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Talking Points: So far, so good...

SILKY ILKAY: The German international notched his first goal for the Club as City went 4-0 up in the second half

SILKY ILKAY: The German international notched his first goal for the Club as City went 4-0 up in the second half

OK, so we were never going to win every game, even if it might have felt like that at one point.

Based on what we’ve seen so far and in reaction to Sunday’s loss to Spurs, here are five talking points to mull over with you friends and colleagues during the international break…

1 Spurs lesson

As Pep Guardiola said a fortnight ago, City would get beaten at some point because that’s just how football works.

Now he will want to see how his team responds to what have been two difficult away days at Celtic Park and White Hart Lane.

What seems obvious from those two games is that teams feel they can get at the Blues with high pressing tactics and pressure on the back four and keeper when the ball is played from the back.

This must be an issue Pep has encountered in Spain and Germany and as the players become more used to the system, the better they will get.

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2 Good time to take stock

The international break brings to an end a run of seven games in 22 days and a much-needed breather.

With niggling injuries cropping up and tired legs from several intense clashes, those not on international duty will have the chance to recharge their batteries – though they are few in number.

Ilkay Gundogan can continue to build his stamina and match fitness following his recall to the Germany squad and the Blues’ boss will hope all his squad return fit and ready for the next game a week on Saturday.

GUNDOGAN: Getting sharper...

3 Home sweet home

Following a run of four successive away games and plenty of time on the road, City can now look forward to three out of the next four Premier League games at the Etihad.

Everton and Southampton are next up for the Blues and, following a trip to face West Brom, Middlesbrough will then travel to face City.

Of course, sandwiched in-between those games are a Champions League trip to Barcelona and an EFL Cup Round 4 match away to United.

With five home wins in all competitions so far, City will be targeting maximum points from the upcoming home games to consolidate the pole position the Blues currently occupy.

LOOK TO THE SKIES: Kelechi during the recent home win over Bournemouth

4 De Bruyne, Kompany and Delph

If City can welcome back injured trio Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany and Fabian Delph after the break, it would be a huge boost to Guardiola.

De Bruyne’s irresistible form means he has been a big loss in the last two games and City fans will be hoping Kompany’s set-back is a minor issue.

Delph’s absence has been a blow with the England midfielder’s energy and work-rate giving extra zip to the Blues’ engine room.

Hopefully some or all of the above will be back in time for Everton.

KDB: Recovering from injury

5 Nolito's understated influence

Nolito served the last of his three-match domestic ban at the weekend and is available to return against Everton.

BAN OVER: Nolito has served his suspension

The Spaniard’s contribution so far this season has been impressive and his four goals in eight games don’t tell the whole story of his seamless entry into the team.

His work-rate, link-up play and ability to find pockets of space near the opposition box have been missed, but have underlined his growing importance to the team.

 

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