The Daily Mail reports that Manchester City will fly out for a warm-weather mid-season training camp away in The United Arab Emirates. The Citizens have concluded plans to go to Abu Dhabi after Monday night’s game at the Bet365 stadium in Stoke.
Pep Guardiola’s men are not in action for almost three weeks after the game and the Spanish boss wants a warm-weather camp to energize his players just as it did last term. The Abu Dhabi camp is for five days, after which they come back on Saturday and turn their sights to winning the Premier League and Champions League to go along with the League Cup they won in devastating fashion against Arsenal last month.
This Saturday, City are not in action as the FA Cup takes centrestage. The league leaders crashed out in the 5th round at the hands of League One side, Wigan Athletic who also defeated them in the competition showpiece back in 2013.
Guardiola will also use the opportunity to discuss club matters with club owner, Sheikh Mansour, as well as engage in some goodwill events. Last season’s camp resulted in 15 goals in the final four games of the campaign, with Pep hoping that this season’s results in a similar impact with silverware to match.
“We did it last season to be together and after the international break we’ll be ready for the last month-and-a- half, two months of competition,” he said. Before that though, Pep is wary of Stoke’s threat under the tutelage of Paul Lambert. He said, “I’ve studied how they play under Paul Lambert. You know they have good players like (Eric) Choupo-Moting and particularly (Xherdan) Shaqiri — we were together at Bayern Munich.
“Joe Allen is an exceptional player as well and they are strong, a lot of set pieces. It is always a tough game, people spoke about that before I came.”
After City’s warm-weather camp comes the international weekend before a crucial game away at the Goodison Park where a win would see City become Champions in they win against bitter rivals, Manchester United the next week.