Manchester: Manchester City will fly to Abu Dhabi to play a friendly and enjoy a week of warm-weather training following the Premier League fixture at Newcastle United on January 12 providing there is no replay after Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie with Blackburn Rovers.
While the break is yet to be confirmed, if Manuel Pellegrini’s squad do travel to the emirate, they will play against Al Ain on January 14 to open the Arabian Gulf League champions’ new stadium, the Hazza Bin Zayed.
While Pellegrini has recently complained about the congested festive programme, it is understood that he has no issue with the trip to Abu Dhabi, with the match against Al Ain to have a more relaxed tempo than a competitive fixture. City players will also have downtime to recharge their batteries.
However, if there is a replay following the match at Blackburn, the trip will not go ahead.
Al Ain’s new stadium is part of a scheme that covers 500,000 square metres and features a 170-room hotel, 700 apartments, green spaces, two office buildings, 50 restaurants and shops.