Manchester City are in the thick of their holiday fixtures. Next up for Pep Guardiola’s men is a trip to Yorkshire to face Leeds United. Sky Blue News has all the headlines as we ready for a mid-week match in the Premier League.
Erling Haaland and two Man City teammates named in world’s most valuable XI - Alex Brotherton - Manchester Evening News
Haaland and Mbappe lead the attacking line in the most valuable XI, and they are supported in midfield by Foden. The 22-year-old England star - who signed a new long-term contract with City back in October - has a value of €110m, the same as England teammate and potential City transfer target Jude Bellingham.
Joining Haaland and Foden is Dias, who helped Portugal reach the quarter-final stage of the competition. Dias - who City signed from Benfica in a deal worth around £65m in 2020 - is valued at €75m, making him the most valuable defender in the world alongside exciting Croatia and RB Leipzig talent Josko Gvardiol.
City are the only club to have two representatives in the XI, with Real Madrid having two in the shape of Thibaut Courtois (€60m) and Vinicius Junior (€120m).
The Transfermarkt market values are calculated taking into account various pricing models. A major factor is the Transfermarkt community, whose members discuss and evaluate player market values in detail. In general, the Transfermarkt market values are not to be equated with transfer fees.
MONDAY MARKER: YOUR GUIDE TO CITY’S WEEK AHEAD - ManCIty.com
All the dates, times, kick-offs, venues and TV channel information you need for Manchester City’s week ahead.
Leeds United v City | Premier League | 20:00 (UK)
With the Barclays Women’s Super League, Premier League 2 and Under-18 Premier League North campaigns all in the midst of a winter break, Pep Guardiola’s men take centre stage with two fixtures in the space of three days.
The first of those encounters sees City travel to Elland Road to lock horns with Leeds United in the Premier League.
✍️— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 26, 2022
We return to @premierleague action with two festive fixtures!
Your guide to our week ahead
Manchester City’s Ruben Dias ‘ruled out for up to a month’ - Declan Carr - Sports Mole
The 25-year-old sustained the injury in the last-16 victory over Switzerland, but played through the pain barrier in the quarter-final against Morocco, when the Selecao were ultimately eliminated after a 1-0 defeat.
The Daily Mail reports that the defender will miss at least the next five games for Pep Guardiola’s side, meaning that he will miss the double-header against Chelsea in the league and FA Cup and faces a race against time to be fit for the Manchester derby against arch-rivals Manchester United on January 14.
Other matches that he is expected to miss include Premier League clashes with Leeds United, Everton and the EFL Cup quarter-final against Southampton.
The report states that Dias is desperate to prove his fitness for the clash with United at Old Trafford and that the club’s defence crisis has been eased by the return of Kyle Walker, meaning that centre-backs do not have to act as makeshift right-backs.
Kevin De Bruyne predicts Manchester City teammate Erling Haaland could exceed 800 goals across his career - Freddie Pye - City Xtra
A dramatic 3-2 win over league rivals Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium was started off via another sublime combination between Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland, as the Belgian whipped a delightful cross in from the left, allowing the Norwegian forward to slam the ball home via his studs.
Such is their borderline telepathic link that many believe Haaland could go on to destroy goalscoring records in English football before his time with Manchester City comes to a close, and this certainly a view shared by De Bruyne.
Speaking after the midweek win over Jurgen Klopp’s side, Kevin De Bruyne admitted that he could see Haaland exceeding 800 goals scored across the course of his professional career.
Kevin De Bruyne: "@ErlingHaaland is so obsessed with goals he can maybe go beyond that [300/400 goals]. He already has about 200 goals, so he can probably go to 600, 700 or 800 if he stays fit and does the things that he does..." [via @_joebray]— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) December 25, 2022
The five players you probably forgot are still at Man City - Daniel Murphy - Manchester Evening News
With their state-of-the-art academy and vast scouting network, no other club is set up to harvest as many players as City. It’s impossible to keep track of all the promising footballers that have been signed, with the majority never even meeting Pep Guardiola, so it’s easy to forget about some of them.
Here are five City players you may have forgotten are still contracted to the club.
Goalkeeper Zack Steffen took over Claudio Bravo in serving as Ederson’s understudy in 2020 after returning from a season-long loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf. Though he only managed to get two Premier League and two Champions League appearances, he was regularly played in cup competitions and applied himself well even if lacking his Brazilian colleague’s ability on the ball.
That would go on to cost him last season, as he allowed himself to be tackled by Sadio Mane in the FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool, leading to the Blues’ exit from the competition. Steffen joined Middlesbrough on loan in the summer in order to get regular playing time ahead of the World Cup but then wasn’t selected for the United States squad in Qatar.
City announced the signing of highly-rated full-back Couto back in 2020 off the back of the teenager’s impressive performances in Brazil Under-17s’ World Cup triumph a few months prior. Couto has gotten closer to the first team than most youngsters who get absorbed into the City Football Group, as he was named on the bench for last year’s Community Shield defeat to Leicester.
But, now 20, he is into his third season out on loan as he gains first-team experience. He first went to Girona, spent last season at Braga but is now back at Girona again where he actually faced his parent club recently in a friendly.
Vincent Kompany names the player he would prefer to play with between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi - Apratim Banerjee - Sportskeeda
Manchester City legend and former Belgium captain Vincent Kompany has now shared his take on the same. The retired central defender has claimed that it is more difficult to play against the Argentine than the Portuguese. However, he did say that he would have liked to play with the latter.
Here’s what he said on Sky Sports:
“The hardest one to play against would be Messi but I would have preferred to play with Ronaldo.”
Ronaldo and Messi’s FIFA World Cup campaigns couldn’t have been more different. The Argentina captain scored seven goals and provided three assists during the tournament in Qatar. He scored twice in the final against France as La Albiceleste were crowned world champions after a 36-year-long drought.
The Portuguese, meanwhile, scored only once in the World Cup - a penalty against Ghana on the opening matchday. His form faded as the competition progressed. The 37-year-old was even benched in Portugal’s knockout games.
Despite Lionel Messi's triumph with Argentina in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the debate between him and Cristiano Ronaldo hasn't slowed down a bit. https://t.co/KMZIAnjn95— Sportskeeda Football (@skworldfootball) December 26, 2022
And finally... Something that really matters at Christmas time.
Man City and Man Utd stars surprise terminally ill fan whose dream was to meet them - Graham Falk - Manchester World
Chloe Kelly created one of the most iconic moments of 2022 when she scored the winning goal for the Lionesses in the European Championships at Wembley - and now she is ensuring brave Manchester University graduate Laura Nuttall gets the Christmas wish she deserves.
Laura, who is 22, is terminally ill with a brain tumour known as glioblastoma though recently fought all odds this year by graduating from Manchester University with a 2:1 degree in PPE, despite doctors advice that she shouldn’t return to university after her diagnosis. Now Laura is making people aware of her brave and courageous story by filming a special episode of ‘Minutes With’, a series produced by LADbible, which is available to watch here. One of the items on Laura’s bucket list was to meet the England women’s football team. So, during the interview, Laura was surprised by England’s legendary Lionesses Mary Earps and Chloe Kelly - leaving her virtually speechless.
There it is. Stay with Bitter and Blue as we are just one short day away from Man City’s return to the Premier League.