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City's skipper hints at not-so-friendly clash

Updated: 2012-07-22 08:28
By China Daily (China Daily)

Manchester City expects a red-hot game next Friday against Arsenal in the Bird's Nest, as City's captain, Vincent Kompany, predicted that "it won't be as friendly a game as you may think".

Kompany said during a recent interview with the club's official TV station that the Winoly Cup in Beijing was sure to be a competitive game with two English Premier League teams playing against each other.

"Whichever way you look at it, it's always going to remind us of the fact that we will have to play each other in the league later this year," said the defender.

Kompany also said the preseason tour outside of England was crucial as the club could attract more fans and connect with them.

"It's also important for everybody to realize that as the support is growing, the responsibility of the club is also growing. It's not just in Manchester, the club now is also well supported worldwide. It's good to connect with those fans who are not always able to come over to England to watch our games. It's always important for the club to go to other places," said Kompany.

The captain believes Chinese fans will support his team after the Blues were crowned the English Premier League champions in May.

"I'm sure they (Chinese fans) will (support us). I'm sure what all those big clubs have got over us is the fact they have a very strong history, but we are building our history at the moment," said the captain.

Other City players also expressed their excitement about the trip to China.

"I'm very excited. I've never been to China. I'm looking forward to playing there and to meeting those fans in China and hope to enjoy the trip," said City striker Edin Dzedko.

Dzdeko might ask teammates Aleksandar Kolarove and Pablo Zabaleta for some help when they are in Beijing as the latter two have been to China before. Kolarove said he's been to China twice and is very excited to be coming back.

Defender Zabaleta was impressed by the atmosphere and the acoustics created by a full house of raucous fans in the Bird's Nest when he won a gold medal with the Argentine national team four years ago at the Beijing Olympics.

"I was in China for the Olympic Games and we won the Olympic gold medal ... so it will be great to be back in China," said Zabaleta.

Midfielder Adam Johnson said Chinese food is his favorite. So besides the grandeur of the stadium, the Blues can also give their taste buds a treat next week.

The first Winoly Cup, featuring the English powerhouses, will kick off at 8 pm, July 27, in the Bird's Nest.

Note: City fans in China will get a rare chance to look at the club's EPL trophy as it will hold a trophy tour from July 21-25 in Beijing. Former star and City official Patrick Vieira will take the trophy to several famous spots in or near Beijing, including the Great Wall, the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven.

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