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The key Man City v Chelsea midfield battle that will win the game

Man City's Rodrigo

Man City entertain Frank Lampard’s Chelsea tomorrow in a top-four clash many wouldn’t have expected with Chelsea above Man City.

Guardiola’s men find themselves in fourth, nine points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool and struggling for form in recent times.

3 wins and 2 losses to Liverpool and Wolves in the last 5 league games, see the Citizen’s with a bigger gap than last year’s 7 points to make up to Liverpool. If they want to complete a treble of domestic title’s, they have to refind their groove.

Chelsea comes into the game with only one loss since the middle of September across all competitions. They surely provide a stern test once again for Man City. Albeit, Guardiola is boosted by the news that Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson is available following his injury.

As former midfielders, Guardiola and Lampard know that these type’s of games are won and lost in the midfield area. Both Jorghino and Rodrigo are excelling in the DMC role this season and could be the key to who takes the three points…

Man City’s Rodrigo

The Spanish defensive midfielder is the younger of the two and is in his debut season in the Premier League. He rates higher on whoscored.com’s ratings with 7.47 compared to Jorghino’s 7.14.

Alongside a strong passing game with 91.6% completed passes and 2.9 aerial battles won per game – it seems Rodrigo will the main man come Saturday with his offensive stats stacking up against Jorghino, with more key passes and long ball distribution per game.

To compare, Jorghinos pass completion is 88.4% and the Italian has 0.5 aerial duels won per game.

Chelsea’s Jorghino

However, the role of a defensive midfielder is to stop the attacks. This is where Chelsea’s Jorghino starts to show his age and experience over Rodigo.

He wins the battle of tackles (2.5 – 2.4), interceptions (2.1 – 0.8), less fouls given away (1 – 1.3) and blocks (0.3 – 0.2) per game.

Some of the stats are marginal. Sometimes, marginal is what it takes to win a match in the top four.

Whatever the result between these two sides. it will be a fascinating watch in the centre fo the park.

Man Utd’s 2 key 2019 games to cut the gap on the top 4

Solskjaer at a Man Utd press conference

In today’s press conference, Solskjaer wanted to re-focus his Man Utd team into clawing back the 9 point distance to the top 4.

Solskjaer earlier today in his press conference was keen to mention that Man Utd now need to be consistent.

“Yeah, it’s a clear gap in the league between the top four,”

“There are, I don’t know, many teams, within a range of three or four points. So, for us, it’s about consistency now and getting as many points on the board as we can.

“We turned a corner we felt, performance-wise and results-wise after the last international break, but, then again, it’s so tight and I’m just looking forward to this game. We need to have a good performance and a result.”

Quotes taken from ManUtd.com

Man Utd currently has lost once in the past 7 games across all competitions. However, in the Premier League, it’s 2 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw in their 5 recent fixtures.

Here backs up Solskjaer’s claims of how the team needs to find that consistent groove if they are to motor up the league.

No doubt, with Spurs having Mourinho newly appointed. They will find the new manager bounce upturn in form, that will hopefully see them start to turn their season around, with them currently lying in 14th position.

If Man Utd wants to cut the gap, here are two fixtures that they must win…

Sheffield United v Man Utd

Man United travel to Sheffield United on Sunday in the late kick-off. The Blades are currently flying high in 5th position. However, they are only a point above the Red Devils.

To start to cut the gap, United need to come away from this game with the three points. It’ll be a great start for them in the run-in to Christmas.

United seem to have stumbled at so-called ‘easy wins’ this season. With losses to Crystal Palace, West Ham and Newcastle Utd frustrating the Old Trafford faithful this season.

Manchester City away

The Manchester derby comes 4 days after, what will be, a tasty encounter with Tottenham Hotspur.

Man City currently lay in 4th in the Premier League, nine points adrift from Liverpool.

City seems to have inconsistencies of their own, with only 3 wins out of the last five Premier League fixtures. It could be a good time to play Guardiola’s men if this is a theme for their season, as they look to clinch a third title in a row.

As with all derbies, the form book goes out of the window. Man Utd has taken 8 points away from the ‘top 7’ in thier four games. with Man City managing one point out of a possible 6.

A win against their rivals could really catapult Man Utd going forward under Solskjaer.

Man City can edge closer to Liverpool with these 2 key fixtures

Man City boss Pep Guardiola

It is going to be crucial for Man City to pick up as many points as possible in the next few weeks. They need to close the gap on Liverpool.

Liverpool currently sits at the top of the Premier League on 34 points. Man City have now dropped to 4th with 25 points following last weekend’s defeat.

Leicester City and Chelsea have overtaken them recently. Now it is time for the Blues to step up if they want to regain their title for the third time in a row.

Pep Guardiola’s side lost 3-1 to Liverpool last week in a VAR debated game. This caused them to fall behind even more and the gap between the two clubs has opened up.

However, Man City will have to make the most of upcoming games and try to get as many points as possible.

Here are two games that stand out…

Man City v Chelsea

Frank Lampard’s side has recently overtaken Man City in the League. They have gone to 3rd with 26 points.

However, the blues need to take advantage of them. Their team is quite young, which could see them gain from with the experience they have.

Chelsea has also not had many big goal-scoring games. Most have been 2-1 wins. Man City can try to score a few in this game to make sure they take 3 points. They face Chelsea at home next weekend.

Southampton away

This fixture isn’t until April. However, that is closer to the end of the season and it will be a critical time for City in the title race.

That is if a race is still on. Southampton is currently 19th in the League. They only have 8 points. Pep’s side has already played them twice this season.

Pep Guardiola’s side won both meetings. However, this gives them an advantage as they should know what to expect.

Man City should be going all out for Rennes 17y/o midfielder for these 2 reasons

Man City transfer target Eduardo Camavinga

According to 90min.com, Man City have joined the race for Rennes wonder-kid, Eduardo Camavinga. The Blues will face some competition for his signature.

The 17-year-old midfielder has started all games so far this season for Rennes. He has since gone from strength to strength as every game passes.

He signed a contract in the summer that puts him with the Ligue 1 side until 2021. However, European and Premier League giants have started to express their interest in the teenager.

This is an advantage to Rennes as they would have leverage over an asking price if Camavinga draws in a lot of attention.

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United are all said to be interested. However, Man City are ready to fight them all off.

Here are two reasons why Man City should make him a priority signing…

Man City struggles in defence

Man City have been struggling in defence and with their defensive midfielders. Eduardo may not be able to step up to the first team straight away, however, he could help.

A lot of the Man City defenders are injured which has seen Fernandinho slide into a defensive position. Some of the midfielders have had to go into a more defensive position too.

This has had an effect on the attack. Bringing this teenager in could help. He is a comfortable defensive midfielder but also produces phenomenal assists.

Experience

Eduardo is currently starting every game for Rennes. At such a young age, that is a huge responsibility.

Even though he would probably be placed in Man City’s academy to start off with, he would bring this experience to the Premier League.

However, this may be a problem to the 17-year-old as he is getting full-time football now and may not want to give that up.

‘I think it’s Michael Oliver who needs to face a bit of action.’ Man City & Liverpool fans react to Pep Guardiola

The clash between Man City and Liverpool yesterday really caused some debates. VAR could have been used at various times throughout the game but it wasn’t. Pep Guardiola was furious and The Football Manc Cave are looking at your reactions.

All the way through the game yesterday, different players were seen questioning decisions that were made.

Twitter was filled with fans debating the decisions made. However, the biggest reaction came from Pep Guardiola.

The Man City manager was very vocal on the sidelines. He was also seen slapping his head, shouting at the officials and in general, he wasn’t happy.

This was because of missed penalty opportunities, hand balls and other decisions that could have been settled with VAR.

Although, after the game, Guardiola was seen shaking all the players’ hands from both teams. However, he sarcastically shook the officials hands and said ‘thank you very much.’

It has since been confirmed that Guardiola will not receive any FA action over his conduct. However, this hasn’t stopped your reactions.

Twitter reactions

‘Man Of The Match is certainly VAR.’ Man City fans react to their loss

This weekend was a big one for Man City. They faced Liverpool and it was a chance for them to close the gap at the top of the table. However, a 3-1 loss has put them further behind the Premier League leaders.

VAR played a huge part in the clash. Debates started due to handballs, penalty claims and general missed decisions.

However, these decisions weren’t Man City’s only problem as they were 3-0 down before getting a goal back.

Fabinho put Liverpool ahead after only 6 minutes. Mo Salah then made it 2-0 after 13 minutes. Man City didn’t respond before half time.

Pep Guardiola was furious on the sidelines as he felt the officials were making questionable decisions.

Bernardo Silva managed to pull one back in the 78th minute. However, it came way too late as Man City struggled to score again.

The Football Manc Cave are now looking at your reactions…

Twitter reactions

‘At least we know who can save the day if this happens again.’ Man City fans react to Kyle Walker

Drama unfolded last night in Man City’s Champions League clash with Atalanta. Kyle Walker ended up in goal and here are your reactions.

There was a lot of drama in last nights clash. Man City went 1-0 up after 7 minutes with a goal from Raheem Sterling.

Things were going well until Man City got a penalty but Jesus couldn’t find the back of the net. Then Atalanta equalised in the second half.

At half time, every Man City fan and staff member was worried as Ederson had to go off and be replaced by Claudio Bravo.

So not only was Bravo in the net for the Atalanta goal, he also brought down a player in the box and got sent off.

This meant that defender, Kyle Walker had to put on a goal keeper’s shirt and take a new role. Here’s your reactions to that and his free kick save…

Twitter reactions

Wolves to go for Man City & Arsenal 19 y/o midfield target

According to SportWitness, Wolves, Man City and Arsenal are all battling it out for 19 year old, Dejan Kulusevski. Wolves have only recently come into the mix but seem to have made the biggest impact.

Kulusevski is a name that has been involved in transfer rumours for a while now. Arsenal have supposedly been monitoring him for months.

Arsenal have been linked with the teenager and rumours seem to be true. They have apparently asked about the cost of the player and the possibility of a deal.

Man City have been linked in the past. The players agent has addressed these rumours to say he doesn’t want to name names.

However, it is now Wolves who seem to be winning the race. They are meant to be offering €15 million but it seems that Atalanta are holding out for around €25 million.

About the teenager

Dejan is 19 years old and is owned by Atalanta. However, he is currently on loan with Parma.

He is a comfortable midfielder who can operate the right, left and in the middle.

Current form

In 11 appearances for Parma this season, he scored 2 goals and had 5 assists.

He seems to be finding his feet as a rivht winger. The teenager can only improve.

Man City should secure Champions League qualification with this midfield tonight

Pep Guardiola’s men face Atalanta away tonight in the Champions League. If Man City set up with this midfield, they should go through to the next round.

Man City are currently top of their Champions League group with 9 points. Pep Guardiola will want to qualify as quickly as possible.

However, he will have limitations tonight with a few players being out. Phil Foden is suspended and David Silva is injured.

Therefore, Man City will struggle in the middle. This is why he will probably go out with a 4-3-3 formation.

I predict that he will line up the midfield like this…

Gundogan

The centre midfielder’s form has been a lot better recently. Guarantee that he will be filling that central position this evening.

He will be aimig to guide the midfield forward while also assisting his team mates to a win.

Kevin De Bruyne

With David Silva being injured, De Bruyne will probably go out as captain.

He will also more than likely operate the left of midfield. However, the question will be, will he score, assist or both?

Bernardo Silva

David Silva will probably be replaced by Bernardo. All three will have to work together efficiently.

With my prediction for the formation would mean that there should be 3 players up front. I predict they will be Jesus, Aguero and Raheem Sterling.

Rochdale’s 17y/o star being eyed up by Man Utd, Man City & Newcastle Utd for a January move

Rochdale defender Luke Matheson is being linked with a number of Premier League clubs with Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle all thought to be monitoring the 17-year-old, who has been tipped to have a big future.

Matheson made his senior debut for Rochdale at the age of just 15 when they faced Bury in the EFL Trophy, at the time becoming their youngest ever debutant. He was awarded the Man of Match award that night in what was an impressive display for his age.

Since his opening appearance, the youngster has gone to make 15 league appearances for Dale as he is now a regular in Brian Barry-Murphy’s team. The right-back enjoys driving forward, therefore, he is often involved in attacking plays his side produce.

The highlight of Matheson’s career so far came earlier this season in the Carabao Cup when he scored at Old Trafford against Manchester United to level the game at 1-1. Unfortunately for his side, they eventually lost on penalties to miss out on the giant-killing that night, however, all the headlines were about the ‘Rochdale wonderkid’ the next day.

Matheson recently signed his first professional contract with Rochdale in a three-year-deal. He is another product of the academy at the Greater Manchester club who have produced so many players who have gone on to play at a higher level. He has been at the club since the age of nine, so he is a real success story for their youth system.

Back in February, Matheson was called up into the England under-17 squad to face France where he started in the Three Lions’ 3-2 victory. He recently represented his country at an under-18 level too in games against Poland and Slovakia, the latter who they beat 1-0 on the road, so he is a player who is clearly rated by those who monitor young English players in this country.

Rochdale have made a mixed start to their League One campaign this season where they are 50/1 in the football betting to finish in the top six at the end of the 2018/19 campaign. Matheson is expected to continue to play lots of football as manager Barry-Murphy is not afraid to give the young players in his squad an opportunity to shine.

Higher hopes for Dale

Dale was in a relegation scrap last season but managed to survive with a late surge up the table at the end of the campaign. They are expected to finish much higher this season and still have hopes of finishing in the top six.

Newcastle has reportedly been scouting Matheson since January where they were initially impressed with his talent. Given his goal at Old Trafford though back in September, the two Manchester giants are also thought to now be interested in keeping him in the North West.

If a move for Matheson is made in either the January transfer window or next summer, he could be immediately loaned back to Rochdale in order to continue playing League One football which will help his progression at such a young age.

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