Manchester City won’t play strongest side against Sunderland in Barclays Trophy final

Manuel Pellegrini
Manuel Pellegrini

MANCHESTER CITY manager Manuel Pellegrini says fitness, rather than the result, will determine his side to face Sunderland tomorrow, reports Chris Young in Hong Kong.

City will battle the Black Cats in the final of the Barclays Trophy tomorrow (kick-off 1.30pm GMT) with new boss Pellegrini able to call upon new boys Jesus Navas, Stevan Jovetic, Alvaro Negredo and Fernandinho.

But Pellegrini says he won’t name his first-choice XI against Sunderland, with the new City boss keen to get minutes under the belt of every member of his squad.

“These are friendly matches, not how they will be at the start of the season,” Pellegrini said today.

“If we can win a trophy, its always important to us.

“But the game on August 19 (against Newcastle) is the most important one.

“In pre-season, I try to play all the players. I never choose my starting XI to win the game or make changes to win the game.

“I try to have a similar average of minutes for all the players. I think that’s the best way.”