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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.

2 players need to step up to see Man City ease past Spurs

From one big Manchester/London game to another, Man City face Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad in the toughest Premier League game so far.

Spurs famously knocked Man City out of the Champions League last season. Can they imitate the same kind of confidence to cause a huge upset in the race for the Premier League title?

The Premier League this season has become very complex, and ponders many questions… Will Man City run away with it? Will Liverpool slip and will Spurs step up? Who will exceed out of Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd?

Answers may begin to appear very early in the season, as Spurs face Man City at the Etihad in the second game of the Premier League.

Spurs

Tottenham is now the most highly rated London team as their rivals begin to slip into the realms of the race for fourth place. Spurs’ ultimate goal should now be to win the Premier League. Manager Pochettino is well aware that his squad should not have let 3rd place slip last season. Spurs can comfortably make top 4, so all that’s worth playing for is the Premier League trophy.

This could bring out a very confident, direct and competitive Tottenham Hotspur against Man City.

Pochettino could set up in a defensive and compact manner. Seeing the likes of Ndombele and Sissoko to match David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne.

The killer for Spurs will be the direct, counter-attacking threat. However, without Son Heung-min in the side, Lucas Moura will have to be the legs for the forward line.

Man City

Asserting their dominance with a big win over Spurs could be the turning point already, where the Citizens run away with title once again. With Man Utd crushing Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford, matching their neighbours by obliterating a better London side.

Furthermore, beating the third-best team in the league easily, as they beat everyone else would really put a dampener on the spirits of the league.

With Sane injured, we may see Mahrez step in his place after impressing against West Ham. But having the option between him and Bernardo Silva can’t hurt their chances of success.

It is likely that Pep Guardiola will favour Gabriel Jesus over Sergio Aguero once again. But it appears Raheem Sterling is taking the reigns on the goal-scoring front, so the South Americans have to step their game up too.

Man City are the best-drilled and most confident team in the league, as well as being the most talented. But if a fully focused and motivated Tottenham Hotspur turn up to fight, they could throw a spanner in the works for Man City’s third consecutive Premier League trophy.

Does Raheem Sterling want to be Man City’s main striker?

Man City’s 5-0 victory over West Ham saw Sterling get a hattrick on an opening day. By the looks of it, there’s plenty more to see from him…

Guardiola himself has said that being a striker would be an incredible position for Sterling. Understandable, seeing as he has scored a minimum of a goal per game since the beginning of Man City’s pre-season tour.

Gabriel Jesus is beginning to see more game time as Sergio Aguero reaches the latter stages of his career at 34 years old. But it looks as though Sterling is the one keen on filling the Argentine’s boots in becoming Man City’s goal scorer.

Upon Man City receiving a penalty against West Ham, Sterling and Aguero had to debate who took it.

This demonstrates how highly Sterling believes his impact is on the squad, to challenge a figure like Aguero. His behavior, motivation, and determination show a player itching to be in thoughts of the manager, for some reason or other.

In this case, it appears that Sterling wants to be the main man at Manchester City.

The English international has been pivotal to Man City’s recent back-to-back Premier League title. Finishing second top goal scorer in both seasons, with a total of 48 goals across the two, he will be looking to take up a notch this season.

What will be different about his game this season?

Many forget that he is only 24-years of age, and it is common for wingers to develop into magnificent strikers. Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi to name a few.

Come Christmas-time and Raheem Sterling is miles ahead of Aguero and Jesus on goals will we see him become the main man up front? What would come of Jesus and who would play on the wing instead?

Sterling has become increasingly clinical in front of goal over recent months and seasons. It is evident that he wants to score goals in and around the box for Manchester City.

We could see Guardiola give him these opportunities this season should he continue bagging goals in this fashion. Let’s just hope he can do it for England.

Two things we have learnt from Man City’s preseason

What is Manchester City’s form like going into the Premier League season? Here are two things we’ve learned about Pep Guardiola’s squad in pre-season.

Guardiola has had four pre-season games, plus the Community Shield victory over Liverpool, to prepare his squad for the campaign.

Out of the five games played, Man City have only lost one. Where Wolves held the side to a goalless draw, and won on penalties. However, Man City’s big wins came against a heavily rotated West Ham and two Japanese teams during the pre-season tour. As well as a 1-1 draw against Liverpool.

Wolves and Liverpool are both in the top 8 sides of the Premier League, and Man City struggled to break each of them down.

Third time unlucky?

In a season where Man City will be looking to be the second club to win the Premier League for the third season in a row, it may well not be too easy this time around. Over the past two Man City season wins, the gap between themselves and Spurs, and Liverpool has closed massively. Teams such as Everton, Wolves and Leicester are swimming into the big pond as Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd are desperate to put pressure on the top 3. Man City will be given a run for their money by the top 7 or 8 clubs in the league.

Man City can still score goals. Lots of them.

Man City of previous years have been known to destroy their opponents. Particularly the 6-0 win over Chelsea and the 9-0 win over Burton Albion. It is clear from the 14 goals in 5 games of pre-season that the majority of Guardiola’s squad are still pedigrees.

Raheem Sterling has been the one hitting the back of the net for the Citizens, whilst Aguero and Gabriel Jesus have been absent. If Sterling keeps his form and the two South Americans pull their weight also, Man City will get goals galore this season.

Man City will make a season statement against Liverpool with this starting 11 today

Manchester City and Liverpool, the two best teams in England last season, will go head-to-head for the first piece of silverware in the 19/20 season.

Guardiola will be looking to start the season strong with a win over Liverpool in the Community Shield.

Man City’s pre-season has been vastly different from their challengers Liverpool, having the Citizens win three of their four games. They only lost to Wolves on penalties.

Liverpool, on the other hand, has had three losses, one draw and a recent win against Lyon in their last five friendlies. Pre-season often, but not always, dictates what the following season will look like for the club. But with the incredible accomplishments, Liverpool made last season, it would be ridiculous to rule them out of winning any of the trophies.

Despite being the least prolific of competitions, both sides will be eager to pick up the silverware. It also gives each coach a view on where they are compared to their opponents, and the two teams will be trying to gauge each other. Therefore, we can expect a strong line up on each side.

The Football Manc Cave gives you the starting eleven that Pep Guardiola should go with against Liverpool in the FA Community Shield…

Defence

With Walker, Laporte, and Stones, Man City have an experienced defence. The three will have dealt with the Liverpool attack in recent seasons. With the rise of the young Zinchenko last season, Guardiola should put trust in him to cope with and learn from his battles against the Liverpool attack.

Midfield

Guardiola has favoured Rodri since his £62million arrival from Atletico Madrid. The defensive midfielder has put in great competition for Fernandinho, which makes him a fantastic signing as he is intended to be his replacement. Giving Rodri a taste of a competitive match against their biggest rivals for silverware will give the new boy a sense of what life in the Premier League will be like.

David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are included because they are two of the best midfielders in the world. The two can turn any game on its head and are pivotal to Man City’s success.

Attack

Sergio Aguero may well make an appearance, as himself and Gabriel Jesus are back in training ahead of the match.

Gabriel Jesus should begin the game. After scoring in the semi-final of Copa America to knock Aguero’s Argentina out, and bagging a goal against Peru in the final to lift the cup, it makes sense to give the 22-year-old Brazilian the opportunity over the 31-year-old Argentinian.

Jesus could be the future of Man City’s attack and should be given more opportunities has Aguero ages. Against Liverpool Pep can see how he links up with Sterling and Bernardo Silva.

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.

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.

THE LOWDOWN: Man City Linked to Atletico Madrid’s Rodri, What Can He Bring To The Champions

Manchester City are certainly not hiding their interest for Rodri, the 22-year-old midfielder from Atletico Madrid.

Seen as a direct replacement for Fernandinho, the Spaniard will be a regular starter at City next season if he can make the move from Spain to England.

At 33, Brazilian Fernandinho is on the wrong side of the hill so to speak and on occasions during the Blues treble-winning season, the absence in defensive midfield was key as Man City were found wanting on the counter-attack.

Pep Guardiola looks to have found a way around the problem when Fernandinho is absent, playing Ilkay Gundogan in this vital role. Yet the Catalan will want more cover and most importantly, a player with a more defensive mindset.

Though Rodri looks to fit the bill, his strength’s lie in your usual defensive midfield role. Very good in the tackle, blocking the ball and his aerial presence is an added bonus. Alongside his high concentration levels and solid passing game, the Spanish International seems like he would seamlessly fit in the team.

However, Atletico Madrid will want more than just 65 million from Man City. The Spaniards also want Gabriel Jesus in return as they look for a long-term replacement to the departing Antoine Griezmann, who looks likely to complete a 100 million-plus deal across Spain, with Barcelona the likely destination.

Disappointed with his lack of starts, striker Jesus would most likely leave the Premier League to guarantee regular appearances. However, the thought of departing the Champions could be slim, most likely due to the fact he knows his direct competitor in the starting 11, Sergio Aguero, is 31 this June.

Like Rodri, the 22-year-old Brazilian is seen as a Man City man for the next decade at least, especially with the form his side have shown in the past two seasons.

Whether he gives into just substitute appearances by Guardiola could see the arrival of Rodri. The question this swap will come down to whether Jesus fancies 90-minute football every game, and, would City really let a player of his ability go?

Man City fans what do you think?

Thumping Win Shows Man City’s Champions League Credentials

I imagine many City fans were fairly optimistic of a win in Tuesday nights Champions League fixture, Schalke are in freefall, having conceded more than three goals in every game since the 16th of February, and now facing a potential relegation battle. However, I don’t think anyone was expecting the scoreline they ended up with.

After an initially frustrating half an hour, City finally got the breakthrough they needed with a confident and composed penalty from Aguero. The floodgates then opened, with Sane fantastic against his old club, Sterling continuing his fantastic run of form, Jesus benefitting from both a sharp strike and a bit of poor goalkeeping and City darling, Phil Foden showing composure well beyond his years to become one of the youngest ever English players to score in a Champions League game.

Overall putting seven past the West German side, equalling the record for the knockout stages in the Champions League.

Schalke looked like lower league opposition, not a Champions League side at all.

Schalke are probably not the side everyone is worried about at the moment, but this was a real statement from City. Showing that the old guard are good as ever, the younger players are improving at a rapid rate and they are doing this without the likes Kevin De Bruyne, who, I feel City in previous seasons have been slightly overly dependent on. The starting line up with him back in the squad is probably even more a troubling prospect for opposition teams.

A few of the bigger teams have dropped out at an unexpectedly early stage this year, which perhaps means the freight train which is Manchester City in full flow will be harder to stop. This is Manchester City’s best chance in reaching the final, well, ever, they are looking sharp, ruthless and utterly intimidating. If the sort of sharp shooting, robust defending and assured goalkeeping we saw last night can become the norm, City could well be going all the way.

My Greatest Season in Sky Blue? It’s a No-Brainer!

There was a seven day period where I felt a mixture of anger and disappointment. It began against Liverpool in the Champions League and was promptly ended less than a fortnight later at Tottenham.

All this was ended by the weekend when City won the league, their third in just seven seasons. As a fan, I hadn’t felt sad about the Blues for near enough a year. That’s how good we were.

From a defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup Final in April 2017 to April twelve months later, City played near enough the perfect match every game. One week it was 5 against Liverpool, six against Watford then battering Chelsea in every department on their own turf.

Kevin De Bruyne was the star as was the timeless David Silva alongside him. The best moment? A 2-1 win against Southampton with a last minute winner by Raheem Sterling on a rare night when we didn’t play well at all. At that point, I just knew we would win the Premier League.

It took another six months or so to be confirmed, but the procession began as soon as 2018 dawned.

When United lost to West Brom on Sunday the 15th of April, it was all done and dusted. Probably the weirdest yet most wonderful way to see a Premier League title won. West Brom was relegated a month later, the Red Devils lost the FA Cup final to Chelsea.

The season ended on 93:20 day, Gabriel Jesus scoring a last-gasp winner to seal a perfect season and a perfect points total of 100. In the sun at Southampton again, it really was the best way to end the season.

I was told it couldn’t get better, yet after watching the blues recently it might just get better.

But let’s only think about last year for now. The memories of Pep singing ‘We’ve got Guardiola’ at Leicester may just do the trick.

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