In the first of quite possibly many matches between each other in the future, Pep Guardiola's Manchester City faces formerly-of-Pep-Guardiola's Bayern Munich in a preseason friendly at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday. Having moved from Bayern to the Etihad after last season, Guardiola begins his Manchester city era against the team he enjoyed a lot of success with over three years.
Guardiola left Bayern with plenty of titles in the bag, but with a tinge of disappointment and that "it could have been a lot better" feeling lingering in the air as well. While three Bundesliga titles in three seasons was almost a foregone conclusion, the fact that Bayern could not clinch a Champions League crown during the Spaniard's tenure would have been a disappointment, even if the former Barcelona manager improved the German champions immeasurably.
Now, it will be all about Manchester City for Guardiola, and the most important aspect for any team during preseason is to get the players back to match fitness. When it comes to a new manager taking over, though, there is the added business of trying to make the team function the way you want it.
It will be interesting to see how Guardiola, who has signed Nolito and Ilkay Gundogan for comparatively bargain fees, moulds this Manchester City team – if it will be the tiki-taka style of pass, pass, pass or a different style of play, probably one a little more suited to the hustle, bustle and fast-paced nature of the Premier League.
This opening preseason match will be, of course, too early to gauge where the latest Manchester City project will go, with Bayern Munich also beginning their own new era under manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Switching Guardiola for Ancelotti can hardly be considered a step down, and the Italian, whose new team beat Lippstadt 4-3 in a preseason friendly on Saturday, will be keen to keep the German machine purring along while adding his own touches to the team as well.
"We want to win and turn in a good display," Ancelotti told Bayern Munich's official website. "Every friendly is important to us, but the match (against Manchester City) is even more important since it's our first home match."
Both managers will hope to avoid early season injuries, particularly Ancelotti, who will now be without one of his star players – Arjen Robben – for six weeks after the Netherlands international suffered an adductor muscle injury in the friendly against Lippstadt.
"I am very unhappy (about Robben)," Ancelotti, who is also without the injured Douglas Costa, added. "We still have enough time, we'll be in form for the start of the season."
Where to Watch Live
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City is set to begin at 8.30 p.m. local time (12 a.m. IST, 7.30 p.m. BST, 2.30 p.m. ET). Below are the live streaming and TV options.
India: No live coverage.
UK: TV: BT Sport 1. Live Streaming: Watch BT Sport.
Germany: TV: ZDF.
South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: TV: SuperSport 3. Live Streaming: SuperSport Live Video.
Spain: TV: EuroSport and TDP.
UAE: TV: Abu Dhabi Sports 3.
Thailand: TV: Channel 3.