It’s Match Week 1!! Time to get caught up on the City news you may have missed.
As we get closer to City’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the manager held his pre-match presser.
Pep Guardiola gives Man City fitness update on Kevin De Bruyne and five other players vs Tottenham - Manchester Evening News - Joe Bray
As we’ve already heard, DeBruyne and Phil Foden will be out indefinitely as they deal with lingering injuries suffered at Euro 2020. But Joe gets the goods on three other returning City stars.
Regarding the other returning players, specifically Raheem Sterling, John Stones and Kyle Walker, Guardiola said ‘everyone is ready’ for the new season, even if fitness levels might differ from player to player.
He explained: “They came back really well. The sun and rest produced a good effect. I would say really good.
“Everyone is ready, important is when they came back they were happy with the right energy. They need a little bit of time after four weeks off and two training sessions. It’s the Premier League in two days and we travel to London to get a good result.”
Harry Kane may soon be a Blue, but Pep believes they have plenty of punch up front in the young Brazilian forward.
Jesus, who played in this summer’s Copa America, has also won 47 caps for his country, is expected to play some part of City’s opener at Tottenham on Sunday and his manager has every faith that he will shoulder the responsibility as well as he always has.
When asked if City will play with a recognised striker more often than not this season, Pep said: “I would say we play with recognised strikers.
Gabriel is an incredibly important player for us. He can play as a striker or wider.
“He is exceptional and he has a key role for us for many years and been a big part of the huge success we’ve had every season”
And Pep isn’t the only one talking. City Xtra are reporting on Ferran Torres’ exclusive interview with Spanish newspaper Marca.
Ferran Torres Makes Strong Prediction About Premier League Title Race Ahead Of New Season - City Xtra - HARRYASIDDALL
Speaking exclusively to Juan Castro from Spanish newspaper Marca this week, the 21-year-old forward was asked what his goals for the upcoming season are, to which he said, “My goal this season is to continue growing, have better numbers individually and also collective successes.”
“We can aspire to win all the titles we play for, like every season.”
Torres continued, “I’m very young and still have a lot of margin to improve.”
“The first year I learned and evolved a lot, both tactically and physically. Now I have to continue increasing my number of goals and assists for the good of Manchester City.”
UEFA announced finalists for last season’s Champions League awards on Friday, and our own Saul Garcia weighed in.
2020-21 UEFA Champions League awards nominate Three Manchester City Players - Bitter and Blue - Saul Garcia
Well deserved inclusions for Ederson who has been shortlisted for the Goalkeeper of the Season prize, Ruben Dias is among the nominees for Defender of the Season, lastly Kevin De Bruyne is again in contention to win the midfielder’s award, which he won in 2019-20.
All three players were key cogs in City’s incredible run top the final and were an important part of reaching that final.
The City trio were hugely important as Pep Guardiola’s side won 11 of 12 games en route to the first Champions League final in the Club’s history.
The winners will be announced when the 2021-22 Champions League group stage draw takes place on Thursday 26 August in Istanbul, Turkey.
✨ NOMINEES: 2020/21 #UCL Midfielder of the season ✨— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 13, 2021
Kevin De Bruyne
POTM awards: 3
POTM awards: 1
POTM awards: 4#UEFAawards https://t.co/1h8S0hskkM pic.twitter.com/t2nu4E3X8c
Raheem Sterling was caught gushing about England, and now City, teammate Jack Grealish. Sky Sports got the quote on Sterling’s Hopes for 2021-22.
Raheem Sterling hopes new Manchester City team-mate Jack Grealish can help increase his goal tally - Sky Sports
Sterling netted just 14 times in all competitions for Pep Guardiola’s side last season - 17 less than the 2019/20 campaign - but, playing alongside Grealish, he is looking for more this time.
“They have signed a great player and someone that wants to prove himself at the highest level,” said Sterling. “I don’t think there is any better club for him to try and do that.
“He is a player that always wants the ball, he gets in good pockets of space and he is creative.
“It adds another creative player to this team which I am really excited about so hopefully he can add a few more goals to my tally.
Lastly, one last Man City season preview from Bitter and Blue’s Petec21. Will Pep prioritize Champions League over defending the EPL crown?
City have won the Premier League for three out of the last four season and have also taken the League Cup in each of those seasons too. It has been a trophy-laden four years, but can the blues do it again?
City became the first team in 10 years to win back-to-back Premier League titles when they won the league at Brighton in 2019. That season, they became the first English team to win a domestic treble, but it is Europe’s ‘elite’ trophy that still eludes the blues.
The Champions League must be a priority for Pep Guardiola, even if it isn’t for the fans. City came so close to winning the trophy after reaching their first CL final, but failed to overcome a Chelsea side that had already beaten them twice in recent weeks.
That’s the news for now. Stop back tomorrow for more.