Football Manager 2020: Manchester City Team Guide - Tactics, formations, transfer targets & more

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The Premier League's defending champions have become a true powerhouse ever since the ownership takeover in 2008.

With huge financial backing they have become an annual contender for the Premier League title, and have their first Champions League triumph squarely in their sights every year too.

Under Pep Guardiola's guidance, they have become nearly unbeatable. At least until Liverpool turned into a monster this year.

Football Manager 2020 gives you a chance to take the reins at the Etihad Stadium and lead the club into the upper echelons of world football. Can you do it?

Club vision

Man City's Club Vision in Football Manager 2020
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WIN IT ALL: The board are taking no prisoners

This new feature has been a big success in FM20. It is both a short-term and long-term set of goals for the club under your direction, as laid out by the board.

It includes play style aims, financial targets, and competition results, with increasing expectations over each year of your tenure.

The expectations at Man City are understandably high.

READ MORE: FM20: Chelsea Team Guide

Not only are you expected to play attacking and possession football, but your required targets for your first season in charge are to win the Premier League and make the final of the Champions League.

After that, it is simply to continue to rake in the silverware. Easy, right?

Tactical style & formation

Man City's ideal formation in Football Manager 2020
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VERSATILE: There are a lot of strong formations for this squad

Attacking, possession football and a squad built by Pep Guardiola lends itself to playing tiki-taka or vertical tiki-taka. The latter is usually preferable as it aids playing quick-break football and exploiting pace - something Man City have in spades.

The 4-1-4-1 DM Wide plays to a lot of Man City's strengths, but so will the 4-2-3-1 Wide. Given you have three available tactics slots you should prepare both.

Your starting XI will be Ederson in goal, with a back four of Joao Cancelo, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, and Benjamin Mendy.

READ MORE: Why wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga is a must-buy in FM20

Rodri will play the DM in your 4-1-4-1 and partner David Silva at MC in your 4-2-3-1. Kevin De Bruyne will play MC in the first formation, and AMC in the second.

Bernardo Silva should be wide on the right, with Raheem Sterling on the opposite flank, and of course Sergio Aguero is up front.

On the bench you'll want Claudio Bravo, Nicolas Otamendi, Kyle Walker, Fernandinho, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, and Gabriel Jesus.

Be sure to rotate regularly though, as even those that don't make your bench have a lot of quality.

Best players

Man City have a whole squad of quality footballers that could happily start for 98% of other teams. It will make for some selection headaches, but regularly rotating your midfield and forwards should stop any player from becoming too upset.

Player Pos Age CA/PA Best Stats
Kevin De BruyneM (RLC) AM (C)27188/18820 vision, 19 passing, 19 crossing
Sergio AgueroAM (C) ST31178/18320 balance, 18 dribbling, 18 agility
David SilvaM (RLC) AM (RLC)33175/17919 vision, 19 first touch, 18 passing
Raheem SterlingM (RL) AM (RL)24174/18020 off the ball, 19 agility, 18 anticipation
Bernardo SilvaM (RC) AM (RC)24173/18020 work rate, 19 agility, 18 dribbling

As you can see, all of Man City's best players are attack-minded. This plays into your possession & attacking tactics perfectly. Such incredible depth means you should be able to over-power opponents and score goals for fun.

Young talent

City don't only have an eye on the present though. They also have a number of quality youngsters that could break into your first team one day. These are the best prospects the club has under the age of 20.

Phil Foden - CA 2.5 star (140), PA 4 star (175)

Phil Foden's Football Manager 2020 stats page
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Already in your first-team, Phil Foden should be claiming cup starts and solid minutes against lesser Premier League opposition immediately.

READ MORE: FM20: Arsenal team guide

The young Englishman already has 17 technique, 16 passing, and 16 vision. You don't want to think about life after KDB, but Foden should be well-placed to take over at some point.

Morgan Rogers - CA 1.5 (100), PA 4 star (140-170)

Morgan Rogers' Football Manager 2020 stats page
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Just 16 years old but full of potential, the young striker still has a long way to go before he'll be ready to replace Aguero, but you should keep an eye on his development.

With 19 determination, 15 acceleration, and 15 flair he has the talent to do well, and a PA range of 140-170 means he can become a strong Premier League striker if he pans out well.

Felix Correia - CA 1.5 star (100), PA 3 star (140-170)

Felix Correia's Football Manager 2020 stats page
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Currently on loan at AZ, the Portuguese teenager has a bright future. A natural wide on the right or at attacking central midfield he can be a useful piece to your attacking lineup if he develops fully.

With 16 flair, 15 dribbling, and 15 acceleration he is already good on the ball and creative, though his passing (9) will need a lot of work to fit in with the rest of your team.

Transfer targets

Man City's finances in Football Manager 2020
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MONEY TO BURN: Man City's finances are very healthy

Starting transfer budget: £44 million

Remaining wage budget: £400,000 a week

There aren't exactly many weaknesses to the Man City squad. However, a few of their stars are starting to hit the age of decline. Fernandinho is 34 and David Silva is 33, while Sergio Aguero is 31.

All of these players will need replacing sooner rather than later, though your £44 million may not be enough to replace these guys immediately.

READ MORE: All the best left midfielders (ML & AML) to sign in FM20

While Phil Foden can take up some of your midfield minutes, the priority should be finding another central midfielder that can replace either the creativity of Silva or the energy of Fernandinho.

Lucas Torreira's Football Manager 2020 stats page
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Lucas Torreira is a perfect target. With 18 teamwork, 17 positioning, and 17 work rate he runs for days and is always where you need him, while his 15 tackling and 14 passing means he can break up play and move the ball well.

He won't come cheap and you will need to play around with additional fees and clauses, but the 23-year-old is the perfect long-term option for Man City.

Alternative options

Player Age Club Country CA/PA Value Wage
Bruno Fernandes24SportingPortugal159/166£37.5m£31.5k
Lorenzo Pellegrini23RomaItaly155/169£36.5m£61k
Corentin Tolisso24Bayern MunichFrance152/165£33.5m£115k

Future transfers

Given their incredibly strong financial situation, your future transfer budgets will be in the £200+ million range. This opens all sorts of doors to the best talent in the world.

READ MORE: The best wonderkid midfielders in Football Manager 2020

Replacing Sergio Aguero suddenly becomes easy as Harry Kane and even Kylian Mbappe are possibilities.

Meanwhile bringing in an elite left-back like Alex Grimaldo and more centre-back depth in the shape of Milan Skriniar or Niklas Sule is also viable.


Man City's salary commitments in Football Manager 2020
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MONEY: Keep an eye on your salary commitments before it's too late

Man City aren't tight against their wage budget, so you shouldn't have any problem retaining players. The question is which ones do you want to hang on to.

Both Scott Carson and Claudio Bravo are out of contract at the end of the 2019/20 season, which means either you will need to sign another backup goalie or trust a youngster to step up should Ederson miss time.

The old duo of Fernandinho and David Silva also have expiring contracts. Given their age they should be let go, especially if you follow our advice and sign a new midfielder.

READ MORE: Best young goalkeepers (GK) to sign in Football Manager 2020

The end of the 20/21 season will be trickier. Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane will both be out of contract at that point. Sane is a no-brainer to hold on to given his age and ability, but Aguero is trickier.

As a club icon he will be tough to let go, but his age may demand that you do.


Unstoppable on the continent

Man City have won back-to-back Premier League titles prior to your arrival, so how do you stand out? Win in Europe.

The club's only victory on the continent is the minor Cup Winners Cup in 1970, so finally bringing home the Champions League will be the best way to make your mark with the club and to buy you some time should things in the Premier League not turn out well.

READ MORE: All the best right wingers (MR & AMR) in Football Manager 2020

Competition domestically is fierce, with Liverpool and Man United your most likely rivals. Using your financial might to continue building the squad around the likes of Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Rodri, and Aymeric Laporte is the surest way of fending off the other teams as they years roll on.

Full Man City player ratings

Player Age Pos Role Duty Role Ability CA/PA
Starting Lineup
Ederson25GKSKSupport4 star169/180
Joao Cancelo25D (R) WB (R) M (R) AM (R)CWBAttack3 star158/165
John Stones25D (C)BPDDefend3 star158/170
Aymeric Laporte25D (C)BPDDefend3 star163/170
Benjamin Mendy24D (L) WB (L)WBAttack2.5 star150/160
Rodri23DM M (C)DLPDefend3 star155/165
David Silva33M (RLC) AM (RLC)APSupport4.5 star175/179
Kevin De Bruyne27M (RLC) AM (C)MezzalaAttack4.5 star188/188
Bernardo Silva24M (RC) AM (RC)IWSupport4 star173/180
Raheem Sterling24M (RL) AM (RL)WAttack4 star174/180
Sergio Aguero31AM (C) STAFAttack4.5 star178/183
Subs & reserves
Claudio Bravo36GKSKSupport2.5 star145/167
Nicolas Otamendi31D (C)BPDStopper3 star157/159
Kyle Walker29D (R) WB (R)WBDefend2.5 star151/157
Fernandinho34D (C) DM M (C)BBMSupport3.5 star165/165
Phil Foden19M (C) AM (C)APSupport2.5 star140/175
Riyad Mahrez28M (R) AM (RLC)IWSupport3 star152/163
Gabriel Jesus22AM (RL) STAFAttack3 star156/175
Scott Carson33GKGKDefend2 star118/148
Olexandr Zinchenko22D (L) WB (L) M (RLC) AM (RLC)APSupport2.5 star149/158
Ilkay Gundogan28DM M (C) AM (C)DLPSupport3 star160/167
Leroy Sane23M (RL) AM (RL)WAttack4 star167/177