Etihad Stadium

Next Game

Man City v Hull City

Saturday, 07 February 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Stamford Bridge

Last Game

Chelsea 1 - 1 Man City

Saturday, 31 January 2015, 17:30

Barclays Prem

City's Hart felt decision

Trevor Francis says the International Champions Cup will provide the first indicator over Joe Hart's future in the Manchester City team, following the arrival of Willy Caballero.

Last Updated: 25/07/14 at 07:44 Post Comment

Hart: his place will come under threat in the City goal

Hart: his place will come under threat in the City goal

The pre-season tournament sees eight of Europe's biggest clubs playing in 13 North American cities and Francis is intrigued to get a first look at City’s title defence preparations, as well as the new-look Liverpool and Manchester United.

And the Sky Sports expert beleives that Caballero, the Argentine goalkeeper who has followed Manuel Pellegrini from Malaga to City, will be conspicuous by his presence either in goal or on the bench.

Francis said: “He’s a very accomplished goalkeeper. I think he will give Hart serious competition.

“The season before last, when Pellegrini was there and they had a great run in Europe, he was voted the top keeper in Spain.

“I’m not going to say [Caballero] has been bought to go straight in as number one, I’m not suggesting that. What I am suggesting is that if Hart doesn’t recognise it, he will recognise it pretty quickly when he works with this guy that he’ll be getting very strong competition.

“A manager in Pellegrini’s position who competes on all fronts next season needs two very good goalkeepers. He obviously felt Costel Pantilimon wasn’t pushing Hart sufficiently.

“When you bring someone in that you’ve worked with personally it’s a reassurance. He knows him as a goalkeeper and as a person.”

Revamped

Former England international Francis will be part of the Sky Sports team covering the event and is looking forward to seeing how Liverpool shape up equipped with a host of new signings, but without the departed Luis Suarez.

“It’s impossible to replace Suarez unless you’re able to sign Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi,” he said.

“Adam Lallana is a player who shows immense promise, he forced his way into the England team and seemed to be a certain starter but surprisingly didn’t.

“He’s one that, working with better players than Southampton’s, can go on to be a good signing.

“Rickie Lambert is more than a big, strong target man. There were numerous occasions where he looked effective in possession, he can bring others into the game.

“It’s an interesting signing – the problem is that from day one he’s going to be compared to Suarez.”

Preparations

Liverpool and City are in Group B with Olympiakos and AC Milan and Francis praised the early transfer dealings made by the Premier League sides as they jet off towards the glamorous tournament across the United States and Canada.

He said: “If you do your business early, the better it is for the club and the player.

“It gives the player a chance to meet his new team-mates in an environment where you’re living together for quite a long period of time.

“You eat together, train together, play together and you get to know people.

“The manager looks very closely at how certain players react in these situations and it’s knowledge for him.”

The International Champions Cup starts Friday morning at 12.30am on as Olympiakos face AC Milan on Sky Sports 1.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

o Brendan is full of sh!t, who'd have thought it eh?

fatbob30
Carroll accuses Rodgers

P

resumably, you wanted to keep the version of Downing that was never seen at Anfield. The one that another manager has managed to re-create. The one you passed over.

badwolf
Rodgers: I wanted to keep Downing

T

he uber commercialisation of the 90s has led to the point where this overly familar, try hard, jolly hockey sticks type fronts up a major football match on a weekly basis. Unlike the great presenters of yesteryear, I doubt he would even recognise the scent of Brut.

mufc phil
Football On TV: Jake Humphrey

Footer 365

Nemanja Matic says Chelsea happy to maintain their five-point Premier League lead

Midfielder Nemanja Matic was happy to take a point after Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Manchester City.

Roberto Martinez delighted with 'immense' Everton's 1-0 win at Crystal Palace

Roberto Martinez believes his side can now reach their true potential after ending their winless run at Crystal Palace.

Premier League: Chelsea maintain five-point lead after 1-1 draw with Manchester City

Chelsea remain five points clear at the top of the Premier League after a 1-1 draw with second-placed Manchester City.

Mail Box

'Costa Is A Bad Man. Suarez Is Not'

That's quite some claim. And yes, unfortunately we are still talking about this. We also have mails on Ronaldinho, possible replacements for Yaya Toure and more...

Red Mist Better Than Calculated Costa?

Hmmm. We're not sure about this argument - one Mailbox says Luis Suarez is easier to forgive because he is a little loco. We also have mails on Studge and more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company