Erling Haaland can be the difference between nearly men and conquerors for Man City
Its Pep Guardiolas spin on Murderball, the old Marcelo Bielsa training free-for-all. A quarter of a pitch, three teams of seven, offside only enforceable in the final few yards before goal. There dont appear to be fouls or a referee, only physios sticking their hand up along the touchline if anybody is goal-hanging.
Manchester City have been doing it for some time and it can be manic, a constantly evolving winner-stays-on game with teams rotating which one of them stands and watches from the sidelines.
Highly-rated 17-year-old centre half Max Alleyne featured earlier this week; there might not be a more forensic test of a youngsters ability in world football. Goals flew in, Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva swearing furiously as Sergio Gomez thumped past Stefan Ortega.
The Portuguese pair gesticulated while trudging past two others who had been reduced to skulking about themselves. Yellow-bibbed, the inseparable duo Erling Haaland and Jack Grealish had been in the ear of Lorenzo Buenaventura as the fitness coach checked his watch. Effectively asking when it was their turn, over and over again.