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Sky Blue News: Pep Presser, Erling Update, Fulham Preview, and More...

Matchday headlines from your friends at Bitter and Blue.

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Manchester City v Sevilla FC: Group G - UEFA Champions League Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Manchester City Men face Fulham today. The Women matcg up against Reading tomorrow. Sky Blue News has the latest to get you ready for both.

Pep Guardiola wants Man City to adapt tactics to stop Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News

Asked if having Haaland back in City training can help prepare his defenders for the challenge Mitrovic will pose them on Saturday, Guardiola said his squad have had no time to prepare following Wednesday’s Champions League win over Sevilla.

And he added that Mitrovic’s aerial ability is so impressive, that City will have to concentrate on recovering his knock-downs rather than battling for the ball in the air with the Serbian.

Guardiola said: “We don’t have time, we played two days ago, recovery yesterday, we’re tired. Some players who didn’t play will play tomorrow. The players know, they have played them in the past. Long balls to Mitrovic there’s a big guarantee we’ll lose the ball. Prepare for the second one.

Pep Talk: “Not surprised at all, see what they did in Championship and transfer market, manager is exceptional...” - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

Let’s get straight in to it.

On Haaland

“He’s much better, we’ll decide today. A good step, he starts training. We see this afternoon. We consider himself, his opinion, the doctor opinion, 90 mins or less minutes, we’ll see.”

On Pique

“Is a surprising news, he was here in England a young age. After make an incredible career in Barcelona. I wish him personally all the best for him and his family. I know, his mum and dad, incredible human being, huge personality...”

“A player for the big games, never miss once or behave or performance not in the highest level. All the big clubs need these players.”

On Fulham

“Not surprised at all, see what they did in Championship and transfer market, manager is exceptional...”

“They have a good process in behind. Under pressure can use long balls to Mitrovic, or second balls for them. A top, good team, no surprise. Drew against Liverpool and continued that way.”

Haaland ‘much better’ but faces late assessment ahead of Fulham clash - Yahoo! Sport

The Norwegian has scored 17 goals in his first 11 Premier League appearances, and while Guardiola is keen to see him return, City will wait before making a final decision on his involvement.

“He’s much better. We will decide today,” Guardiola said on Friday. “It’s a good step, he starts to train, and we have training this afternoon and we will see.

“It all depends on himself, his opinion and the doctors’ opinion. It could be 90 minutes or less, we will see after training.”

City will be boosted by the presence of another former Borussia Dortmund player next time out, with Manuel Akanji fit to feature after limping out of last week’s win at the King Power Stadium.

Erling Haaland has made a ‘good step’ ahead of Man City vs Fulham, claims Pep Guardiola - Michael Plant - Manchester World

Pep Guardiola has said Erling Haaland has taken a ‘good step’ in his recovery from injury by returning to training on Thursday.

The Manchester City striker has missed the last two games with a knock but was filmed taking part in a session ahead of this weekend’s Premier League clash with Fulham, and could be in line for a return to the team.

Asked about Haaland’s availability in his pre-match press conference, Guardiola said he is still not sure if the Norwegian will be back for the weekend game and a decision will be made after Friday’s training session.

Manchester City v Fulham - The Opposition - Manc Pete - Bitter and Blue

Despite losing four of the first 13 matches, Fulham have won five and drawn four, which has sent them 7th in the table. For perspective, that’s a place in the Europa Conference League for next season, not a bad incentive for the new boys.

Fulham are currently unbeaten in four matches, having won and drawn two. Their last outing saw them held 0-0 at home to Everton after they beat Leeds 3-2 at Elland Road and Aston Villa 3-0 at Craven Cottage. Their other point in October was a 2-2 home draw with fellow newcomers Bournemouth.

Prior to those matches, Fulham lost 3-1 at West Ham and 4-1 at home to Newcastle. From the so called ‘top six,’ Fulham have lost at Arsenal and Spurs (both 2-1) and drawn 2-2 at home with Liverpool on the opening day.

The Cottagers are quite prolific in front of goal. They are the sixth top scorers in the Premier League with 22 and have scored more than their fellow promoted sides put together. Defensively, Fulham have problems. They have conceded 22 and are the only team in the Premier League to have zero goal difference and have the third joint worst defence in the league. Only relegation zone clubs Leicester (25) Nottingham Forest and mid-table Bournemouth (28) Bournemouth have worse defences, while Brentford have conceded the same amount.

Everything you need to know, Predicted XI – Manchester City vs Fulham Preview - Oli Coulson - City Report

Whilst a start for Rico Lewis after his brilliant full debut for the club in midweek would be deserved, it’s unlikely. Stones at right-back and Cancelo on the left will likely continue. I can see Akanji getting minutes though, whether at right-back or centre-half. Keeping him in contention and up to speed is imperative this season.

Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri and Bernardo all started on the bench in midweek, so expect a return for City’s first-choice midfield in this game. Despite Riyad Mahrez’s better performance against Sevilla – topped off with a goal – I’d expect Phil Foden, who played in midfield midweek, and Jack Grealish, who came off at half-time, to flank the striker.


Taylor revealed that Kennedy would link up with her Australia team-mates in the upcoming international break, but wouldn’t be available for selection.

However, he did admit that the defender would be close to a return once the WSL season commenced.

It was a similar story when asked about Mace’s condition, with the boss hoping the youngster will be back in the fold after another period of training during the upcoming break.

Taylor said of the squad’s shape: “Pretty good. Ruby Mace is getting that little bit closer. Alanna as well, but they won’t be considered.

“Alanna had a good check-in with the surgeon who is happy with everything that’s going on with her shoulder.

“She will join up with the Matildas in the next camp, not to partake in any games but it will be good for her to be around that environment.

There you are. Stay with us throughout the day for all the latest form City v Fulham, and follow @BitterandBlue1 on Twitter for the latest reactions. Come on City!!!