Category Archives: premier league

Man City’s starting 11 tomorrow against West Ham Utd should look like this

Manchester City will face West Ham in the Semi-Final of the Premier League Asia Trophy tomorrow at 13.30pm. How could their starting eleven look?

West Ham opened their pre-season matches with a 3-2 win against Rheindorf Altach, however, this clash will be Man City’s first fixture since the FA Cup final almost two months ago. The winner of this competition will face Newcastle United or Wolverhampton Wanderers.

West Ham United is also Pep Guardiola’s first game of the Premier League season, although the starting line up may be very different. Sergio Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi are both missing for Man City this week following their exertions for Argentina at the Copa America. Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho And Ederson are all missing for the same reason. Riyad Mahrez has been in action for Algeria at the African Cup of Nations. Benjamin Mandy misses out to injury and Phil Foden is also not with the current squad as he is representing England’s under 21’s.

So with the players that this list leaves and the fact that Rodri has flown with the team to hopefully play, here’s the Football Manc Cave’s prediction for Man City’s starting 11.

Man City line up

Bravo will be looking to make an appearance after Ederson’s absence has been made apparent. Stones will be looking to impress as he fills in the hole that Vincent Kompany has left. Rodri may start as everyone is excited to see him in action, not just the fans but the team and management. This will give everyone a taste of what he’s capable of. With Aguero’s absence, Sterling will be raring to go.

It’s a hard pick for a team with so many players missing. This, however, does give a lot of players the chance to prove to Guardiola that they deserve a chance. Not only players that have been benched last season and not been the first pick, but also the new signings. Rodri should get his first start and it will give everyone a glimpse of how he fits in that middle line up.

What Man Utd’s predicted 11 against Leeds Utd could look like

After their 2-0 victory over Perth Glory, Manchester United need to up their game to beat Leeds United on Wednesday.

In the first pre-season game, Solskjaer’s men showed us what they have been working on in the training ground. We saw an incredibly high pressing attack against a Perth defence that often had at least nine or ten players behind the ball.

The link-up play and close control was reminiscent of the incredible winning streak Man United had when Solskjaer first took over. New signings Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka had fantastic debuts, lifting the spirits of the fanbase.

However, Solskjaer opted for two completely different eleven men to feature in each half of the game. This means we still have to see how the Reds fare in a competitive 90 minutes, something Leeds United will certainly offer.

How the lineup against Leeds should look

With the Premier League looming, Solskjaer will be keen on figuring out his strongest eleven. Resulting in a starting eleven that could resemble this…

Manchester United would do well to toy with the idea of having two forward men, both capable of drifting out wide. This would give Jesse Lingard space to move further up the field as he performs best in the number 10 role, adapting to a second striker position when forwards drag defenders out wide.

How the formation can be adapted

This formation is easily transformed into Man Utd’s main formation 4-3-3, and by introducing some exciting substitutions, it would look like this…

A forward three of blistering pace, in front of the creative genius Paul Pogba, who sits alongside high-pressing Lingard, guarded by golden-boy Scott McTominay.

Axel Tuanzebe could replace Victor Lindelof as the ball-playing defender as Man United lack options other than Chris Smalling to provide an aerial threat. At least, until Harry Maguire joins the ranks as reports surface of the transfer being close to completion.

These line ups portray both the quality and versatility of Solskjaer’s set up.

Leeds United placed third in the Championship last season. Narrowly missing out on promotion in the playoffs. Therefore, Leeds can provide a similar type of test that many Premier League level teams will in the upcoming season.

Should Manchester United fail to dominate the match, it could provide a scary insight into what the Red Devils will perform like in Premier League.

Two reasons why Maguire is the answer to Man Utd’s defensive puzzle

Harry Maguire is set to leave the foxes. The Football Manc Cave has two reasons why Leicester City’s loss is Manchester United’s gain.

Harry Maguire is rumoured to be having his medical at Manchester United today, according to Express.

However, ‘Maguire to Man Utd’ is a phrase we have heard for well over a year. The Red Devils’ boardroom failed to secure the deal when Jose Mourinho demanded an improved defence over twelve months ago.

There are obvious reasons why both Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have desperately sought the services of Harry Maguire.

Here are two of them…

Aerial Protection

Last season, the Englishman scored three goals for Leicester City. A figure that matches his financial competitor Virgil Van Dijk. The Dutchman of Liverpool won 75% of his aerial duels, whilst Maguire won 78%. This statistic is music to Man Utd fans’ ears. With their defensive line having been bullied by dominant attackers since the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand was protecting the man between the sticks.

Victor Lindelof proved to be Manchester United’s best ball-playing defender, whilst his partner Chris Smalling proved to be a hindrance. The Swede’s one fault, aerial dominance, could be patched up by sticking him alongside World Cup hero Harry Maguire.

Stop passing it backwards!

The Leicester City defender had a passing range of 86% last season, compared to Virgil Van Dijk’s 90%. However, placing Maguire in a better squad could see this statistic soar.

With two defenders that can successfully play the ball out of their own box, we would see a tremendous improvement in the way the Reds move the ball up the field. This will impact both slow build-ups, as well as the old-school counter-attacking football Man Utd, is famed for.

In the recent pre-season game Man Utd vs Perth Glory, new signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka made a fantastic debut, completing 4/4 tackles in his 45 minutes. Next season we may see him partnered with Luke Shaw at full back, with Maguire and Lindelof in between. This would be the most solid Man Utd defence in the last 10 years.

Man Utd joins Man City, Arsenal and Tottenham in the race for 21y/o

Solskjaer is looking at add yet another young talent to his Man United ranks in an attempt to bolster the attacking force next season.

When Europe’s top clubs such as Arsenal, Man City, Tottenham, Bayern Munich, Monaco and Sevilla are all seeking your signature, you know you’re doing something right.

CSKA Moscow’s 21-year-old Russian striker Fedor Chalov seems to be doing everything right, with Manchester United, also interested in his services.

With 15 goals, Chalov was the top scorer in the Russian Premier League last season. Furthermore, he also had 7 assists to his name. The young talent shows a keen eye for goal partnered with a high level of football IQ.

Why does Solskjaer need him?

Romelu Lukaku openly admitted to seeking a move to Italy’s Inter Milan. This would result in the Red Devils losing between ten and twenty goals in the Premier League next season.

Chalov has scored 27 goals in 65 League games for CSKA Moscow. By putting him in a squad with more quality in the ranks, Chalov could translate and improve his conversion rate in a more advanced competition.

In a Manchester United squad, Chalov would provide competition for current forwards Rashford and Martial. However, the two are pressured to be versatile as they are expected to perform in each of the forward four positions.

Chalov, on the other hand, has 108 career games to his name. 105 of which he featured as a striker, and in 3 he played as a second striker, according to Transfermarkt.

Rashford, Martial and Greenwood are all able to play across the front line of the attack. Manchester United, however, may require someone whose trade is solely to get in the box and score goals, similarly to Lukaku.

Is another young talent the right option for United?

Solskjaer is targeting keen, young, hardworking talent to join his squad. Two of which, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, have already been integrated with the squad, exciting fans with their debut.

However, Manchester United will be lacking an experienced and proven striker, should Lukaku exit. Therefore, recruiting a prolific striker who would happily sit on the bench may be a necessity for Solskjaer.

Twitter reacts: ‘Man United signing Harry Maguire is a move that will greatly benefit the club’

Leicester City’s Harry Maguire to Manchester United deal is looking more realistic by the day, and here is what the fans think about it

Social Media and modern football don’t always mix well, as millions upon millions of fans throw their opinions at the wall. Today, The Football Manc Cave will delve into Twitter and pull out some of those fan opinions, which give a general feeling about how people feel about Harry Maguire to Manchester United.

According to reports, Maguire will be fetching £80million for the move from Leicester City, a world-record transfer fee for a defender. Interestingly a similar figure Real Madrid paid for the one and only Cristiano Ronaldo.

A select few are displeased with the huge sum of money for Maguire’s services.

In recent seasons, Manchester United’s defence has been a source of negativity for the red devils. As a result, fans have pointed the finger at the likes of Chris Smalling, Ashley Young and Nemanja Matic as they believe these players are incapable of keeping up with the force of Premier League attackers.

Some fans believe the figure of £80million is far too high for the English centre-back. However, other fans feel that the fee doesn’t matter as Maguire will improve the ever-failing Man Utd defence.

3 players, that need to step up and impress in pre-season for Man City – Agree?

The Manchester City starting 11 could look slightly different next season if these three players hit the mark in pre-season.

Manchester City was all but a Champions League away from a clean sweep of trophies last season. However, winning the Champions League is no small feat, and Man City have a lot of adjustments to make to ensure domestic and European success.

Despite having the strongest squad in English football, the individuals within the team have a lot more to show for themselves.

Guardiola’s tactical prowess has resulted in an abundance of success for him at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City. However, his man management skills will truly be tested in the upcoming season.

For those who don’t support Man City, their capabilities of winning every competition they are a part of is a scary thought. Here are three players that could make your nightmares a reality if they step up to the plate next season…

Oleksandr Zinchenko

In the 18/19 campaign, Zinchenko featured in 29 games across all competitions. The 22-year-old Ukranian has begun to gain trust from the manager and even provided 5 assists from the left-back position. Should the more established Benjamin Mendy have a season of full fitness, the left-back spot could see some fantastic competition. According to the Evening Standard, Man City are confident that Mendy can maintain his fitness throughout next season.

Gabriel Jesus

With Sergio Aguero turning 32 in the upcoming season. The 22-year-old Brazilian has stepped up his game and started emulating the figures his fellow South American reaches on a season by season basis. Although 21 goals and 6 assists in 47 appearances last season is a fantastic achievement, he is capable of much more. The striker has 16 goals in 29 games for his national side.

Leroy Sane

According to reports, Sane is keen on joining Bayern Munich. However, the 23-year-old German winger could offer buckets of quality and pace to the Manchester City side, if he can just break through to the starting 11. Guardiola must have his reasons for the lack of game time given to one of the world’s hottest prospects. But if this hurdle can be overcome, we could see a brand new Leroy Sane in the sky blue strip next season.

Solskjaer to ask Pogba to do a Ronaldo for Man Utd?

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will plead with Paul Pogba to remain at the club for another season according to the Daily Mail this week.

As the quality of Manchester United slowly fades away, the pride and integrity follow suit. In a move reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson with Cristiano Ronaldo, Solskjaer is following suit. However, this time around it’s a completely different situation.

Paul Pogba has publicly humiliated his employers after telling a Japanese news source that he is looking to seek a “new challenge” whilst on his Asian tour. His agent Mino Raiola also made several comments about a matter that should have been dealt with in-house.

The World Cup winner is undoubtedly one of the greatest talents of modern football. But following his second spell at the club since 2016, there have merely been glimpses of excellence. Whilst the likes of Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne provides glimpses of excellence every other minute on the pitch.

However, as Ed Woodward reaps the rewards of Pogba being an Adidas ambassador and a major shirt seller. He is set and ready to throw the pride of the club down the gutter to keep an unhappy and under-performing Paul Pogba, in order to maintain relationships with their sponsors.

Round in circles?

A similar case happened many moons ago, back when Manchester United was at the top of world football with Cristiano Ronaldo. He was linked with a move to Real Madrid, but held off for a season whilst Manchester United put plans in place for his replacement; Gabriel Obertan, remember him? Probably not. Obertan currently plays for Erzurumspor in Turkey, the man he was meant to replace is now considered the world’s best footballer at 34 years of age for one of Europe’s most elite clubs; Juventus.

This lacklustre and last-minute approach to planning the future of the club is why Manchester United are now a club fighting for a top 5 position.

Manchester City has recently signed Rodri for £62million, a class midfielder from Atletico Madrid. The planning behind this signing is to replace Fernandinho with him after the next season or two where Fernandinho will still be one of the best midfielders in the league.

Manchester United are still yet to replace Ander Herrara and Fellaini.

Nay, Manchester United are still yet to replace Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic!

What’s the best outcome of this dilemma?

The general consensus is that fans would let Paul Pogba leave. Then use the funds to strengthen the entirety of the squad. Unfortunately for them, fans and chief officers have different goals, success on the pitch and brand names on the shirt, respectively.

In a recent press conference in Australia, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that Pogba is a ‘professional’ with ‘a heart of gold’, which is a believable statement.

However, Solskjaer also claimed that there is a social media ‘agenda’ against Paul Pogba, which divides opinion as Pogba has been questionable in his methods of seeking a ‘new challenge’. On the other hand, some outlets have falsely reported a fight between the Frenchman and teammate Jesse Lingard, despite the full video showing the two were plainly joking.

Pogba is well within his rights to seek playing time with a more advanced football team. It is best for both parties to split ways, as the number 6 won’t receive a warm welcome from the local fans back in Manchester.

Man City’s loan, buy & sell list this transfer window – Agree?

What would be the perfect summer transfer window for the Champions of England Manchester City. The Football Manc Cave takes a look.

It is arguable that the Manchester City squad is close to perfection in the vision of the esteemed manager Pep Guardiola. After a sweep of domestic success last season, Manchester City is only a Champions League away from being considered one of the world’s greatest football teams in modern football.

Today, The Football Manc Cave will provide options for a ‘loan’, a ‘buy’ and a ‘sell’. For what can improve the Man City squad next season and see them lift the mouth-watering Champions League trophy.

Loan

Manchester City has a squad full of talent, experience and quality. This can prevent the development of the youth within Guardiola’s ranks. Talks of Phillippe Sandler being loaned to Vincent Kompany’s Anderlecht are currently in progress, which is a smart move for the blues.

Other players such as Zinchenko and Claudio Gomes should be loaned out to lower-table Premier League or Championship level teams. Who can provide them with a full season of English football. Making them better, stronger and more equipped to handle the pressures of the competition upon their return.

Sell

It’s hard to tell a team of champions that some of their players don’t cut the bill. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean the individuals don’t have the talent to perform at the top level. Leroy Sane, for example, is a fantastic young winger who could potentially clinch a spot in any team in world football. However, he has spent most of his time on the bench under Guardiola, and the 23-year-old is at an important point in his career where he needs first team football.

Buy

Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala are two centre-backs that have gone unnoticed in the Man City squad, due to falling behind Laporte and Stones in the rankings, and both should be sold. John Stones’ dubious performances for England in the Nations League could demonstrate a lack of confidence in important matches. Bringing in a top quality centre-back to push his performances could be key to his development next season, as he currently faces little to no competitions for his centre-back spot.

With the status of Manchester City, they should rightfully be joining the races for the world’s greatest defenders such as Van Dijk for Liverpool, De Ligt rumoured for Juventus, Maguire rumoured for Manchester United. Guardiola should be looking for the likes of Manolas, Skriniar, Sergio Ramos, Koulibaly etc.

Man City need to look at these 2 Sane replacements should he move

Leroy Sane is a quality, young talent who feels as though he deserves more play time at the Etihad, and is, therefore, seeking a move away. But who can Man City replace him within this transfer window?

Sane finished his 18/19 season with 16 goals and 18 assists in 47 appearances across all competitions. He made the majority of marks on games by coming off the bench.

However, Sane doesn’t want to be associated with the ‘super-sub’ status. Despite having a great effect when bringing on his blistering pace against a tired defence towards the end of games.

Bayern Munich is in the race for Leroy Sane, Man City have set their price 100m. Should they obtain his services, they would end their pursuit for young Chelsea man Callum Hudson-Odoi, according to Mirror.

With 100m in the bank. The Citizens could be looking at at least one of the two players below…

Jadon Sancho

Close your ears, Man United fans. Should Sane bring in a £100million budget increase, Manchester City wouldn’t tip-toe around a big money signing the way Manchester United do. As proven by how the blues simply paid the £62million release clause for Rodri from Atletico Madrid.

Sancho is undoubtedly one of the greatest prospects in world football. With Manchester City’s phenomenal business structure, there is no doubt that Sancho is on their radar. This would generate further competition for Sterling and Bernardo Silva, driving Manchester City to have the best wingers in English football, or potentially world football.

Douglas Costa

Costa, the 28-year-old Brazilian winger for Juventus, is a fantastically pacey and dangerous winger. He has been shunned since the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo and has suffered a massive decrease in playing time. Should he replace Leroy Sane as an ‘off-the-bench’ winger at a potentially increased wage, it would make sense for the Brazilian to have little qualms about the deal.

2 reasons why Dani Alves to Man City is a waste of time all round

The Guardian has revealed how Dani Alves is out of contract at PSG and Man City have shown an interest.

Despite the fact he’s now 36, it looks like he still wants one more shot at big-time football. The right-back had achieved a lot under Pep Guardiola when they were together at Barcelona.

Even though Alves will be eager to have a season in the Premier League, however, there may be a few issues to why a move to Man City may not happen.

Putting the rumours aside that Tottenham has reportedly held talks with the defender. The Football Manc Cave have picked out two things that will stop the Brazilian from reuniting with Pep Guardiola…

No Room

He’s a right back and Man City already have a reserve in Danilo to fill in that position if needed, so there’s no potential room for Alves. If the 36-year-old does want to move to the Premier League, he will not want to spend his time warming the Man City bench.

Reaching the twilight years of his career, he will want to make the most of the time he has left. This is why he may benefit from weighing up his options and browsing other clubs in the top flight of English football.

Rejected

In 2017, Alves turned down Manchester City’s advances to sign him.

So what’s changed now? Apart from the fact he’s out of contract and could potentially be looking at clubs in the Premier League, I don’t see why he would go back on the decision now. Especially when he’s not guaranteed playing time. This news is only fresh this week so I’m guessing we’ll be hearing more in the coming days regarding the Brazilian’s future.

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