Former Celtic striker John Hartson has called on Manchester City to take it easy on his old club when the English Premier League champions meet the Scottish Premiership winners on their United States tour later this month.

The two footballing giants will face off in North Carolina, the first meeting between the sides since 2016 when they clashed in a Champions League group stage match.

Hartson, who spent five seasons at Celtic, has joked that Pep Guardiola's City should show some mercy against the Hoops during their pre-season exhibition match.

The July 24 encounter will be a high-profile affair, with the reigning champions of England's top flight taking on the dominant force in Scottish football. Fans on both sides of the Atlantic will be eager to see how the two European heavyweights fare against each other in this summer friendly.

Previewing the game on City's social media accounts, Hartson turned to Paul Dickov, and said: "It should be a great game. Obviously you've got the champions of England and the champions of Scotland. 

"If City could take it easy a little bit on Celtic, that would help because some of the players that they've got is just incredible. I love watching Man City play. 

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"I think Celtic will go there, they will take a big crowd with them. I think it's a brilliant fixture seeing Celtic pitting their wits up against the very best.

"It will be a really big test for them but you never know.

"Some of the players will just be coming back to full fitness and you'll get players on the fringes getting an opportunity to impress as well."

This glamour friendly will give supporters the opportunity to get a glimpse of their heroes in the United States, and Hartson couldn’t hide his admiration for the worldwide Celtic fan base.

"I think Celtic are renewed for their fanbase all over the world," Hartson pointed out. 

"Manchester City with the success that they've had over the last 10-12 years, they are getting bigger and bigger, a lot more popular around the world, and I'm sure the stadium will be full with a brilliant atmosphere.

"As I said, I just think the talent that will be on show from both teams, Celtic have got some real good players and Man City have just got so many world stars. 

"So yeah I hope they take it easy on Celtic a little bit but I'm sure Celtic will be as competitive as they can."