but Bayern are now set to face a much sterner test against Premier League champions Man City.
Bayern have not faced City competitively since 2014 when Guardiola was in charge of the German giants, but they have since locked horns in two friendly encounters, winning 1-0 in 2016 and losing 3-2 in 2018. Nagelsmann and co will be seeking revenge on Sunday and will be looking to end their pre-season tour of the USA on a high, before beginning the 2022-23 campaign against RB Leipzig in the DFL-Supercup on July 30. Manchester City also began their tour of the States with victory as they secured a slender 2-1 win over Mexican outfit Club America on Thursday.
Last season’s Premier League Player of the Season Kevin De Bruyne starred for the Citizens as he bagged a brace while wearing the captain’s armband to help Guardiola’s side come out on top in Houston. It is fair to say that City have experienced a busy summer transfer window of incomings and outgoings. Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus are the notable departures at present to Chelsea and Arsenal respectively, while Oleksandr Zinchenko is on the verge of joining Jesus at the Emirates Stadium. Guardiola has, however, bolstered his squad with the arrivals of Erling Braut Haaland, Kalvin Phillips, Stefan Ortega and Julian Alvarez, the latter signing for the club in January from River Plate.
With the prospect of at least one more addition in the form of left-back Marc Cucurella this summer, City are building a new-look squad hoping to challenge on all fronts once again, with an elusive Champions League crown and a fifth top-flight title in six seasons in their sights. After their pre-season clash with Bayern on Sunday, the Citizens will return to England for the Community Shield against Liverpool next Saturday, before beginning the defence of their Premier League title away at West Ham United on August 7. Considering that this fixture is the final warm-up match for both teams before the 2022-23 campaign begins, both Nagelsmann and Guardiola are set to name strong sides, although rotation throughout the match is expected.
As well as Mane and De Ligt, fellow summer recruits Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch also played for Bayern against DC United and the quartet are expected to feature on Sunday. Bayern’s Leon Goretzka remains sidelined after undergoing knee surgery, so the likes of Gravenberch, Sabitzer, Joshua Kimmich and Gabriel Vidovic are all set to complete for a place in centre-midfield, while former Man City winger Leroy Sane could keep his place in the first XI. Nagelsmann used a 4-4-2 formation on Thursday and could stick with the same setup on Sunday, although the likes of Muller, Kingsley Coman, Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard will all be pushing to start after beginning on the bench last time out.
As for Man City, Guardiola has confirmed that Haaland could make his debut for the club on Sunday after the Norwegian striker was an unused substitute against Club America. Phillips, Alvarez and Ortega were all handed their debuts, meanwhile, and could all feature again this weekend, while the likes of Joao Cancelo, Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish will all be hoping to keep their places in the first XI.
Guardiola is unable to call upon the injured Aymeric Laporte, while Phil Foden, John Stones and Ilkay Gundogan are all unavailable as they are training with the club’s Under-23s in Croatia after failing to meet the USA entry requirements. Ruben Dias missed Thursday’s friendly due to illness and remains doubtful for Sunday, so academy graduate Luke Mbete could be handed another start at centre-back alongside Nathan Ake.
Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Mazraoui, De Ligt, Hernandez, Davies; Coman, Kimmich, Gravenberch, Sane; Muller, Mane
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Mbete, Ake, Cancelo; Bernardo, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Haaland, Grealish