Manchester City expect Riyad Mahrez to be fit for the start of the new Premier League season after being given the all-clear to return to training. Algeria forward Mahrez, 27, picked up an ankle injury in Saturday’s pre-season friendly against Bayern Munich, hobbling off in the first half after a late challenge. There were fears Mahrez, who completed a long-awaited move to the Etihad from Leicester City this month, would miss the start of the 2018-19 campaign, including the Community Shield clash against Chelsea next weekend.
But despite pictures emerging showing Mahrez wearing a protective boot, a scan on Monday has revealed no significant damage and he should be in contention to face Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday. After joining Leicester from French outfit Le Havre in 2014, Mahrez enjoyed substantial success at the King Power Stadium. He helped the Foxes secure promotion from the Championship in his first season at the club, before starring in Claudio Ranieri’s stunning Premier League triumph in 2016. Mahrez was named the PFA Player of the Year at the end of that season and will hope to enjoy more success with Pep Guardiola’s defending champions.
After putting pen to paper on a five-year deal with Manchester City worth £60million, Mahrez said: ‘Watching them from afar has been a pleasure. ‘Pep Guardiola is committed to playing attacking football, and City’s performances last season were outstanding. ‘I think we can be successful over the coming years and I believe my own game can develop under Pep’s management.’ After Sunday’s Community Shield clash, Manchester City begin their Premier League title defence with a trip to Arsenal on August 12.