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Moyes: Man City are league’s most attacking side

RESPECT: David Moyes and Pep Guardiola shake hands before Man City's game against Sunderland on the opening day of the 2016/17 season

RESPECT: David Moyes and Pep Guardiola shake hands before Man City's game against Sunderland on the opening day of the 2016/17 season

David Moyes says Man City’s impressive attacking displays under Pep Guardiola are reminiscent of Barcelona.

In preparation for Sunday’s clash, the Sunderland boss was present at the Etihad Stadium to witness the Blues net five goals against both Monaco and Huddersfield.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, he declared he had seen such ruthlessness and offensive prowess before.

“I came up against Barcelona [in the 2014/15 season], and they played those attack-minded players,” he stated.

“I’ve not seen it in the Premier League quite at the level [of City].

“At Barcelona, it was Neymar wide and Messi wide, and you’ll probably find, and I mean really wide, old-fashioned chalk on your boots wide.

“Anybody can notice that in the way Sane plays and the way Sterling has played recently.

“But they’ve also got a lot of intricate play through the middle because of Silva, De Bruyne and Aguero – they’re very good at mixing the way they play up.”

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Moyes added his side must beware of the Blues’ rapid counter-attack.

“You go up the pitch and you can leave yourself a little bit short defensively because of their speed, being too high up the pitch,” he continued.

“But if you don’t, you may allow them too much of the ball, so a balance between those two is what we have to find.

“We have to make sure we’re in the right positions defensively when they have the ball.”

The Black Cats manager also reserved praise for City defender John Stones, tipping his former employee for a future England captaincy.

“When I signed him I didn't think he was going to be anywhere near as a good a player as he has become,” he admitted, quoted in the Daily Mail.

“I thought he would be a really good player because he had natural calmness on the ball, not coached.

“But he can become one of the best now. Rio Ferdinand was great at taking the ball out from the back and John Stones is of a similar ilk.

“I also think that, in time, he will become captain material for club and country because he's someone who thinks about his game and is always looking to learn and improve.”

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Elsewhere, the Manchester Evening News have analysed how City have changed since the Blues faced Sunderland in the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season.

Amongst his findings, Simon Bajkowski writes: “The biggest shock has been in midfield, where Yaya Toure has stormed back from his exile to once again be a key part of the team.

“Leroy Sane did not make the bench for the opener but has become central to the way the team plays in 2017.

“Fellow winger Raheem Sterling showed exactly what Guardiola wants from him on the opening day, attacking down the right and creating goals.

“If they are the future, the old heads are still hanging around.

“Having asked for his team to play with soul before his first game in charge, the coach has found that most in his experienced players.

“The first game was certainly an eye-opener and Kevin De Bruyne, occupying a 'free eight' role, admitted players didn't know completely what they were doing.

“The 4-1-4-1 is there again after going missing for a hefty chunk of the season.

“Three at the back was experimented with and abandoned before Christmas, and Fernandinho has played at least four different positions in the team.

“His versatility has allowed for the return of the inverted full-backs that drew so much attention on the opening day.”

That’s all for today. How are you feeling ahead of the game? Let us know on Twitter @ManCity!

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