English Premiership giants

Manchester City will parade their array of international stars such as captain Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri on their South African tour.

City arrive in South Africa on Thursday and they will be based in Durban for the duration of their stay in the country.

The Citizens will play against SuperSport United at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday in what will be the first match in charge for recently appointed manager Manuel Pellegrini.

City round off their short stay in the country with a clash against AmaZulu at the Moses Mabhida Stadium four days later before embarking on 15 hour flight to Hong Kong where they will take on South China in the Barclays Asia Trophy on July 24.

City players returned to work yesterday at their Carrington Training Centre in Manchester following their summer breaks and they were joined by new boy Fernandinho, who joined the club from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk last month.

The only absentees from training were Spanish duo David Silva and Jesus Navas, who have been granted extra recovery time after their Confederations Cup exploits in Brazil.

Silva and Navas are not expected to be with the team in the country.

Kompany expressed joy at being back at work by tweeting, “Back in work today!!

“New season, new challenge!” via his official account yesterday morning.

Newly-appointed United coach Cavin Johnson yesterday said from the team’s pre-season base in Stellenbosch that they were taking the City game seriously as it formed part of their preparations for the new season.

“It is important for us to gauge our strength against a top team like Manchester City, who have quality players. We will go out there and play positive football and celebrate Mandela’s life with a good performance,” he said.

On the negative side, Johnson said new signing and midfielder Thuso Phala, experienced striker Sibusiso Zuma and Zambian international defender Davies Nkausu would not be lining up against City as they were nursing injuries.

However, he remained hopeful that the important trio would recover in time for the start of the season as they were looking to have a solid start and set a good tone for the rest of the campaign.

Johnson could not confirm whether he would be making any new additions to the squad before the season started but said he was happy with the 30 players who are currently in camp.

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