Manchester City have another busy week. This time it’s 2 matches in 4 days. The good news is that they are both against the same opponent, so preparation should be easier. Sky Blue News is back to get you caught up for City’s pair of tilts against Chelsea FC.
Despite only joining the Club in the summer, our Norwegian striker has made a phenomenal impact in England with 21 Premier League goals already - the second most of anyone over the entire 12 months.
His double at Leeds in December took him to 20 Premier League goals - the quickest player in history to reach the milestone – hitting the target from just 14 appearances, seven matches sooner than the previous record set by Kevin Phillips.
Haaland was also the quickest player to three Premier League hat-tricks, just eight matches in to his City career, reaching the landmark 40 games ahead of previous record holder Michael Owen.
The litmus test was the Leeds game as he played pretty darn well. The only knock and it does have merit, is his missed chances. He was active, connected well and could have had more assists than the one he ended with.
A fantastic game, it’s why he started vs Everton. Was that the wrong profile for that match, perhaps, but Pep Guardiola had to reward his great game midweek.
City still have a bevy of chances and direct matches with Arsenal for the title race and Jack will be a key part of it, so let’s try and enjoy the chaos.
Manchester City: The Jack Grealish Conundrum https://t.co/cILlvnnTT0— Bitter and Blue (@BitterandBlue1) January 3, 2023
Is it too early to say that word beginning with a Q?
The Carabao Cup and FA Cup feature this month with an away tie down south at Southampton and a home game against Chelsea in the respective competitions.
City will continue their Premier League quest to retain their trophy as they face a tough away trip to Chelsea next, before facing the rearranged Tottenham fixture, Manchester United and Wolves to round off the month. That is not forgetting a potential fourth-round tie providing they get the win on 8 January.
Chelsea (a) 5 January
Chelsea (h) 8 Jan
Southampton (a) 11 Jan
Manchester United (a) 14 Jan
Tottenham Hotspur (h) 19 Jan
Wolves (a) 22 Jan
FA Cup Fourth Round? 28 Jan
So, who is going to be the most difficult fixture?
The disappointing draw at home to relegation-threatened, Everton, on New Year’s Eve will heap the pressure to bounce back immediately and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge will provide that opportunity. A difficult fixture, however Chelsea is not firing on all fronts and you are never quite sure what side turns up.
Manchester City plot contract talks with Rico Lewis following first-team breakthrough - Freddie Pye - City Xtra
Joao Cancelo and Kyle Walker have both been restricted to places among Manchester City’s substitutes on matchdays as a result of Rico Lewis’ fine form, with Pep Guardiola entrusting the teenager against the likes of Liverpool and away at Elland Road against Leeds United.
Now, as a result of his solidified place in the Premier League champions’ first-team squad, officials at the Etihad Stadium are reportedly planning to reward Rico Lewis through improved contractual terms.
This is according to the information of Jack Gaughan, who reports that despite Lewis having more than four years remaining on his current deal with Manchester City, the club are keen to renegotiate terms ‘over the coming weeks’.
While it is highlighted that talks are yet to begin with the relevant parties, The Mail report that Rico Lewis can be expected to earn a ‘significant uplift’ on wages of around £5,000 a week.
Discussions over the versatile full-back’s future are expected to go ‘smoothly’, according to Gaughan, with Manchester City holding a ‘strong relationship’ with the player’s agency, who also represent Kyle Walker and fellow academy graduate Cole Palmer.
Rico Lewis can be expected to garner even more game time across the course of the coming weeks, despite the expected improved fitness and consistent challenge of both Joao Cancelo and Kyle Walker for positions in Pep Guardiola’s starting line-ups.
#ManCity are planning to reward Rico Lewis with a new contract after breaking into Pep Guardiola's first team. The 18 year-old still has more than four years to run on his current contract but @ManCity are keen to renegotiate terms over the coming weeks.— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) January 3, 2023
Man City can turn Bernardo Silva comments into January transfer advantage - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News
After asking to leave Manchester City last summer, Bernardo indicated that he is open to a ‘new project’ elsewhere before he gets too old, adding that he still dreams of returning to Benfica, preferably before he turns 32.
But Bernardo has two more years on his City contract, and by his own admission would command too high a fee for Benfica - or many other potential buyers - to afford. “It depends on what happens next summer,” he summarised.
Those comments, where Bernardo goes into detail about being 29 in the summer and preferring to start a new chapter of his career before his City deal expires, won’t come as much of a surprise.
He said: “I won’t hide that my goal in the coming years, if something good happens elsewhere, will probably be to move to a new project.
City’s attacking midfielder has been in magnificent form all season for Gareth Taylor’s side and is also up for December’s WSL Player of the Month award too.
And she again illustrated her quality with a sublime strike in our 3-1 win over the Seagulls at the Academy Stadium at the start of December.
After a run by Julie Blakstad was cut short by the Brighton defence, the ball ricocheted into the path of Coombs.
Presented with a clear sight of goal, the midfielder made no mistake, rifling into the top corner from the edge of the box for a magnificent goal.
Laura Coombs' strike vs Brighton has been nominated for the @BarclaysWSL's Goal of the Month award!— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 3, 2023
And finally... Bernie spills the tea about the benching of Ronnie.
Man City ace Silva shares what Portugal stars really thought about Cristiano Ronaldo axing - Tom Parsons - Express
Ronaldo is the highest scorer in international football, having bagged an incredible 118 goals in 196 appearances for Portugal. And he became the first player to score in five World Cups when he found the back of the net in his country’s opening victory against Ghana.
The former Manchester United striker helped Portugal secure a showdown with Switzerland in the last 16 after finishing top of their group. But he was surprisingly omitted from the starting line-up as his team ran out 6-1 winners.
“We only found out about the team in the locker room when we arrived at the stadium two hours before the game,” Silva said. “There are 26 players, too many for the coach to choose for each specific game. It never shocks me that he decides to go with one or the other. Right or wrong in the opinion of each one, the coach has the right to make the decisions he make.”
Man City ace Silva shares what Portugal stars really thought about Cristiano Ronaldo axing https://t.co/WRCNx5Wk9f— Express Sport (@DExpress_Sport) January 3, 2023
There you have it. Come back tomorrow for more from Sky Blue News, and stay with Bitter and Blue for all the build up to City’s away trip to Stamford Bridge.