Man City's Pre-Season Friendly vs Preston Affected By Covid Cases - Club Release Statement

Manchester City have discarded plans to welcome fans back to the Etihad Stadium against the Championship side next week.
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The Premier League champions had initially made arrangements to allow fans to visit the academy stadium in their clash against Frankie McAvoy's side on Tuesday 27th July. 

However, a worrying COVID-19 outbreak at the club's training ground on Friday, which saw the number of positive cases reach double figures, forced the club to take immediate action by asking players and staff representing the U-23 and U-18 sides to distance themselves from campus for a period of ten days.

In an attempt to prevent the spread to members of the first-team bubble, the training center, which was re-opened on Monday, was shut down as a response to the rise in number of confirmed cases last week.

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As revealed by Simon Bajkowski of Manchester Evening News, Manchester City will now hold their tie against Preston behind closed doors as a cautious attempt to stop re-opening too many facilities at once.

The Manchester side are still suffering from the effects of the pandemic, which has had a significant impact on the world of sport, with clubs across the globe struggling financially amid the ongoing transfer window.

A statement from the club on the change to the fixture read:

"Manchester City’s friendly match with Preston North End at the Academy Stadium on Tuesday 27th July will now take place behind closed doors.

"This follows the Club’s decision on Friday 16th July to temporarily close the Academy building for 10 days after a number of positive COVID-19 tests were recorded.

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"Given the short time frame between the end of the isolation period and the Club’s friendly with Preston North End, the Club is adopting a precautionary approach to ensure the highest standards of safety are maintained across the City Football Academy site ahead of the new season.

"Supporters will be able to follow every kick of our clash with the Lilywhites with a CITY+ subscription."

In their second game of pre-season, City are set to visit fellow City Football Group-owned and French outfit Troyes - full details on the trip to the Ligue 1 side can be found here; the tie should remain uninfluenced by the UK Government's recent announcement that all returning from France will have to self-isolate for a period of five days.

Following their return from France, City will face off against Leicester City in pursuit of the Community Shield on Saturday 7th August, which could set the tone early for a season potentially filled with a host of silverware.

It has also been suggested that City will travel to face FC Barcelona in a charity fixture towards the latter stages of August, not before the Premier League campaign will have begun.

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