man city v ac milan

Five’s summer of live football continues as Manchester City welcome Italian giants AC Milan to the City of Manchester Stadium for a preseason friendly. The action is hosted by Colin Murray, while Tony Jones provides the commentary. Kick-off is at 17.15.

The weight of expectation will once again be on Manchester City as they warm up for another tough season in the Premier League. New manager Mark Hughes, recruited from Blackburn, will be hoping to stamp his influence on the team and satisfy controversial club owner Thaksin Shinawatra, who unceremoniously sacked former manager Sven- Goran Erikson at the end of last season.

Man City have a packed pre-season schedule with friendlies against Stockport County and Scottish champions Celtic preceding this week’s clash. They must also contend with another UEFA Cup first-round game against EB/Streymur, having only qualified for the competition via the fair-play rankings. Passage into the group stages is not yet certain for City, though they will take a two-goal advantage into the second leg having won 2-0 away from home. Mark Hughes will not have considered the Faroe Islands minnows a serious test, but he will be pleased to have started his reign with a win. Man City fans, meanwhile, will appreciate the chance to bury the memories of last season, which saw their team finish ninth in the Premier League after an 8-1 battering by Middlesborough on the final day.

Manchester’s highest-profile signing so far this summer is Brazilian striker Jo, acquired for an undisclosed club-record fee – thought to be in the region of £18 million. The club shrugged off interest from Valencia to snatch the 21-year-old from CSKA Moscow. Elsewhere, City made no secret of their ambition to lure out-of-favour superstar Ronaldinho from Barcelona, but missed out on his signature at the 11th hour to none other than Milan. This week’s clash will provide a great opportunity for the former FIFA World Player of the Year to prove to his new side that he is worth every cent of the €21million Milan paid for him.

As well as Ronaldinho, Milan have also been linked with Chelsea’s Didier Drogba and Arsenal’s Emmanuel Adebayor, as they hunt for a striker to replace the recently sold Alberto Gilardino.

However, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger remains confident that Adebayor is happy where he is; and new Chelsea gaffer Luiz Felipe Scolari will need every hand on deck if his team is to challenge for the Premier League crown this time around.

After a disappointing run last season that saw Milan finish fifth in Serie A, Carlo Ancelotti will be keen to use the pre-season friendlies to make a statement of intent for the rest of the year. Having missed out on a Champions League place, Ancelotti and his team will also regard this week’s clash against Man City as a chance to scope out a possible UEFA Cup opponent.

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