Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Guardiola Relief as Blues Continue Silverware Hunt during Summer

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Guardiola Relief as Blues Continue Silverware Hunt during Summer

Article excerpt

City boss will be delighted that none of his players have suffered major injury in a busy spell of international tournaments

WHISPER it, but the international calendar is working out very well for City this summer.

The priority for any club manager when their players go away with their countries is for them to return fully fit, and the concern on that count is Fernandinho.

His injury does not sound serious but he has not been deemed in perfect enough condition for Brazil coach Tite to risk him at the Copa America. However, Rodri's expected arrival at the Blues should allow the Brazilian to ease his way back to fitness and everything else has gone as well as can be expected.

City's quartet of Englishman got to test themselves against a Netherlands team featuring Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and Virgil van Dijk in the UEFA Nations League, the biggest European tournament of the summer. Bernardo Silva shone for Portugal in the final and was named as the best player - some accolade given Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick in the last four.

Phil Foden was one of the only players to emerge with credit from England's poor showing at the Under-21 European Championships, with coach Aidy Boothroyd receiving criticism for not starting the City youngster for a must-win game.

Pep Guardiola and his coaches will keenly assess just how tired the player was and whether any more physical work is needed, but the talent was there in testing circumstances.

The two ongoing tournaments are also benefiting the Blues.

Riyad Mahrez looks comfortable leading Algeria's charge in the Africa Cup of Nations, and despite some pessimistic predictions they have qualified for the latter stages with a game to spare.

Previews for the tournament picked out Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mo Salah as the ones to watch but Algeria's win over Mane's Senegal sees them likely to top the group.

Skipping back to South America sees another tantalising contest with Brazil (Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho and Ederson) up against Argentina (Nicolas Otamendi and Sergio Aguero) in the semi-finals. …

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