Following the October international break, Manchester City are now back underway with their own duties at the City Football Academy ahead of the weekend’s action.
First-team training has resumed in Manchester this week, and the senior squad are preparing for their Premier League fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend, taking on Roberto De Zerbi’s men on Saturday afternoon.
During the latest instalment of the international break, several members of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City squad participated in qualification matches for both the 2024 European Championships in Germany, and the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
First up, the European segment. Over the past two weeks, members of Manchester City’s senior mens team competed with their respective countries across Europe as they fought for qualification places at the 2024 European Championships.
In Group A, Rodri played in both of Spain’s two qualification matches against Scotland and Norway, while Erling Håland and Oscar Bobb’s Norway faced Cyprus and Spain. The former offered two goals in a dominant victory over Cyprus as he returned to goalscoring ways following a dry spell in front of the net for Manchester City.
It was Spain who managed to win both of their matches, and as such have now qualified for next summer’s European Championships. Meanwhile, Norway will be unable to qualify from its group directly, but may still advance to the qualification play-offs.
Over in Group B, Nathan Aké and the Netherlands took on France and Greece. The Dutchmen lost to the former in a narrow match, but then overcame defeat by defeating the Greeks in their subsequent contest.
The Netherlands are now just one victory away from qualifying directly for next summer’s competition, although should they not qualify directly from their qualification group, then they will at least have a place in the qualification play-offs.
In Group C, a large section from Manchester City’s squad in Kyle Walker, Kalvin Phillips, John Stones, Jack Grealish, and Phil Foden saw England take on Italy in a qualification match.
It was the Three Lions who won, and as such qualified for next summer’s competition. The English also had a friendly against Australia, which they also won, with Grealish registering an assist in the process.
In Group D, Mateo Kovačić and Joško Gvardiol participated in Croatia’s qualification matches against Turkey and Wales. The Croatians were unsuccessful during this international window, losing both matches.
However, there is still time to see how they will finish. The Croatians have two matches to play, and should they not qualify directly from their qualification group, then they are at least guaranteed a spot in the qualification play-offs.
As for Group F and Belgium, Jérémy Doku defeated Austria alongside his national teammates. The victory meant that the Belgians have now qualified for and will participate in next summer’s European Championships.
Manchester City’s summer signing also registered an assist in his 88 minutes of action for the Red Devils, as he continues his fine form following his move to the Etihad Stadium from Stade Rennais in the summer transfer window.
Their qualifier against Sweden, however, was suspended after it emerged that two Swedish supporters had been shot dead in a terrorist attack. The match has not yet been rescheduled.
In Group I, Manuel Akanji and Switzerland took on Andorra and Belarus. The Swiss defeated the Andorrans with ease, but only managed a disappointing draw with the Belarusians thanks to a late comeback with the Manchester City defender on the scoresheet.
Finally, in Group J, the Portuguese duo of Rúben Dias and Bernardo Silva faced Slovakia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. Manchester City’s contingent won both matches, and results mean that Portugal will participate in next summer’s European competition.
In under-21 European Championship qualification duty, Rico Lewis starred with England’s under-21 side, registering two assists in a 9-1 victory over Serbia’s youth squad, before succumbing to a 3-2 defeat to Ukraine under-21s.
Meanwhile, over in South America, Julián Álvarez helped Argentina in their 2026 World Cup qualification matches against Paraguay and Peru. The current FIFA World Cup holders won both matches.
Similarly, Ederson participated in Brazil’s matches against Venezuela and Uruguay as he continues to hold down the number one spot in between the sticks. The Brazilians drew with the Venezuelans, and lost to the Uruguayans.
A mention must also go out to Yan Couto who earned his first senior Brazil call-up following his performances out on-loan at Girona, and also registered his first appearance and start across the two fixtures during the international break.
As for the rest of the Manchester City senior squad, Scott Carson (England), Stefan Ortega Moreno (Germany), Sergio Gómez (Spain), and Zack Steffen (United States) did not travel on international duty. Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium) remains injured, and despite making encouraging progress in his recovery, is not expected to return until early 2024.
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