It’s the first Match Day of the 2021/22 Premier League season. Get caught up with all the Man City news before kickoff.
John Stones returns and Jack Grealish starts - Man City predicted line-up vs Tottenham Hotspur - Manchester Evening News - George Smith
George Smith of Manchester Evening News gives his prediction for the City XI. Despite missing some pieces due to injury, he has Pep leaving some quality in reserve in the attacking third.
It is in midfield where Guardiola will face the toughest selection choices. Both Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden will definitely miss out through injury, but he still has plenty of options available to him to fill those gaps. Youngster Cole Palmer, who started against Leicester, is likely to drop out, paving the way for Rodri to come in and join Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho in the midfield three.
As for the front three, Riyad Mahrez is a certain starter after being a constant threat in pre-season and will almost certainly line up either through the middle or on the right. Should he start in his natural wide role, it is possible that Ferran Torres will be deployed through the middle as Gabriel Jesus only returned to training a matter of days ago. Grealish should line up on the left of the front three, leaving Raheem Sterling on the bench.
Predicted City XI vs Spurs: Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Mendy; Rodri, Fernandinho, Gundogan; Mahrez, Torres, Grealish.
Jack Grealish to Make First Start, Raheem Sterling Returns to Starting XI! - Predicted Team: Tottenham vs Man City (Premier League) - City Xtra - Harry Winters
More XI predictions, this time from Harry Winters at si.com City Xtra. He attempts to divine Pep’s selections at the back for the game in North London.
Although the game is against his former club, given that Kyle Walker hasn’t featured in pre-season and Joao Cancelo has, one expects to see the Portuguese full-back start at right-back.
Similarly, Benjamin Mendy has been significantly involved in the Blues’ pre-season, and after a surprisingly stellar performance against Leicester City last weekend, the Frenchman can be expected to start at left-back.
Ruben Dias’ first Manchester City defeat came away to Spurs last season, and the Portuguese centre-back will be hoping for a different outcome when he starts on Sunday.
Nathan Aké was alongside Dias at the weekend, but we expect to see Aymeric Laporte start against Spurs, with the 27-year-old completing his self-isolation period.
Club captain Fernandinho can be expected to play against Spurs for the 15th time in his career this weekend, as the Brazilian prepares to start his ninth season with the Blues.
Saul gives us the preview, team news, and his match prediction. It’s a start we could all be happy with for sure.
Manchester City look to start the season on the right foot as they start the campaign as defending champions.
Spurs meanwhile will look to life under Nuno Espirito Santo and it will be interesting if Kane links away from the club will have an impact.
Which team will come out in front?
Pep Guardiola’s side have a couple players out in Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden.
Spurs will see Kane, Romero and Bryan in questionable status.
Manchester City 2-0 Spurs
Manchester City v Spurs: Preview, Team News and Prediction https://t.co/BIR3RBWYPd— Bitter and Blue (@BitterandBlue1) August 14, 2021
Clayton has the quotes from last year’s top goal scorer. Ilkay has his eyes trained on the team goals, rather than personal glory.
“If you have the feeling that you are going to get in a lot of goal scoring positions, obviously you need to work on your finishing and on doing the final thing for your team.
“I will not be unhappy if I just score three, four or five goals this season, but we go on to win the league again and we play great football.
“If that happens, I will be happy. I expect from myself to do the best possible things that I can do to make my team as great as possible.”
Gundogan is expecting a testing opening day away to Tottenham as the Premier League champions begin the defence of their crown.
Man City hopeful of securing £120m Kane deal next week and more transfer rumours - Ste McGovern - Manchester Evening News
Kane to MCFC is still the biggest transfer story going. Ste McGovern gives us the latest. In his piece from the Evening News, he recaps a story from The Telegram recounting the latest facts on the Kane saga.
The England captain is keen to leave Spurs, but his efforts to move to City are hamstrung by the fact he has three years remaining on his current deal.
That’s why Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is believed to be holding out for a British record transfer fee of £160 million, while City value the centre-forward at £120m, according to Jason Burt and James Ducker of The Telegraph.
They report that there has been “fresh dialogue” between the two clubs over a possible transfer, which has been complicated by their opening weekend meeting at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
City believe that once that fixture is out of the way then negotiations can get started and complete a deal next week if all goes well.
The Telegraph also report that City are waiting until the Kane situation is cleared up before a vote commences on their “leadership group” for the season, which last year comprised club captain Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker.
Finally, Emmanuel has his view on the newest Blue in Manchester. He gives us a look at how Pep sees his latest signing, and how Jack himself feels he can be utilized.
(Grealish’s) new manager knows exactly why he bought him.
“[He] controls the tempo,” said Guardiola. “I love when he has the ball he stops before the dribble and the opponent stops as well. He controls the tempo when he accelerates and decelerates.
“We believe that he will be perfect for us…and we’re delighted to have him with us.”
The player himself thinks he brings something different to the table.
“I’m different to every player in this squad,” Grealish said at his first press conference at City.
“Raheem and wingers can go in behind, Riyad is an out and out dribbler, Phil has a bit of everything.
“I feel I can bring a lot to the team and that’s what the manager has brought me here for. Whether I’m a winger or an 8, 10, false 9, I feel I can bring a lot.
The Biggest Thing Jack Grealish Brings to Manchester City https://t.co/cMheaEUPSV— Bitter and Blue (@BitterandBlue1) August 14, 2021
Come back tomorrow for all the match recaps and the latest from around the CITYsphere!