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Talking Points: City play the numbers game

SMILES AND STRETCHES: The ever-cheerful Sergio Aguero

SMILES AND STRETCHES: The ever-cheerful Sergio Aguero

Manchester City resume Champions League combat away in Lyon tonight seeking to maintain our excellent form on all fronts.

Ahead of the Group F clash at the Groupama Stadium we analyse some of the key talking points…

1Last 16 pointer

After an impressive run of three straight victories in Group F – including two on the road at Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk – City go into our fifth game in the group sitting in top spot, three points ahead of Lyon.

The maths ahead of tonight’s assignment in France are simple enough. A point will be enough to guarantee our place in the knockout stages of the Champions League with a game to spare.

However, the Blues will be anxious to maintain the momentum that has seen us record eight consecutive wins in the league, Europe and Carabao Cup since our goalless draw away at Liverpool in October.

And Pep Guardiola and his players will be also determined to try and finish top of the group in the knowledge that it could help afford the Blues a crucial second leg home tie ahead of the last 16 draw.

2Putting the record straight

September’s surprise 2-1 home loss to Lyon in our Champions League Group F opener seems like an age ago now.

But there’s no doubt the memory of that disappointing night at the Etihad will serve as an extra motivating factor for the City players at the Groupama Stadium tonight.

PREVIEW: Pep Guardiola and Aymeric Laporte.

Interviews

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Pep Guardiola: Press conference

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In retrospect, the defeat to the French visitors could simply be put down to a bad night at the office. It was one of those surprise results that football is capable of throwing up every now and then.

But pitted against a fired-up Lyon, who are still very much in the hunt for a qualification place themselves, not to mention a passionate home crowd, tonight’s return fixture offers City the perfect platform to show our true-Blue colours.

3November reign

City jetted out to France on the back of what has been a marvellous November so far.

Five wins in three different competitions, 21 goals scored and just two conceded makes for some seriously impressive statistics.

For our opponents, the most frightening aspect of our formidable early winter form is that both Guardiola and his players steadfastly believe there is plenty of untapped potential left in the tank.

That quest for continual improvement has been at the heart of City’s stunning progression over the past 18 months and the Blues will be doubly determined to maintain that forward momentum tonight to wrap up a perfect month.

4Goalden vision

The Blues have been scoring for fun over these past two months, chalking up five at home to Burnley, recording back-to-back six packs at home to Southampton and Shakhtar Donetsk and then smashing four past West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday.

What’s even more impressive about the goal frenzy is the way those strikes have been shared out. 

SILVA STREAK: David Silva celebrates after scoring his fourth goal in as many games

Highlights

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West Ham 0-4 City: Extended highlights

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Not surprisingly, our all-time record goalscorer Sergio Aguero leads the way with 11 goals in all competitions so far this season.

But what’s equally impressive is that six other players have managed to weigh in with five or more goals along the way, reinforcing just how many potent threats Guardiola has at his disposal.

David Silva and Raheem Sterling have both already racked up eight apiece while summer signing Riyad Mahrez has emphasised how quickly he has settled in at the club by registering six goals to date.

Meanwhile, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva have scored five goals apiece to further demonstrate City’s explosive firepower.

It’s proof positive that City really are a team of shooting stars!

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Lyon-bound: City head to France!

Men's Match Preview

Lyon v City: Kick-off, team news, TV info

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Laporte: Learning is key to success

PREVIEW: Aymeric Laporte.

Aymeric Laporte believes that learning every day under Pep Guardiola is the best way to progress.

Laporte addresses the media ahead of Lyon v City...