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Sky Blue News: KDB to Miss, New Kits, Julian Spurned, and More...

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Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Manchester City are gearing up for a visit from Tottenham Hotspur. Sky Blue News is here to bring you all the latest news to get you ready,

Simon Hooper appointed as referee for Manchester City vs Tottenham - Tom Cayless - City Report

Hooper has refereed the Blues just once this season so far. The encounter came when City travelled to face Aston Villa in September. The game ended 1-1, with Erling Haaland and Leon Bailey scoring. However, the hosts were denied a winner when Hooper blew his whistle before Philippe Coutinho struck in a great effort; the City defenders had stopped by this point.

Other fixtures involving City include a 3-1 win at Vicarage Road against Watford in late 2021, a 1-1 draw at Southampton to end a 12-game win streak in January 2022, and a 2-0 Carabao Cup third-round victory over Chelsea this season.

As for cards, the 40-year-old has dished out 44 yellow cards this season, including a staggering eight in a match involving Newcastle and Leeds – he has not awarded a yellow card in only one of his games this season. Nevertheless, Hooper is yet to give anyone their marching orders.

Kevin De Bruyne absent from Man City training ahead of Tottenham Hotspur fixture - Dan Brown - Manchester Evening News

The Belgian midfielder played the full 90 minutes as Pep Guardiola’s side lost to Manchester United in the derby on Saturday afternoon, so it remains unclear why the 31-year-old was missing from training on Tuesday.

The midfielder has made a strong start to the season and has registered three goals and 16 assists in 25 appearances in all competitions this term. He has not missed any games through injury this campaign, but has been rested on a few occasions.

While De Bruyne was absent from training ahead of the Spurs clash, centre-back Ruben Dias was back in action after missing the past few games with a thigh injury. The Portugal defender has made 19 appearances for Guardiola’s side so far this season, starting on 15 occasions.


Just as in our third-round game against Blackburn last month, there were icy temperatures and a snowy backdrop to the build-up at the Academy Stadium.

Fortunately, the snow had abated by kick-off and City were straight into our trademark possession-based game, dominating territory as we looked to stretch the Brighton backline.

And City’s early domination paid immediate dividends as we took a fine 14th minute lead through striker Will Dickson.

Left winger Joel Ndala was the architect, breaking free down the left flank as he latched onto Nico O’Reilly’s smart pass.

The winger then whipped in an inviting low ball and Dickson showed his predatory instincts, smartly applying a first time finish from eight yards out.

Leaked: First images of Manchester City’s 2023/24 Home, Away, and Third Kits - Freddie Pye - City Xtra

This season, Manchester City’s kit manufacturers Puma went down the retro route with two of their three editions, providing supporters with plenty to be excited about upon the officials release of the home and away kits.

City’s home edition featured a centralised badge paired with maroon details in a reference to the club’s former glory days and specifically the late Colin Bell – one of many true Maine Road legends celebrated by the football club.

As for the away kit, following many years of calls from supporters to both Nike and Puma, the latter finally opted to provide fans with a modern day twist on the popular black and red stripe combination, last used in the 2011/12 Premier League title-winning campaign.

However, in typical Puma style, the third kit was more of a bold design choice as a bright lime green, or yellow to some, was paired with black.

Ahead of the fast-approaching 2023/24 campaign, the first leaked images of Manchester City’s supposed home, away, and third kits have now emerged on social media, offering fans an early look into what they could have the offer of purchasing when the new season comes around.

Man City: Ferland Mendy could replace Sergio Gomez - Jimmy Moorehouse - Football Fancast

Since making the move to the Spanish giants in 2019, the France international has gone on to make 126 appearances for Madrid, contributing five goals and 10 assists, helping them to two La Liga titles and one Champions League title.

This season has seen the 27-year-old manage no goals and one assist in 13 league appearances for Carlo Ancelotti’s side, averaging a solid, if unspectacular, 6.65 rating from WhoScored for his performances.

However, the same website suggests that he excels at passing, dribbling and holding onto the ball, all of which make him a good fit for Guardiola’s possession-based style of play.

The Spanish manager brought in Sergio Gomez from Anderlecht in the summer and he has sadly proven to be a disappointing addition, making just five substitute appearances in the Premier League thus far.

He has also produced memorably poor displays against Copenhagen and Southampton in the Champions League and League Cup respectively, being sent off in the former and being hooked at half-time in the latter after gifting the Saints the opener from a shocking pass.

West Ham snubbed chance to sign World Cup winner Alvarez ahead of Man City - Chris Burton - Goal

WHAT HAPPENED? The Hammers were nudged in the Argentina international’s direction while he was still making a name for himself as a hot prospect at River Plate, but Moyes was not convinced that the hard-working frontman is what he required at the London Stadium. City eventually saw enough to convince them that Alvarez was worth taking a punt on and the 22-year-old, who completed a move to the reigning Premier League champions for just £14 million ($17m) in the summer of 2022, now has eight goals for the Blues to his name while also helping his country to global glory in Qatar.

WHAT THEY SAID: Moyes has told the Diary of a CEO podcast of the transfer regrets from across his distinguished coaching career: “I think it’s the ones I’ve missed, the ones where you say ‘Nah, I don’t think he’s quite good enough.’ I’ve had hundreds of them. Just recently, because we’ve been talking about it, Alvarez who has just played for Argentina in the World Cup. I brought in a new scout who says ‘Look, you should go for Alvarez at River Plate’.

“I watched him and I thought he was a very good technician and done so many good things as a centre-forward. But I thought [he’s] maybe not quite the one we want, we had Micky Antonio who had been doing very well and I thought I don’t know. You see sometimes the players change in six months but I have to say there are other players like that who you don’t take and don’t go on to be a real success. But that one at the moment is just one where probably because it was only a year ago where I decided ‘Nah, he’s not one I’m going to take’.”

And finally... A look back at a trip to Derry 31 years ago.

31 photographs of Derry City’s clash with Manchester City in January 1992 - Kevin Mullan - Derry Journal

On Thursday, January 23, player-manager Peter Reid brought his Manchester City side to the Brandywell for a mid-winter friendly clash.

The Candystripes were beaten 2-0 by a side who would go on to finish fifth in the last ever edition of the old Football League First Division – 12 points behind the English champions Leeds United F.C.

There you have it. Thanks for checking in, and stay with us for all the latest from Bitter and Blue.