Following the September 2023 international break, Manchester City are firmly back underway in all competitions both back home and in Europe.
Training resumed in Manchester last week, and the reigning champions of England and Europe immediately slotted straight back into gear, with victories over both West Ham and Crvena zvezda in the Premier League and Champions League respectively.
During the international break, several members of City’s squad certainly did well from an individual perspective.
Starting with Pep Guardiola’s European contingent, and over the two weeks of international action, countries across the continent participated in a series of qualification matches for the upcoming 2024 European Championships.
In Group A, Rodri played in Spain’s two qualification matches against Georgia and Cyprus, while Erling Haaland’s Norway faced Georgia. Both Manchester City stars saw their national teams win their respective matches.
Over in Group B, and Nathan Aké and the Netherlands took on Greece and Ireland. While the Dutch defender won both matches, Aké came off at half-time against Greece with an apparent injury but recovered in time for the return of Manchester City action, and is looking to play a crucial role in the games over the next few weeks.
In Group C, the trio of Kyle Walker, Kalvin Phillips, and Phil Foden saw England take on Ukraine in a Euro qualification match, and then Scotland in an international friendly. Walker scored his first international goal in the contest against Ukraine, while Foden scored in the friendly win in Glasgow.
Turning our attention to Group D, and Mateo Kovačić and Joško Gvardiol faced Latvia and Armenia in two routine victories for Croatia. There was concern for the former, however, as the City midfielder sustained a back problem that has kept him out of Manchester City’s two contests since the return, with continued uncertainty over his return date.
In Group F, Belgium and Jérémy Doku defeated Azerbaijan and Estonia in what were a rather routine affairs for the Manchester City winger and his teammates. Doku has sprung Guardiola’s side to life since returning to the club, bringing game-changing performances to the table in both the Premier League and Champions League.
In Group I, Manuel Akanji and Switzerland drew Kosovo and defeated Andorra. The Swiss currently sit at the top of their qualification group. Finally, in Group J, the Portuguese duo of Rúben Dias and Bernardo Silva faced Slovakia and Luxembourg. Both players were present during Portugal’s 9-0 victory over Luxembourg – the largest victory in Portuguese football history.
Meanwhile, over in South America, Julián Álvarez helped Argentina in their 2026 World Cup qualification matches against Ecuador and Bolivia. Similarly, Ederson helped Brazil in their victories over Bolivia and Peru, with the City keeper taking the starting berth between the sticks in both matches ahead of Liverpool’s Alisson.
Finally, as for the youth members of the squad, Rico Lewis competed with England’s under-21 squad during their European Under-21 Championship qualification. England defeated Luxembourg in their matchup. Similarly, Oscar Bobb helped Norway in their victories over San Marino and Latvia during their qualification matches.
Scott Carson, Stefan Ortega Moreno, Matheus Nunes, Sergio Gómez, and Zack Steffen did not travel on international duty, with the latter currently ruled out through a long-term injury having undergone surgery in the summer.
Jack Grealish, John Stones, and Kevin De Bruyne remain injured, with the Belgium captain understood to be ruled out until early 2024 having undergone surgery on a hamstring injury sustained in the Premier League opener against Burnley.