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Sky Blue News: Alvarez Tallies, Pep on the Move?, Harwood-Bellis Speaks, and More...

Thursday headlines to get you ready for the Manchester derby at BnB

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Jamaica v Argentina Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Manchester City are gathering back at the Etihad and getting ready to take on the Red Devils on Sunday. Here are all the latest headlines to get you up to speed right here at BNB.


La Arana gets Argentina off to a fast start against the Reggae Boys.

After coming from the bench at half-time in their previous success against Honduras last week, the 22-year-old was handed a starting place by Lionel Scaloni at Red Bull Arena, USA.

And it took him only 13 minutes to score his second goal for La Albiceleste when he expertly tapped home Lisandro Martinez’s cut back from six yards out, after the Inter Milan man weaved his way to the touchline.

The opener was exactly what Alvarez’s side deserved after an energetic and fast-paced start to the match.

Former City defender Nicolas Otamendi was in the thick of the action within the first five minutes, when his teasing header from a cross found Giovanni Lo Celso, who failed to control the looping ball when inside the box.

Julian Alvarez Continues to Prove he will be a Superstar - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

Saul is officially a Julian believer. I’m with you buddy.

A good one in which it took him only 13 minutes to score his second goal for La Albiceleste when he finished home a great play by Lisandro Martinez’s cut back from six yards out.

The opener was exactly what Alvarez’s side deserved after a strong and rapid start to the match.

They would go on to easily win the game and now, along with Brazil, his Argentina side are the favourites for the World Cup. Hopefully, his form at City can sparkle alongside his international career.

Can Man City convince Pep Guardiola to renew his contract or will the coach move on? - Rob Dawson - ESPN

City Football Group wouldn’t really let him walk would they?

Guardiola, 51, is out of contract in the summer and, without fresh terms being agreed, he could leave the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season. City have made no secret of their desire to keep hold of Guardiola, winner of four Premier League titles and five other major trophies since he arrived in 2016, but asked in August about whether this could be his last year at the club, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss was typically vague.

“I wouldn’t change my life here one second,” he said. “It’s seven seasons already. We spoke with the club. Middle of the season, end of the season, we will talk again about how we feel and decide what’s best for the club.”

“I said many times that, if they want it, I’d like to stay longer, but at the same time I have to be sure.”

Manchester City chiefs ‘admire’ Bundesliga manager as Pep Guardiola future update emerges - Freddie Pye - City Xtra

Preparation is the key to success. City are always scouting for the next.

According to Rob Dawson, Manchester City are ‘admirers’ of Julian Nagelsmann’s work with Bayern Munich.

Furthermore, Patrick Vieira - who already has ties to the City Football Group through his work with New York City and the Manchester City academy - has ‘impressed’ at Crystal Palace.

One name that could perhaps spring up in the next few months and years is former Manchester City captain, Vincent Kompany - who has started life at Burnley in very promising fashion.

‘Difficult’- Taylor Harwood-Bellis Comments On Manchester City’s Manuel Akanji Signing - Jake Mahon - City Transfer Room

Young THB honestly has the right attitude to fight for a place at the Etihad in the future.

Speaking about his first-team ambitions and future prospects, the young centre-back told The Times: “I just focus on doing my job at Burnley. I can only do so much from my part, I will keep putting in performances and doing my best. Whatever happens, happens.

“If I break into (first-team at) City, then I have achieved my goals but if not I go down another route.”

While the youngster does seem fairly relaxed about his future, he did admit that he was concerned to see his parent club sign another centre-back. ”Obviously it is difficult seeing them sign another centre-half but if you see the quality of the centre-half they have signed it is a difficult one,” he said.

Taylor Harwood-Bellis admits it was ‘difficult’ seeing Man City sign Manuel Akanji - Matthew Hobkinson - Manchester Evening News

Stay the course Taylor, and you may yet get your chance.

Manchester City youngster Taylor Harwood-Bellis has admitted it was “difficult’ to see Manuel Akanji sign for the club.

Pep Guardiola signed Akanji from Borussia Dortmund for £15million this summer and the 27-year-old has hardly put a foot wrong since his arrival at the Etihad. City will of course have been concerned to see John Stones come off injured before half-time during England’s 3-3 draw with Germany on Monday night, yet at the same time, they will be feeling a sense of vindication over their transfer planning.

Their new centre-back Akanji has played a full 90 minutes for all three games that he has been available for, conceding just one goal in the process. Stones’ latest injury means that Akanji looks set to be called upon once again, this time for the Manchester derby, with Guardiola hoping the Swiss defender can keep Erik ten Hag’s side at bay.

Kevin De Bruyne’s change of role since Erling Haaland came to Man City shows why he is so important for Pep Guardiola - Adam Bate - Sky Sports

And finally... KDB may finally be fully unlocked in the Pep system with the addition of Haaland.

The Belgium international can still score. He showed that with a sweetly-struck shot from the edge of the box for his country during this international break. But the midfield playmaker has embraced a new role within the team since Haaland’s arrival.

“Kevin scored a lot of goals last season,” said Guardiola after the 3-0 win over Wolves in which Haaland was among the scorers for the seventh consecutive match. “But this year he is more about assists than goals.” There were two of them for De Bruyne at Molineux.

It was the perfect fixture in which to illustrate the shift. The stadium had been the scene of a four-goal masterclass from De Bruyne in May. Remarkably, he has been involved in more goals at Molineux in 2022 than any other player - including those in a Wolves shirt.

There it is Cityzens. Three more days until the derby. Stay with us here at Bitter and Blue.