Tag Archives: Sergio Aguero

Man City vs Liverpool Preview

Champions Liverpool travel to the Etihad on Sunday to take on Manchester City in a mouthwatering test of both sides’ title credentials.

Liverpool currently sit top of the table on sixteen points after last weekend’s hard fought 2-1 victory over West Ham. City meanwhile, are down in 10th with eleven points having played a game less than the Reds, but having already dropped points against Leeds,West Ham and Leicester.

A win for Liverpool against City would see them open up an eight point lead over their rivals and would secure their first win at the Etihad in a domestic game in five years.

Team News

Nat Phillips picked up the man of the match award for his performance on his Premier League debut against the Hammers, but the 23 year old is set to drop down to the bench as Klopp has the experienced Joel Matip available again after injury.

The Cameroon defender has been absent since picking up a knock in last month’s ill-tempered Merseyside derby, but Klopp confirmed in his press conference that Matip had returned to training this week and it is therefore likely he will partner Joe Gomez at centre back.

One man who is still working his way back to fitness after the Everton game is new signing Thiago. He sustained a knee injury in the 2-2 draw after Richarlison’s lunging tackle on him, and although he played the full 90 minutes the Spain international has sat out their past five games.

He was spotted at Melwood this week doing some individual training and Klopp has assured fans that the injury is not a serious one, but he will again be missing for the trip to Manchester, the manager told the media today.

Virgil Van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are longstanding absentees whilst Fabinho is also ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Liverpool warmed up for this weekend’s crunch trip in ideal fashion, thumping Atalanta 5-0 in Bergamo midweek in the Champions League with the man of the moment Diogo Jota netting a hat-trick.

He has now scored seven goals in just ten games in all competitions from Wolves and his performances have given Klopp a selection headache going into Sunday’s game.

On current form, the Portuguese international must start, especially when you consider he has more goals for Liverpool than Roberto Firmino has this year despite plying far less minutes.

The Brazilian has been a key cog in Jurgen Klopp’s front three for the past few seasons but his form at the end of last year and the start of this season has tailed off alarmingly.

He looks a shadow of his former self and given that Liverpool are likely to struggle at the back with the absence of Van Dijk, attack may be the best form of defence for the Reds and the inclusion of Jota adds to their attacking prowess alongside Salah and Mané who are still scoring goals.

Liverpool have responded well since their 7-2 drubbing at the hands of Aston Villa, winning their last five games in all competitions to bolster their quest to regain the Premier League title.

Sunday’s trip provides the sternest challenge yet, with Pep Guardiola’s men dispatching the Reds 4-0 on their last visit to Manchester after the restart. The Citizens are currently on an eight game unbeaten run in all competitions and have defeated Liverpool at the Etihad in each of the last three seasons. They will be hoping to make it four to kickstart their title charge this campaign.

City will be without striker Sergio Agüero for Sunday’s game. The Argentine has been nursing a hamstring issue since the draw with West Ham and has missed last three games. There was hope that he could feature from the bench against the Reds, but the game has come too soon and Guardiola confirmed in his press conference that he will be missing. His full return is expected after the international break.

They are still unable to call upon Fernandinho, who was forced off against Porto in the Champions League opener with a leg injury and Benjamin Mendy who is suffering from a muscle problem. Both players are eyeing up City’s game against Tottenham after the international break for their return.

City also enjoyed a comfortable Champions League win during the week, putting three past Olympiakos without reply. Gabriel Jesus marked his return to action with a goal whilst Phil Foden and Ferran Torres also impressed in that game.

Jesus should come in from the start against Liverpool to give City a focal point up top which they have lacked in his and Augero’s absence. Who he will replace is anyone’s guess given Guardiola’s constant rotation, the most likely candidate being Torres, allowing Sterling to move back out to the wing with Mahrez on the other side.

The City boss is also likely to revert to the back four who started last weekend’s victory over Sheffield United with Laporte, Dias and Cancelo coming in for Ake, Stones and Zinchenko who started midweek and Kyle Walker retaining his place.

Rodri will also be restored to the starting eleven alongside De Bruyne and Gundogan in midfield as the Citizens look to add some steel to thwart Liverpool’s devastating counter attacks. Foden is set to provide a spark from the bench if called upon alongside Bernardo Silva and the aforementioned Torres.

Key Battles

There are a number of intriguing match ups to watch out for in the game. Joao Cancelo up against Mo Salah will be one of them. The Egyptian has started the campaign like a house on fire, clinically scoring seven goals in seven games.

Cancelo, a right back by nature, has found his feet on the left side of Guardiola’s defence this season and has impressed going forward, but he will need to be switched on defensively to cope with Salah’s strength and direct running as well as Alexander-Arnold’s overlaps on the right flank.

Henderson against De Bruyne will see another battle between last year’s two outstanding players in the league. In the absence of Fabinho, captain Henderson has reverted to a deeper lying role and he will be tasked with picking up the Belgian De Bruyne and stop him from spraying passes out wide and from darting late into the box to get on the end of crosses.

Similarly De Bruyne will be keen to prevent Henderson having the time and space to launch Liverpool’s counter attacks when City are in transition.

Another key tussle will be Jesus up against Joe Gomez. The Brazilian starts City’s press from the front and will be alert to pounce on any little mistake from the England defender when attempting to play out from the back.

He’s also very comfortable taking players on one vs one and Gomez will have stand tall and marshal him in these scenarios, avoiding diving in as Jesus will take it past him punish him.

Gomez is one of the quickest centre backs in the league however, so will have no qualms about catching Jesus if he makes a run in behind.

Managers’ View

Guardiola is under no illusion of how difficult a game this will be considering City’s inconsistent start to the season, telling reporters, “ When you play against teams like Liverpool you always have moments where you have to suffer. We know it, we have to do it and try to use our strength as much a possible.”

He played down the notion that the game is season defining, however, comparing the fixture to the race for the Presidency in the USA, stating:

“It is an important game but, like the presidential elections in the USA, all the votes must be counted – there are a lot of points to play for.”

His opposite number Klopp echoed these sentiments, telling the media that Sunday’s game will be:

“The most difficult game in the world of football.

Klopp continued:

“It’s a very difficult game, hopefully for both teams. So many things are different this year, nothing can be compared with last year or the year before. I enjoy these kind of games, I enjoy the preparation, but it doesn’t make it easier, it’s just a really tough task.”

Prediction: Man City 1-2 Liverpool

Given the weaknesses in both back lines it is hard to see either side keeping a clean sheet. Chances are likely to be in abundance on Sunday as a result, and it should be the case of whoever is most clinical will take home all three points.

Liverpool have made a knack of scoring crucial goals and grinding out important wins even if they aren’t playing well, and it seems hard to overlook them edging this one if their front three have their shooting boots on.

City will cause them problems going the other way and Robertson and Alexander-Arnold will have to put in a shift defensively to prevent Sterling and Mahrez from wrecking havoc out wide.

It is sure to be a great game of football and you can watch all the action on Sky Sports with the game kicking off at 4:30 pm.

Pep Guardiola admits Gabriel Jesus dilemma ahead of trip to Everton

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confessed that he is struggling to keep Gabriel Jesus happy at the club.

The Brazilian centre-forward has this week revealed that he is growing increasingly “impatient” with a lack of game time.

Jesus, now 22, signed for the Manchester club in 2017 but still finds himself as second-choice to Sergio Aguero – City’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Despite Jesus starting two of Man City’s last three matches, and scoring in both, Aguero is set to lead the attack away at Everton on Saturday evening.

And Guardiola has admitted that he is finding it difficult to keep Jesus happy.

“He’s special,” said Guardolia. “Of course he wants to play. He’s the No.9 for Brazil. I understand completely.

“All the players want to play all the games. It’s normal. No player will be happy if they don’t play regularly.

“He’s happy when he plays, not happy when he doesn’t.

“They have different qualities. Sergio is one of the most outstanding players I’ve seen in the small spaces.

“But I try to let them both play as much as possible. There are little details that make the difference.

“In some games, Gabriel gives me something Sergio can’t – and also the other way around.

“But both guys are incredible. Sergio is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, a top player, a legend, incredibly humble and a funny guy.

“They’re upset if they don’t play, of course. How can they be happy? It’s impossible. All I can say is that I’m sorry.

“The same happened in the midfield, with Ilkay Gundogan, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne or Phil Foden. I have to choose. We have many games and everyone is necessary.”

City go into the match on the back of three straight wins, scoring 14 goals and conceding none.

Their opponents have struggled of late in the Premier League, winning just one of their previous four matches, and two of those losses coming against newly-promoted sides.

Despite a lack of form for the Toffees, Guardiola still expects a tough match against Marco Silva’s team.  

“They are an incredible team with a top manager,” said Guardiola. “Goodison Park is one of the toughest games you can play and we know it. We’ve prepared for that and the players know how difficult it is.”

Expected line-ups

Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Cancelo, Fernandinho, Otamendi, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Rodri, D Silva; B Silva, Aguero, Sterling.

Everton (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne; Delph, Schneiderlin; Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Iwobi; Calvert-Lewin.

MANCHESTER UNITED VS LIVERPOOL – STILL THE BIGGEST RIVALRY IN ENGLISH FOOTBALL ?

A rivalry between two of the brightest stars in the English football galaxy, separated by a mere 30 miles. A rivalry of the ideologies, economics, cultures and pretty much everything that separates the two cities. A rivalry where careers are made and destroyed. It is in fact more than a rivalry, ablood feud with high octane intensity.
Yes this is Manchester United vs Liverpool, where history is written by the day, only to be eclipsed by the night. On Sunday, United and Liverpool renew hostilities as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s red – hot team host Jurgen Klopp’s charges.

But is it still the biggest rivalry in English football ?

Liverpool dominated English football during the 1970s and 1980s , claiming the league title eleven times and the European cup on four occasions during that period. Manchester United , however, dominated the 1990s and 2000s ,winning the Premier league title record 13 times, two Champions leagues, including the prestigious treble in 1999.

When United won a record – breaking 19th league title, their legendary Manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous comment provides more perspective to this debate.


“My greatest challenge was is not what’s happening at the moment, my greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their f**king perch. And you can print that”

But with Liverpool still ahead in terms of European glory ,the fight for the much –glorified position atop the perch has never been moreintense.

This Rivalry has seen a lot form the players involved as well.
From Steven Gerrard  Kissing the camera, to former United Striker Wayne Rooney describing how he grew up abhorring the Reds, and Gary Neville’s passionate celebration in front of the Liverpool supporters , this Rivalry has seen it all in recent past.
But the most recent episode of this ferocious rivalry happened when former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was alleged to have racially abused ex- Man Utd defender Patrice Evra in the 2011-12 season. As a consequence, Suarez was banned foreight matches.
And following his return , Suarez had to play United at Old Trafford and the Uruguayan refused to shake Evra’s hand before the match. United won the match much to the delight of Evra and the fans, and as expected Evra celebrated infront of the supporters and made Suarez feel it.

Supporters and Hooliganism :


The two clubs might be the most supported in the world, but matches between them have seen several incidences of hooliganism.
An unidentified Liverpool fan spat at Man Utd legend Eric Cantona and threw a punch at former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson at the 1996 FA Cup final at Wembley as the Red devils walked to collect the trophy.
In 2016, in a second leg Europa league match at Old Trafford , there were crowd disturbances at the stadium – Liverpool supporters ripped seats and fought with United Fans.It was later reported that a Reds fan sneaked a Liverpool banner into the United section causing fury among United Fans.

As the next chapter of this Historical rivalry is about to be written on Sunday, what do we expect ? Goals? Red Cards? Stalemates ?
And is it still worthy to be mentioned as the biggest rivalry of English football ?

Combined Arsenal Man City XI

Man City prepare to play Arsenal for the second time in five days after their comfortable Carabao Cup final victory. This time the two face off in the Premier League, but who would make the cut in a combined XI?

GK Ederson- The influence Ederson has on this City side cannot be understated, one of the key differences between the City of last season, and this season is the presence of a world class goalkeeper. Ederson’s ability with the ball at his feet is his strongest attribute, but his all round goalkeeping cannot be underestimated. This can be seen by his miraculous save from a close range Lukaku effort in the Manchester derby earlier this season.

RB Kyle Walker- Guardiola moved quickly to ensure he replaced his ageing fullbacks with young, quick players, and in Kyle Walker they got one of the best around. Going forward he offers pace and solid delivery into the box, complimenting the wing play of Leroy Sane perfectly, who prefers to come inside, leaving the space for Walker to overlap. Defensively he is also solid, his pace managing to nullify most wingers.

CB Vincent Kompany- Despite his numerous injury troubles over the past  few seasons, the fact remains that when he’s fit, he’s the best defender in the country. Now enjoying an injury free run in the side, Kompany is back to his best, and at only 31 years of age, he still has a good number of years left to cemente his legacy as one of City’s greatest ever players.

CB Nicolas Otamendi- Otamendi is one of the most improved players in the Premier League. Often seen as a bit of a liability at the back before this season, Otamendi now looks like a completely new player. Calm and composed, compared to his previous erratic and unpredictable style of play, Otamendi is a player reborn under the tutelage of Pep.

LB Nacho Monreal- The first Arsenal player to make the team, Monreal is having his best season in England, despite the constant turmoil currently going on at the Emirates. Monreal is having the best goal scoring season of his career, with 5 goals in all competitions (the same amount as Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck). Not bad for a left back.

CM Fernandinho- Fernandinho has consistently preformed in City’s engine room for the past few seasons, and allows their more dangerous players to attack relentlessly. However, he is much more than a standard defensive midfielder, capable of scoring and assisting goals making him a very well rounded player, and perfect to play a similar role that Sergio Busquets played at Barcelona.

CM Jack Wilshere- Perhaps a controversial choice in the centre of the park, but when he’s on form, Wilshere is a brilliant player. Another player who has suffered with injuries over recent years, Wilshere finally looks to be injury free, and has been putting in impressive performances this season. With his contract situation still not resolved, Wilshere could move on this summer, and if he carries on playing like he currently is will not be short of offers.

RW Leroy Sane- Sane continues to impress during his second season in the Premier League, and despite not being the main man at the Etihad, his potential is frightening. 11 goals this season reflects a brilliant return for the wide man, but it is his all round wing wizardry that has captured the attention of fans across the country.

AM Kevin De Bruyne- Possibly the best player in the Premier League, De Bruyne is unbelievable to watch, and does not have a single weakness opposition teams can try to take advantage of. His consistency is unrivalled, and there is not a single team in the world that De Bruyne wouldn’t instantly improve. 11 goals and 19 assists highlight his ability, and you can guarantee there are plenty more goals and assists to come as he leads City’s treble hopes.

LW Raheem Sterling- Sterling has gone from a tricky winger who failed to deliver an end product on a regular basis, to one of the best and most consistent wingers in the Premier League. If you’d have said at the beginning of the season Sterling would have 20 goals by February, most fans and pundits would have laughed you out of the room, but that is exactly what has happened. The improvement is as clear as day, and even Sterling’s most harshest critics cannot deny that he is justifying that £50 million price tag.

ST Sergio Aguero- Not a lot can be said about Aguero that hasn’t already been said, put simply, he is one of the greatest goalscorers the Premier League has ever seen. Despite rumours that Pep wasn’t his biggest fan, Aguero has continued to bang in the goals, and is on course for his best ever season. Already City’s all time top scorer and one goal away from 200 strikes for the Citizens, it doesnt look like the goals will be drying up anytime soon.

The best striker in the Premier League

This is arguably one of the hardest questions in football. Strikers are the players who get the most attention, which hots up this debate. How do you judge strikers? Goals, types of goals, their play on or off the ball? Due to the greatness of this debate, there is no definitive answer. However, we can see who is right up there.

3. Sergio Aguero

The Argentinian forward has already put his name into Manchester City’s and the Premier League’s history. He did in his first season with the infamous goal against QPR. In all of his seasons in England bar one, he has scored approximately 30 goals per campaign. He is also one goal away currently from Eric Brook’s Manchester City all-time scorers record. Aguero is capable of carving open the best defences and striking past the best goalkeepers in the world. He has found magnificent partnerships with David Silva, Edin Dzeko and now Gabriel Jesus. Now approaching 30, it is clear to see that the longevity of Aguero and how consistent he is at scoring goals on a regular basis, as well as being part of a magnificent team, is the reason he has to be up there. Not just best strikers in the league right now, but ever, next to Shearer and Zola.

2. Harry Kane

Harry Kane is arguably the best English out and out striker the Premier League has had since Shearer. Kane burst onto the scene in 2013/14 as a young Spurs prospect and just hasn’t stopped scoring. Playing for the club he supported as a young boy, he has proven himself to be Spurs’ most vital player, making the number 10 shirt his own, as well as the England number nine shirt. Like Aguero, he has formed magnificent partnerships with Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli. He has consecutively won the previous two golden boots. Although he is yet to show the world what he can do on an international level at a major tournament, his fans in England certainly are aware, as do those who are seeing him in European competitions. . There are no games now where he is not expected to score, or assist, as he is an excellent team player, working so hard even getting down the flanks crossing it for teammates, as well as being there in the middle. In his relatively short time he has shown he is worthy of being called “world class” and nobody can argue with that.

  1. Romelu Lukaku

This Belgian man has it all. He has pace, he has vision and can squeeze into the tiniest gaps in defences, he has shot power, strength, everything. Although a “flop” at Chelsea, he has shown himself worthy for West Brom, Everton and now Manchester United, unlike the other two strikers who have only played for one club. Wherever Lukaku has gone, he’s succeeded and after putting himself into Everton folklore, he looks to have found his place at Old Trafford, scoring 15 in 12 so far this season in all competitions. He went to United to win trophies. Will he? How long will his scoring streak last? Also, the world is yet to see him partner up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Have we left anyone out? Who do you think should be up on the list. Costa while he’s still here? Morata? Lacazette? Let us know in the comments section