Blues braced for Gunners test
- Thu 26 Jul 2012, 3:00PM
- Posted by David Clayton
Roberto Mancini is looking forward to facing Premier League opposition again as City’s pre-season shifts back into gear on Friday.
The Blues face Arsenal at the Bird’s Nest Arena in Beijing before jetting off to Malaysia over the weekend and Mancini is expecting a tough test against Arsene Wenger’s side.
A crowd of more than 52,000 will attend the Blues’ highest profile friendly so far, but with a number of his first-team squad back in England having only just returned to training, the City boss knows the Gunners will be formidable opposition.
“We are very happy to be here in China and it should be a good match against Arsenal,” said Mancini.
“I hope this will be a great game for all our supporters both here and back home to enjoy, but it’s always difficult when you don’t have all your team together. Most of the players who were involved at the European Championships only returned to training two days ago.
“This is a problem when you have a major international tournament but there is nothing we can do about it.
We enjoyed our training camp in Austria but we still have a lot of hard work ahead of us
Mancini may be missing several big names on this trip, but he believes he has one of the best leaders in world football available to face Arsenal.
Reacting to the news his skipper Vincent Kompany had signed a new six-year deal earlier in the day, he said: “Vinnie is one of the top five defenders in the world and I am very happy he has committed himself to Manchester City for the next six years.
“He is a great captain and he will only get better so this is great news for the Club.”
Pablo Zabaleta added: “It should be a good game and a good test for both teams. The people here in China have reacted very positively to our arrival and I’m sure there will be a great atmosphere in what is a fantastic stadium to play football in.”