Premier League Preview: Manchester City v Newcastle United

Pep Guardiola’s side have quietly been rediscovering their best form in the last month and the Spanish boss finally looks to have hit on winning formula this season.

However, despite being in the middle of their best run of the campaign, the demands of a packed schedule means he will be forced to rotate against the Magpies.

Pep’s defence should stay the same over the festive period but the returning Fernandinho, Phil Foden and Sergio Aguero could be drafted in.

As for Newcastle, Steve Bruce will continue to wing in terms of his line up with a Covid-19 outbreak at the club still forcing his selection.

Key pair Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamal Lascelles remain sidelined due to the virus.

But Federico Fernandez and Jamal Lewis should shake off knocks in time to start.

And Kick Off is a late one on Boxing Day with an 8pm start at the Etihad Stadium.

Premier League: Manchester City v West Brom

Although Pep Guardiola’s side have not been formidable this season in comparison to previous campaigns under his tenure, they will still pose a significant threat to Slaven Bilic’s Baggies.

City could only hash out a tame goalless draw away at bitter rivals Manchester United at the weekend, with the 0-0 scoreline at Old Trafford the first Manchester Derby to draw a blank in five years.

Creativity has been City’s issue, something which is surprising to say considering the blueprint of Guardiola’s Blues so far down the years.

The lacklustre beginning to the season for Man City means they are ninth in the standings and four points off the Champions League places heading in to this one.

West Brom meanwhile always knew they had a battle on their hands after being promoted from the Championship last season, with the Baggies second-from-bottom and 3 points from safety – although Burnley, the 17th placed side, do have a game in hand.

Albion will be disappointed with their loss to Newcastle United at the weekend, with Toon goals at both the start and the end of the game condemning them to their eighth loss of the season.

Conceding goals has been a major problem for the Baggies, with the 25 they have shipped the highest of any Premier League club so far this term.

Furthermore, West Brom’s only victory of the campaign to date was against rock-bottom Sheffield United, so any hope of victory over Manchester City is slim.

Slaven Bilic is without suspended midfielder and key performer Matheus Pereira for the trip to the Etihad, but more positive news is that Charlie Austin and Kieran Gibbs are both pushing for inclusion from the start.

Man City are likely to once again be missing Sergio Aguero, who sat out of the Manchester Derby at the weekend – the striker has had a flare up of a knee meniscus issue which required surgery in the summer – add to that a recent bout of illness and the Argentine is almost certain to miss out.

Eric Garcia is another absentee due to a muscle strain, but Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva are likely to see some game time against the Baggies after Guardiola opted not to use them against United.

Manchester City v West Brom is an 8pm kick off on Tuesday 15th December.

Premier League Preview: Manchester United v Manchester City

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has enjoyed some of his most memorable results as United against City but the Norwegian needs a big result now more than ever.

United’s Champions League exit against RB Leipzig has ramped up the pressure on him ahead of this weekend and he is expected to rotate.

Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani are both back in training and Solskjaer is expected to include at least one of them from the start in this game.

Donny van der Beek and Juan Mata could also be drafted in by Solskjaer as he looks to add experience and defensive grit to his midfield.

For City, Guardiola is boosted by some vital returns ahead of the cross-city clash with Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gudogan both back fit.

Guardiola has hinted that Aguero won’t start against the old enemy but given his record against United means we should see him at some stage this weekend.

And with all eyes on Manchester tomorrow, kick off in this is set for 5.30pm on Saturday at Old Trafford.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero out of Porto game

The striker, who missed Saturday’s game against Burnley, continues to suffer discomfort in his knee and will remain in Manchester.

Defender Nathan Ake is back in contention after a thigh problem and 19-year-old midfielder Tommy Doyle is included in the travelling squad.

City have already secured qualification to the round of 16 of this year’s competition, with Olympiacos and Marseille in their group along with Porto.

The Blues are top of their group with 12 points and are yet to lose a game, having conceded just once.

However, Pep Guardiola won’t be content to coast through this game – if Manchester City do beat Porto, the likelihood is that they’ll finish top of the group, securing an ‘easier’ draw at the next stage of the Champions League.

Premier League Preview: Manchester City v Liverpool

Both sides have lost just once in Premier League action this season, but Jurgen Klopp’s defending champions have a four-point lead over City.

Pep Guardiola has already confirmed Sergio Aguero will miss out against the Reds, with Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy joining him on the sidelines.

Those injuries will force Guardiola’s hand in terms of selection tomorrow, but he is expected to make changes from their Champions League win over Olympiakos.

Rodri and Riyad Mahrez are both expected to return with Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres set to drop out.

As for Liverpool, Klopp remains short of options at centre back, meaning Rhys Williams could continue alongside Joe Gomez ahead of Joel Matip.

Thiago Alcantara is out with a knee problem with ex City man James Milner expected to fill in.

And man of the moment Diogo Jota is line to edge out Roberto Firmino in the starting eleven.

And kick-off is 4.30pm on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium.

Tributes pour in for former Man City defender

Malawi-born Wisten, who was a defender, joined City’s elite youth squads in 2016. The club confirmed his death in a statement posted on Twitter on Sunday.

Tributes to the teenager have been paid by City’s first-team players, with Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero paying their respects on social media.

The cause of Wisten’s death is unknown at this stage.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support his family. Over $10,000 has already been raised.

The page description in part reads: “The most beautiful soul who was loved by many. Everyone who knew Jez would know that he had a smile that would light up the room.”

Rest in peace, Jeremy

West Ham secure 1-1 Premier League draw at home to Manchester City

Moyes’ team staged a dramatic recovery to draw 3-3 at Tottenham last weekend and they survive a late scare to snatch a draw in this one.

Neither side created much in a scrappy opening at the London Stadium before Michail Antonio ruthlessly put the Hammers in front on 18 minutes.

Vladimir Coufal whipped in a cross from the right and Antonio was too strong for Aymeric Laporte as volleyed past Ederson.

City struggled to respond to that setback with tame efforts from Riyad Mahrez and Sergio Aguero failing to test Lukasz Fabianski.

Pep Guardiola threw on Phil Foden at the break in an attempt to turn the tide and the England international produced an instant equaliser.

Joao Cancelo’s cross was just behind him but he showed brilliant calmness to tuck past Fabianski.

That tipped the balance in City’s favour as Guardiola brought on Kevin De Bruyne to try and turn the screw on West Ham.

Sterling was presented with a brilliant late late chance to win it but Fabianski stayed sharp to preserve a vital point.


No punishment for Sergio Aguero after Sian Massey-Ellis incident

Aguero, making his first appearance since June after a knee injury, disputed a throw-in call which went against him early in the second half of the match before touching Massey-Ellis as she turned to walk away.

His actions drew criticism on social media and led his former team-mate Micah Richards to say on Sky Sports that Aguero should “know better”.

Under rules introduced in 2016 players can be cautioned or sent off for touching match officials depending on the nature of the incident, but Aguero’s actions went unpunished at the time.

After reviewing the incident, the Football Association is satisfied that match officials did not believe any formal action was necessary.

City manager Pep Guardiola defended Aguero in his post-match press conference, saying: “Come on guys. Sergio is the nicest person I ever met in my life. Look for problems in other situations, not in this one.”

Aguero, who played a key role in setting up Raheem Sterling’s decisive 23rd-minute goal, was replaced after 65 minutes of his comeback appearance.

Premier League: Manchester City vs Arsenal

When the two sides last met, it was Arteta’s Arsenal who came out on top, eliminating Manchester City from the FA Cup at the semi-final stage, before going on to lift the trophy at Wembley by beating Chelsea in the final.

And the Spaniard will be confident he can repeat the feat, given the two sides’ contrasting starts to the season. Arsenal are fourth, having won nine points from a possible 12, while City have only won one of their three games in the league, and sit 14th in the table at this early stage.

The Gunners will be boosted by the signing of Thomas Partey, who joined the club on deadline day from Atletico Madrid. The €45m signing may be involved in some capacity against City, who will be hoping to get back to winning ways after a loss to Leicester and a draw with Leeds United.

They still have problems up front though, as their two out-and-out centre forwards are both still struggling with injuries. Sergio Aguero has stepped up his recovery, and could make the squad, but Gabriel Jesus will miss out as he continues his recovery from an injury of his own.

Oleksandr Zinchenko is rated 50/50 after a spell out injured, but Raheem Sterling is expected to be fit after pulling out of the England squad with a tight hamstring last week. Kevin De Bruyne has also been ruled out after picking up an injury on international duty.

As for Arsenal, defenders Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari are ruled out, while Gabriel Martinelli remains sidelined until close to the end of the year with a knee injury. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang suffered a sprained ankle recently but should shake it off to play.

Kieran Tierney was identified as a close contact of Scotland team mate Stuart Armstrong, who tested positive for COVID-19. Rules state that Tierney should self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution, but has also tested negative for the virus. Arteta is hoping for some clarification from the Premier League on the matter as it affects his participation.

Manchester City take on Arsenal at the Etihad on Saturday, October 17th. Kick-off is at 5.30pm.

Premier League Preview: Manchester City Kick Off Their 2020-21 Season at Wolves

City are the last Premier League club to kick off their season, with Guardiola’s side already playing catch up to their rivals.

However, despite being granted an extra rest period ahead of the new campaign, Guardiola does still have injuries to contend with.

Sergio Aguero is ruled out until October following knee surgery last month, and centre back Aymeric Laporte has only just returned to full training.

Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva are both expected to be fit to start, with summer signing Nathan Ake potentially replacing Laporte at the back.

Wolves beat Sheffield United 2-0 on the opening day, and Santo is set to recall his big hitters after resting them in the midweek cup defeat at Stoke.

Fernando Marcal, Pedro Neto and Raul Jimenez should all come back into the team, but Jota is out after he completed a £45m move to Liverpool yesterday.

City get their season going in tomorrow’s late-night kick off, with an 8.15pm start at Molineux.

Manchester City face Champions League test against Lyon

Pep Guardiola’s side showed their steel to get past Real Madrid in the last 16, but City now face the pressure of being strong favourites.

The Spaniard has developed a reputation for over thinking in big games at City, but he is likely to make only minimum changes in Lisbon.

Fernandinho is expected to continue to deputise at centre back, with Bernardo Silva potentially replacing Phil Foden in midfield.

Sergio Aguero is still out following knee surgery, meaning the hero of the last 16, Gabriel Jesus, will once again lead the line.

For Lyon, the pressure is firmly off, after they dumped out a very upset Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus in the last round.

Rudi Garcia’s side will certainly be no pushover for City in Portugal, with exciting midfield axis of Houssem Aouar and Maxence Caqueret set to be a real test.

Up top former Manchester United star Memphis Depay will look to cause a few problems, and Garcia is also set to recall top scorer Moussa Dembele after he was rested against Juve.


Manchester City host rock bottom Norwich City on the Premier League final day

Victory for the Canaries over City in September was the highlight of their season – but, it’s been downhill since then, with relegation already confirmed.

Daniel Farke’s side have taken a battering in recent months, with a staggering 26 losses so far this season.

For City, this represents a final chance for a competitive game ahead of the return of the Champions League next month.

Pep Guardiola is sweating on the fitness of Sergio Aguero for the game against Los Blancos – with the Argentinian’s domestic campaign was cut short due to knee surgery.

What will comfort the City boss, though, is that aside from an injury to back-up goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, is a clean bill of health to pick from against Norwich.

The same cannot be said for the Canaries though, with Daniel Farke lamenting the injury list which has plagued Norwich’s season.

Moritz Leitner and Grant Hanley will miss the trip to the Etihad through injury, and Sam Byram needs an operation on a hernia problem.

To make matters worse for Norwich, the influential pair Emiliano Buendia and Josip Drmic sit out due to suspension, after both players saw red last time out against Burnley.

Manchester City v Norwich City is a 4pm kick off on Sunday, July 26.