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Revealed: The bizarre reason Manchester City first-team trained in match kit



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Manchester City trio Matheus Nunes, Kalvin Phillips and Sergio Gomez were all bizarrely pictured at first-team training in match kit on Sunday afternoon.

Pep Guardiola’s side are preparing to begin their UEFA Champions League trophy defence in midweek, hosting Serbian outfit Red Star Belgrade at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday evening in the opening group stage fixture.

Manchester City were allocated Group G at the draw last month, and will face RB Leipzig and Young Boys as well as Red Star Belgrade, across the group stages of the Champions League this season.

The Sky Blues lifted the European trophy for the first time in the club’s history in June, and will bid to retain their Champions League crown, with the 2024 Champions League Final taking place at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday 1st June 2024.

Manchester City were unbeaten in Europe last season, and come into Tuesday’s clash unbeaten in the Premier League, having won their opening five matches, including a 3-1 win over West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Summer signing Jeremy Doku starred, as the treble-winners came from behind to beat David Moyes’ side, courtesy of second-half goals from Doku, Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland.

Matheus Nunes made his Manchester City debut against the Hammers, meanwhile Sergio Gomez also featured from the bench during the weekend’s victory in east London.

The duo both took part in a first-team training session at the City Football Academy on Sunday, with eagle-eyed supporters noticing a bizarre choice of training apparel.

Kalvin Phillips, Nunes and Gomez were all seen training in Manchester City’s home kit for the 2023/24 campaign, as opposed to wearing the club’s Champions League training range.

Rico Lewis, Nathan Ake and Oscar Bobb can also be seen wearing match shorts and socks, in images released by Manchester City on social media.

Manchester City players were likely training in match kit due to the annual first-team photo shoot, with the yearly image usually taken following the closure of the summer transfer window, to ensure all squad members are present.

The absence of Pep Guardiola due to an emergency back operation may have delayed the taking of the image, as the 52-year-old only returned to the City Football Academy on Wednesday following surgery.