Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Manchester City Preview: Sides clash in Shanghai with silverware at stake
 (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images)

Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers will compete in Shanghai for pre-season silverware, as they go head to head in the Premier League Asia Trophy final. 

City earned their place in this fixture following a 4-1 victory over West Ham United, whilst Wolves also emphatically won, beating Newcastle United 4-0. 

City absentees 

Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Ederson are all yet to join up with the Blues on tour as they recharge the batteries following true inclusion in the Copa America

Riyad Mahrez is absent from the champions’ tour squad due to his involvement in the African Cup of Nations, meaning City have many of their key names out. 

Despite this, if there’s one team that can cope with many absentees it is City, due to their phenomenal strength in depth. Rodri made his debut against West Ham on Wednesday and is expected to start amongst the likes of Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva again, making City favourites for the tie. 

Man City predicted XI: Bravo; Danilo, Harwood-Bellis, Laporte, Angelino; Doyle, Rodrigo; Silva; Bernabe, Nmecha, Poveda-Ocampo

Nuno keen to give youth a chance 

As a football fan, one of the most exciting things about pre-season is the chances that are given to academy players to prove why they should be involved when the Premier League kicks back in. 

Nuno Espirito Santo used the semi-final against Newcastle as an opportunity to give youth a chance, and it’s fair to say they didn’t disappoint as his side ran out 4-0 victors. 

Newcomers included midfielder Taylor Perry, at 18 years of age, and Hong Wan, who captained Yeovil Town's under-18s side before joining Wolves in May.

Debutant Wan is a midfielder who has been part of Wolves' under-23s set-up.

Wolves predicted XI: Patricio; Traore, Bennett, Coady, Boly; Jonny, Neves, Moutinho, Dendoncker; Gibbs-White, Jota.

A chance for silverware and a boost in confidence 

Whilst many pre-season games are labelled by many as 'pointless' and nothing more than fitness training ready for the start of the league in August, this fixture perhaps has more importance.

This trophy isn't huge, but it would be the first for Wolves in 40 years, and also give a confidence boost to the whole squad to get one over the champions of England.

As for City, this trophy could be seen as more trophy-lifting practice ahead of the new season, and with many youngsters involved, it's a chance to prove to  Pep Guardiola why they should feature more as part of the first-team squad this season.

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