Grant McCann was without new signing Ryan Longman for Saturday’s season opener at Preston North End, with the Brighton loanee one of four players absent due to coronavirus.
City will also be without Randell Williams, another of McCann’s seven summer arrivals, Sean McLoughlin and Thomas Mayer, though there is positive news on Matt Smith who is named in the squad after completing the formalities of his move from Manchester City on Friday afternoon.
Last season’s leading scorer Mallik Wilks was fit to start as part of a front three which included Josh Magennis and Keane Lewis-Potter, but there was no place for Callum Elder in the squad who missed the game through injury.
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George Moncur was handed a debut in midfield alongside Greg Docherty and captain Richie Smallwood, Moncur the only one of the summer arrivals named in the starting XI.
“Preston are an established Championship team who have been flirting in and around the top six for a few years,” McCann said ahead of kick-off.
“There’s a different style and approach from Alex Neil to Frankie, a different system. They’re a good team with good individuals. They finished last season strongly and have momentum carrying over from that.
“All we can do is go there and look forward to the game, embrace the challenge.
“We’ve got momentum ourselves off the back of last season; we went 14 games unbeaten before the last match at Charlton. We want to try and build on that.
“We understand it’s a different league, stronger opposition but that winning mentality that breeds through our camp is hard to take away.
“We want to go there, give a good account of ourselves and be ultra-competitive.”
City: Ingram, Coyle, Jones, Greaves, Emmanuel, Smallwood, Docherty, Moncur, Lewis-Potter, Magennis, Wilks. Subs: Baxter, Eaves, Cannon, Scott, Smith, Fleming, Bernard.