Tag Archives: citizens

Two defenders to step up in Laporte’s absence for Man City

Man City fans fear for their title chances after centre-back Aymeric Laporte’s injury could see him miss a lot of action this season…

But Guardiola has lucrative options available to him, which could see his side concede a low amount of goals in the current title race between himself and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp.

Man City conceded only 23 goals last season, one more than Liverpool. This season, they have conceded 3 goals in 4 games, but have scored a whopping 14. Guardiola’s attack can certainly out-do every opponent that will face, even if they conceded, they will score more.

But having a solid defence is pivotal in the longevity of a Premier League season. With their number one centre-back out, these two players have to step up this season.

Kyle Walker/Joao Cancelo

Kyle Walker is no stranger to playing centre-back, and could certainly do a job for Guardiola. With Joao Cancelo as an option for a right-back, it allows Walker to move to a centre-back position without hindering other positions, as Cancelo is considered one of the best full-backs in Europe.

Walker’s defensive ability and pace will be useful when dealing with counter-attacks. But Man City’s ability to play the ball out from the back may suffer slightly, giving unnecessary opportunities for the opposition to pounce.

Nicolas Otamendi

John Stones suffered a thigh strain in the opening day of the season, and Otamendi has been his cover, although he is rumoured to be leaving the club next year.

With a return of Stones, partnered with Otamendi, the two could partner up and replicate their 2017/18 feat of the best defensive record of any champions since Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in 2008-09 with only 24 goals conceded.

Should the 31-year-old have a blinding season for Guardiola, his move away could change dramatically. If Otamendi leaves the club at all, it could be a big-money signing on the back of a season where he was the saving grace.

Pep has to make this one midfield change today against Brighton, agreed?

Man City will be looking for a big home victory against Brighton to keep them in contention for their third Premier League title in a row…

Although Man City are expected to win comfortably, Brighton has had a confident start to the season. The Southerners have gained 4 points out of a possible 9. Dropping 3 points away against Southampton after going down to ten men after thirty minutes could be considered an unfair reflection. They have looked like a contending side in each fixture so far.

Brighton will set up in a defensive manner. They are going to be seeking the odd opportunity to counter-attack. However, with Rodri sitting in front of a back four consisting of Kyle Walker and Aymeric Laporte, their chances will be difficult to take.

Unlike their neighbours at Old Trafford, Man City have the quality to break down defensive sides. The likes of Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and David Silva are more than capable of breaking this side down.

In the one game where David Silva was absent, the Citizens drew to Spurs at the Etihad. The Spaniard is in his last season with Man City after ten years with the club, and that is exactly why he should be left out of this game…

Why should David Silva miss this fixture?

In the past ten years, David Silva has been pivotal to the success of Man City. The Blues have been brilliant at preparing for the future in their recent history, and should prepare for losing David Silva.

Phil Foden, who Guardiola claimed was the best talent he’s ever worked with, should be featuring much more often. His technical ability makes his almost a like-for-like replacement with the Spanish midfielder and wouldn’t hinder their chances of slotting three or four goals past the Brighton goalkeeper.

‘Man City can get out of that group with their B team’ Confidence is high following ‘easy’ draw

The UEFA Champions League group stage has been announced, and football fans on Twitter have a lot to say about Man City’s group after the official draw…

Man City have been drawn into Group C, comprised of themselves, Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta. Guardiola is looking to be the first manager to ever win the Champions League for Man City this season. With this group, Twitter feels they’re already off to a good start…

But some are going as far as to say that Man City have a habit of getting ‘easy’ groups…

It is a popular opinion on Twitter that Man City seem to get an as easy ride in the Champions League. Last season, Man City’s knockout stages were Schalke and Tottenham and would have faced Ajax in the semi-finals had the Guardiola beaten Pochettino.

However, the side are eager to make their mark on the Champions League, and could have to beat the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Bayern Munich along the way…

It appears that even if Man City do win the trophy, but have an easy ride getting there, people would be outraged. Citizens will have to beat a team or two of the highest quality to gain the approval of the rest of Europe.

‘Ederson literally carried us today, Defence looked dodgy at times’ Some Man City fans weren’t happy today

Man City victory over Bournemouth seen the Citizens climb to second in the Premier League amid another controversial VAR decision.

David Silva stole the show on his 400th appearance for Man City, showing what a miss he will come next season. With an 89.8% pass completion rate, 2 assists and not one backwards pass all game. Pep will have to spend big or hope he has someone within the ranks who can fill such a big hole that will be left once the Spaniard leaves the Etihad after 10 years.

Pep in his post-match comments heaped further praise on the midfielder, by stating he is “one of the best” players he has ever worked with.

However, not all fans were impressed…

Despite another VAR decision going against them, other fans were happy with the 3-1 win over, what is always a tough Bournemouth team to face.

Three brought back in as Man City’s starting 11 should ease past Bournemouth

Man City and Bournemouth sit on equal points before the third matchday fixture but their season so far has told two very different stories…

Man City thumped West Ham 5-0 on the opening day of the Premier League, and perhaps unfairly drew 2-2 at home against a resilient Spurs the week after.

Bournemouth, on the other hand, has faced two recently promoted sides, Sheffield Utd and Aston Villa, so far this season, drawing and winning narrowly.

After the disappointment of losing two points, and the unfamiliar feeling of not being at the top of the table, Man City expect to beat their opposition heavily, despite being away from home.

Pep Guardiola would be naive to assume that they will run away with the Premier League title this season. Liverpool should be snapping at their heels throughout the entire season. This could encourage the citizens to go all out against opponents like Bournemouth, resulting in heavy scorelines.

Although beating Bournemouth is enormously more likely than losing to them, a very strong outfit will set out to rake in an extra four or five goals for their goal difference. The lineup can be expected to look like this…

Man City’s Predicted 11

David Silva can be expected to make a return for the Citizens. Although it is his last season with the club, Guardiola so far has had no qualms about placing the exact same trust and reliance on the club Captain.

Joao Cancelo is yet to make his debut for his new English club. Facing Ryan Fraser in a game the team would be a great introduction to the Premier League.

With John Stones having a minor injury, it is unlikely to see him feature in this fixture. Having Otamendi isn’t exactly a weakness in the squad. But should Bournemouth knock a few goals past Man City as Tottenham did, questions may need to be asked.

Man City fans have spoken and demand Pep play midfielder this weekend

Man City was held to a 2-2 draw at Spurs, and now fans are demanding that one key player feature in the midfield against Bournemouth.

Pep Guardiola is blessed with one of the best midfield selections in European football. With the like of David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogen, Rodri and Fernandinho at his disposal.

However, the winger/midfielder Bernardo Silva is the man the fans want to see partner Kevin De Bruyne in the midfield in their next game against Bournemouth. According to MEN Sport’s tweeted poll, 47% of fans wanted to see Bernardo Silva. Compared to David Silva at 32%, Phil Foden 13% and Ilkay Gundogen 8%.

Bernardo Silva was a fantastic central midfielder during Kevin De Bruyne’s absence last season. He returned to the wing upon his return. With De Bruyne being arguably irreplaceable he cannot be dropped for Bernardo Silva due to his immense quality. So naturally, fans want to see two partnered up.

Against Spurs, he didn’t manage to make the same sort of impact that he does when featuring in the midfield three. Guardiola’s reasoning for dropping Mahrez from the right-wing position for Bernardo Silva was to get game time for as many players as possible during the opening games of the season.

So who would make way should Bernardo Silva feature in the central midfield role?

Here is a starting eleven that we could see face Bournemouth…

Silva for Silva?

Rodri has made a mark on his new team and has been favoured for selection in both pre-season and season games so far. His position as a defensive midfielder who protects the back line and acts as a link between defence and attack is pivotal to how Man City play out from the back.

David Silva is one of Europe’s greatest talents. But he has publicly admitted that this season is his last. Guardiola could test the waters by replacing him for Bernardo Silva to see if a relationship between himself, Rodri and De Bruyne could blossom.

Man City’s star forward hung out to dry by Pep

Guardiola blames long-serving Man City star for the two points dropped against Spurs.

Despite Sergio Aguero putting his team 2-1 ahead against Tottenham Hotspur, Guardiola was more concerned with his positioning during the two Spurs goals.

Guardiola has favoured Gabriel Jesus so far this season. Featuring him in the Community Shield where Aguero did not and starting him on the opening day against West Ham.

Aguero’s first start of the 19/20 season came in the 2-2 draw against Spurs that saw himself and his manager have a verbal altercation after being subbed off for Jesus. Guardiola then went on to blame the lost points on their prolific Argentinian striker.

Gabriel Jesus had a last-minute goal cancelled due to a VAR decision. Laporte appeared to use a hand during the build-up of the play. Had Jesus’ goal stood, both he and Aguero would be two for two in the Premier League. Jesus could feature much more heavily after showing evidence that he can match Aguero, and after Guardiola has publicly blamed the Argentine for the draw.

Gabriel Jesus or Sergio Aguero?

Last season, Gabriel Jesus scored 21 goals and got 6 assists in 47 appearances for the club. These are the statistics for a very good striker. But Sergio Aguero is better than very good. Aguero got 32 goals and 10 assists in 46 appearances.

Aguero, at 31, is still pivotal to Man City’s success. A fall out between himself and the manager could result in him being featured much less often this season. This would potentially result in the Blues losing 20 goals in all competitions this season.

However, with the determination of Jesus to overtake Aguero and Raheem Sterling becoming a very prolific finisher, the goals they lose from Aguero could be made up by their other talents.

The team selection in the near future will reveal the severity of Guardiola’s argument with Aguero and his displeasure with his positioning.

Loan watch: Two Man City youngster to keep an eye on

Man City currently have twelve players out on loan. Today, The Football Manc Cave will report on two prolific youngsters who have a strong shot at making it to the Premier League winner’s starting eleven.

Since Manchester City was gifted ‘blank-cheque’ status in 2008, their planning for the future has been absolutely spot on. The club has gradually improved their squad before settling on the perfect group to perform under Pep Guardiola before appointing him.

The young players out on loan are there because they are seen as part of the plans of Man City’s future. Meaning that you could see the names Sandler and Ilic in the Premier League in the years to come.

Man Utd is renown for producing their own talent. This is currently unmatched by Man City as they tend to purchase young talent. Philippe Sandler was purchased from Zwolle for around £2.25million and Luka Ilic was purchased from Red Star for a similar price.

City purchased Oleksandr Zinchenko from FK Ufa when he was 20 in 2016 for only £1.8million. He was then loaned to PSV, and now he starts week in, week out for Man City with a market value of £18million.

Could one or both of the following players see the same fate? Let’s see how their loan spells are going for their current clubs…

Philippe Sandler

Sandler, 22, went out on loan this summer to Anderlecht. He followed Man City superstar Vincent Kompany as he ventures on to a player-coach role. Having such an experienced talent alongside him will fast-track his progression and allow him to become the man who fills the hole Kompany left.

Sandler has featured in the first three games for Anderlecht, starting on all three occasions. This shows a good start to his loan as he is being trusted with regular first-team football.

Himself and Kompany in as the centre-back partnership saw two clean sheets in the first two games. But conceded 4 in a 4-2 defeat in Sandler’s third and most recent game with Anderlecht.

Luka Ilic

Ilic, 20, is a Serbian left-footed attacking midfielder. He is in last season of his two-year loan at Breda, who is in the second division of Dutch football,

Ilic’s first season with Breda was in the top tier in Holland. Having only 16 appearances, 2 goals and 3 assists say that the youngster had a tough time.

However, with only two games played in the new season, Ilic has scored twice and assisted once, having his team sat at the top of their division.

Should this form continue, it would demonstrate a resilient youngster who is eager to improve and going back to his parent club with a fantastic reference from his temporary manager at Breda.

Tottenham Hotspurs tactics against Man City show they are ready to challenge to the title, agree?

Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur showed their resilience in a dramatic draw against Man City at the Etihad. A draw so impressive, some are considering Spurs title contenders…

When looking at the statistics of the game, it appears as though Spurs went backs to the wall. Man City had 30 shots and 10 on target, compared to Spurs’ 3 shots with 2 on target.

However, Mauricio Pochettino has been hailed an incredible manager and tactician in recent months. Particularly since his display in the Champions League.

Has Pochettino translated his team’s European performances to the Premier League? The game against Man City certainly showed that.

Furthermore, many scratched their heads as Lucas Moura sat on the bench for the first 55 minutes. He came on and scored with his first touch…

Why are Spurs capable of winning of the Premier League this season?

If Pochettino had ignited Spurs’ incredible fight to salvage something from the game and played a role in how clinical his side was. As well as meticulously planting Moura in at the right time, the man could be labelled a genius.

The Tottenham squad consists of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Son Heung-min amongst other top European talents. Most astute managers could get this team in the top four. But Mauricio Pochettino proves time and time again that he is not ‘most managers’.

The result against Man City is the first demonstration that Pochettino can salvage points from teams who should beat them. According to current form and state of the squad, only Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd and Arsenal could go toe-to-toe with Tottenham.

Is Pochettino in the process of learning how to break down the top teams? Do we have a modern Jose Mourinho on our hands?

With the controversial VAR decisions, mass amounts of wasted chances by Man City and lack of chances created for Spurs. There is room for argument that Spurs were lucky in getting a point from the game.

Should Tottenham continue with their flexible tactics depending on their opponent and getting results against the likes of Man City (again), Liverpool, Arsenal and Man Utd. Those aforementioned arguments would be almost void.

‘For Man City, this game wasn’t about VAR, it was about wasted chances’

It hasn’t taken long for VAR to make its mark on the Premier League as both Man City and Tottenham Hotspur experienced. Fans took to Twitter to vent their frustration, here’s what we can gather…

When asked about the consistency of VAR in the Man City v Spurs post-match press conference, Guardiola responded with “ask the VAR guys” in a tone that suggested he was uncertain about the accuracy and consistency of the virtual referee.

Fans, unlike Pep, were able to go full force on their objections, or their support, of VAR.

Man City was toe-to-toe with Spurs in a 2-2 lockdown. A controversial handball against the Citizens detected by VAR prevented the team from scoring in the dying minutes of the game.

For many, VAR is killing the sport we all know and love…

A large concern with VAR was that its accuracy will destroy the conversations, the arguments and the camaraderie of debating a referee’s decisions. As it stands, VAR is failing on that front. Many people find the usage of VAR to be very suspect, and it most certainly stirs up a conversation…

However, similar to a suspect referee decision, the team who benefits from it tend to support…

Opposition fans make a fair argument, pro-VAR. In the Man City v Spurs fixture, Man City had 30 shots with 10 on target. Compared to Spurs’ 3 shots with 2 on target…

It looks like VAR is just another referee that won’t get its feelings hurt by criticism. Fans arguing about VAR is evidence of its lack of inaccuracy, and it most definitely has a long way to go.

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