Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola heaped praise on Yokohama F·Marinos, claiming that his treble winners will have a challenge waiting for them Sunday in Tokyo when they face off against the defending Meiji Yasuda J1 League champions in their first pre-season match.
“They play very well,” Guardiola said of his opponents at Saturday’s pre-match press conference ahead of the MEIJI YASUDA J.LEAGUE WORLD CHALLENGE 2023 powered by docomo.
After studying Kevin Muscat's J1 winners on film on Friday, Guardiola highlighted the vigorous, high-tempo style of YFM as an ideal first challenge for City's pre-season campaign.
“Tomorrow will be so difficult for us,” Guardiola said. “And so entertaining because they are so aggressive. They play really, really good.”
The Man City boss made reference to the clubs’ association through City Football Group and claimed he believes the reigning J.League kings to be “doing an incredible, incredible job.”
"They are dynamic in their process," he said. "The build-up, everything they do. I like it. I say wow."
The defending English and Japanese champions are set to kick off Sunday at 19:00 JST, with full match details and broadcast information on the J.League World Challenge available here.