The Pep Guardiola era at Manchester City will get underway on Wednesday when he takes his new team back to his old club Bayern Munich for a preseason friendly. Having arrived to take over City this summer fresh from three seasons at the Allianz Arena, Guardiola and his side will stop off in Munich on its way to China to continue its preparations for the start of the Premier League season.

City face three more friendlies after the short stop off in Munich, against Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund in China before taking on Arsenal in Sweden. And given how intense Guardiola is and how flexible and inventive his tactics are, every game will be key to getting his new squad up to speed.

For some players, there is work to do just to convince Guardiola that they have a future at the Etihad.  Chief among those is Yaya Toure, who was sold to Manchester City by Guardiola when he was at Barcelona. Goalkeeper Joe Hart could also do with some convincing performances after a torrid Euro 2016.

Pressure for first-team places could soon increase yet further, with reports continuing to link City with young German forward Leroy Sane and Italian center-back Leonardo Bonucci. Already Spain winger Nolito and young Ukrainian Alex Zinchenko have arrived and could make their first outings in a City shirt on Wednesday. Fellow new signing Ilkay Gundogan will have to wait for his bow, as he continues to battle back to fitness. Kevin de Bruyne, Eliaquim Mangala and Bacary Sagna are also unavailable after their lengthy involvements in Euro 2016.

Of course, Wednesday’s encounter will not only be a little odd for Guardiola but potentially also for the man who replaced him in Bavaria, Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian faces the tough job of succeeding a man who led Bayern to three straight Bundesliga titles and two German Cups. Ancelotti, though, insists he isn’t worried about being in Guardiola’s shadow.

“I have a very good relationship with Pep,” the former Real Madrid coach said. “He did an outstanding job here. I already know my team very well. Every coach has his own style. I'll try to introduce my ideas, but Pep has shaped FC Bayern's style of play of course.”

Unlike Guardiola, Ancelotti has already made his debut as Bayern Munich coach. On Saturday, the Bavarians went on the road and beat SV Lippstadt 4-3. It was a victory that came at a cost, however. Winger Arjen Robben, who was plagued by fitness issues last season, suffered a groin injury in the game and will now miss the start of the new campaign.

Absent again for Bayern on Wednesday will be a host of players who featured at Euro 2016, including Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng and new signings Mats Hummels and Renato Sanches. But Ancelotti still feels his first match in charge at the Allianz Arena will be a significant one.

 “We want to win and turn in a good display,” he said. “Every friendly is important to us, but tomorrow's match is even more important since it's our first home match.” 

Kickoff Time: 2:30 p.m. EDT

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