Match Preview: Sporting Kansas City vs Manchester City International Friendly Match 2014

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Manchester City begin their preparation for the International Champions Cup with a friendly against MLS outfit Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, looking to build some momentum ahead of the star-studded tournament around the U.S.

Currently sitting top of the MLS Eastern Conference, Sporting KC are the ideal opponents for City to kick off their U.S. tour, and they’ll fancy their chances of producing a scalp against the Premier League champions.

Here, we look ahead to what’s set to be a mouth-watering affair at Sporting Park, as the champions of America and the champions of England lock horns.

Since Manchester City isn't bringing their full squad, today's match preview is going to be a little different. We're going to be focusing more on who is playing instead of how they're going to play. This will be in lieu of the usual tactical preview.

Sporting KC come into this match at the top of the Eastern Conference in MLS, currently in the middle of their season. They've won five of their last six matches and look to be just as good as last year's MLS Cup winners. There should be a mix of starters and reserves playing in this match, including the debut of recent signing Jorge Claros. With Sporting Kansas City playing in a big league match Saturday evening against Toronto FC, Peter Vermes isn't going to want to stretch his starters too much and risk an injury.

Manchester City are about a month away from the start of the Barclay's Premier League season, where they will begin the defense of their second BPL title in three years. This is their first friendly in the United States before playing in the International Champions Cup later this summer. They are missing several of their normal players, including Sergio Aguero, Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany. Several of their World Cup players will be joining the team after the friendly to participate in the International Champions Cup.

Sporting KC will have 22 players available for this match, many of them likely to play. Peter Vermes is going to use two groups tomorrow of eleven players each, one of which will feature recent defensive midfielder signee Jorge Claros. Both squads will play. One of the groups will also likely include 21-year-old goalkeeper Jon Kempin, who has not registered any minutes with the senior squad yet. Vermes is likely to switch these two groups at halftime so that players can get playing time, but not enough where it stretches them for Saturday.
Manchester City

Below is the full roster for the visitors.

Goalkeepers (3): Willy Caballero, Richard Wright, Ian Lawlor
Defenders (8): Micah Richards, Dedryck Boyata, Gael Clichy, Karim Rekik, Aleksandar Kolarov, Matthias Bossaerts, Matija Nastasic, Jason Denayer
Midfielders (8): Fernando, Samir Nasri, Scott Sinclair, Javi Garcia, Jesus Navas, Jack Rodwell, Bruno Zuculini, Emry Huws
Forwards (4): Alvaro Negredo, Stevan Jovetic, John Guidetti, Kelechi Iheanacho

As mentioned above, this roster is missing several of the starters that Manchester City will be using once their season starts. However they do have some names, including Jesus Navas and Javi Garcia. No word yet on how Manchester City will be rotating their squad.

Other Info
These two teams will be playing for the Champions Shield in the trophy's debut.
If the two teams are tied at the end of regulation, they will forgo extra time and will go straight to penalties.
Sporting KC is still undefeated against BPL teams, beating Manchester United in 2010, then drawing with Newcastle and Stoke City in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

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