English Premier League leaders Manchester City has a squad valued at over $1 billion and is still on course for an unprecedented quadruple of trophies this season, but this weekend it's faced with an unusual challenge.
For the fifth round of this season's FA Cup, England's major domestic cup competition, Manchester City has been drawn against Newport County. A team ranked 82 places below the reigning Premier League champions in the soccer standings.
The two teams operate on very different plains, with Manchester City breaking its transfer record last summer when it signed Riyad Mahrez for $76.8 million, while Newport has never paid even six figures for a player.
Manchester City announced record revenues of $639.9 million for last season, when it also became the first Premier League team to reach 100 points. By contrast Newport County had to be reformed 29 years ago and made a loss of $447,000 in April 2018.
Their vast differences also extend into the value of their kit deals as well. Manchester City is coming to the end of its $109 million six-year partnership with Nike, with a potential $64 million a year switch to Puma on the horizon for the 2019/20 campaign. For the past two season's Newport has had its kit made by Thai company FBT, which produces attire for the national soccer teams of Laos and Cambodia.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has coached in some of the most famous stadiums in the world, but he'll possibly have never seen anything like Newport County's home stadium of Rodney Parade.
The tiny 7,850 capacity stadium is considerably less than the 55,000 Manchester City's Etihad Stadium can hold.