clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sky Blue News: Pep Presser, Ake Content, Akanji Comp, and More...

Morning headlines from BnB to get you set for this UCL Night.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

FBL-EUR-C1-MAN CITY-PRESSER Photo by LISELOTTE SABROE/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

Manchester City are in Denmark to face FC Copenhagen in the UEFA Champions League. Catch up on all the headlines from Sky Blue News to get you ready for the match.

Pep Talk: “We will speak with the physios and then decide...” - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

Pep is mindful of load management for his side.

Manchester City prepare the return match vs Copenhagen as the club look to secure passage to the next round. Pep had some talk of injuries, rotations, Foden and much more.

Let’s get right in to it-

On rotations

“We will speak with the physios and then decide...”

“We have to speak with the players. It’s true there is a risk for fatigue. It must involve everyone...”

On Foden: “Really, really good. No complaints.”


The matches have been less stressful of late, and the boss like that for his players.

City are in the midst of a run of five games in 14 days, with our next assignment coming on Tuesday away at FC Copenhagen in the UEFA Champions League, followed by Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

Guardiola has heavily rotated in recent matches, with City’s dominance in games also allowing him to make substitutions early and keep all players involved.

And he says that’s just the way he likes it.

“Yes it is true, the last 25, 30 minutes when games are tight, that is when fatigue and risk for injuries rise,” he said.

“Lately we were lucky to score goals in the first half. Not to rest players or avoid fatigue, but because it’s good to play everyone and when we need them they will be ready.

“I’m very happy that I stayed...” – Nathan Ake and Pep Guardiola pre Copenhagen Press Conference - Nabeel - City Report

Nathan is comfortable with his place in the team.

Nathan Ake and Pep Guardiola faced the media ahead of Manchester City’s clash away at FC Copenhagen, with the Blues having the chance to secure a round-of-16 position with a win against the Danish champions six days after they were put away for five.

First up, Nathan Ake.

Ake on the start of his season and competition:

“I am happy. I played a few games and then got a setback, but thankfully it wasn’t too bad. I feel I’m progressing well and hopefully, I’ll continue like this. I was not worried about competition [when Manuel Akanji was signed]. These are great guys and we have to do what is best for the team.”

On rotation:

“My first season was not great with injuries but in the second season, you get used to it. The manager uses all the players in the squad. There are so many games nowadays [to maintain rhythm despite rotation] and training.”

Nathan Aké reveals how close he came to leaving Manchester City last summer - Harry Siddall - City Xtra

We too are happy that Ake stayed at the Etihad.

His imperious displays against Manchester United and Southampton have been notable highlights of an encouraging start to the season.

Speaking in a pre-Champions League press conference earlier today, Aké has shone some light on the situation last summer and just how close he came to leaving the club.

“In the end I’m happy to be here,” he began.

“Sometimes these things happen [transfer links and rumours] and in the end I’m very happy that I stayed.”

The task to stay in City’s defence is perhaps harder than ever this season.

The addition of Manuel Akanji has strengthened an already elite looking defence and made competition for places that little bit more fierce.

‘Good words’ - the role Erling Haaland played in Man City’s bargain summer transfer - Jason Jones - Manchester World

Haaland got his first City assist before the season even started. A tap-in to be sure.

Akanji told the media: “Erling texted me. Then my agents talked with the club. Erling said that they had asked him about me. I think they had already made their plans but just wanted some more information so asked Erling. I don’t know what he said – hopefully just good words!”

Guardiola himself has also spoken of how fortunate he believes City were to bring in a player of Akanji’s quality, especially given the defender’s adaptability and tactical intelligence.

Speaking recently, he said: “I said for this season we need a striker and a central defender. We were lucky to get him. He’s a person who is at home with the family, studying mathematics and this kind of thing.

Manuel Akanji Earns Comparison to Manchester City Legend - Emmanuel Odey - Bitter and Blue

Lofty praise for our new Swiss defender. Here’s hoping he can live up to the comparison.

After another spotless performance to help the team down Southampton 4-0, many City fans now agree that the former Borussia Dortmund defender has been an amazing addition to the City team.

Currently missing John Stones and Kyle Walker in defence due to injuries, City would have been sweating over their fitness if Akanji was not available to fill the void. But the England pair have hardly been missed as the new signing has eased his way into the team.

Responding to comparisons being drawn between him and City legend Vincent Kompany, the 27-year-old expressed appreciation for the gesture, but insisted that he is not trying to copy the club’s former captain. He is only trying to do his best to help the team win.

“Of course that is nice,” he said. “Vincent was the best defender in the Premier League and being compared to him is a big honour. But I do my own thing, I;m not trying to copy Vincent Kompany. I’m trying to do my thing,” Akanji said in a recent interview.

Copenhagen vow to devise plan to stop ‘killer’ Erling Haaland in Man City rematch - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News

And finally... in my best Morgan Freeman voice: “Good luck”

Speaking after the 5-0 defeat last Wednesday, Claesson told reporters: “We know it was a bonus to get any points from this game. I hope we can learn from it and make it better in the next game on Tuesday. We were not there and they are the best team in the world – the best by far I have met.

“They play simple but with no mistakes. Then they have a striker in the box – whenever it comes there he just scores. It’s not like you have to stop him in open play, he is not there so much, but when the ball comes into the box he is a killer there. He just scores all the time.

“For me they are the favourites [for the Champions League]. They have been for the last couple of years but haven’t succeeded in the final part. But it is the best team I have met by far. Now they have a real striker as well. Before they had good players, with the touches, no mistakes, simple play but now they also have the killer in the box.”

There you have it Cityzens. Stay with us here at Bitter and Blue for all the latest throughout the day, and you can follow along during the match on Twitter @BitterandBlue1. Come on City!!!