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Gossip: Stones salute and striker linked



There's plenty to pick over in the press this morning as the Premier League cranks back into life following the international break!

We have a detailed analysis of exactly what has clicked for defender John Stones, a new face on the pre-Christmas transfer speculation front in the form of a young Mexico striker, plus a sneak peek at what Leicester are thinking ahead of Saturday's game.

First to the man who has quite literally been like a rock for City at the back this season... England defender Stones.

The Daily Telegraph's James Ducker reflects: "City fans can enjoy arguing over who has come on the most but there is good reason why Guardiola considers Stones, along with Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane, to be like a new signing.

"Stones’s passing accuracy has been almost 97 per cent this term"

"The strides taken by Stones over the past three months, in particular, stand as glowing testament not just to Guardiola’s meticulous coaching methods but the way the player has grasped the Catalan’s exacting demands, absorbed what he has learnt and developed to the point of being the Premier League’s standout defender this term."

Ducker adds: "Stones’s passing accuracy has been almost 97 per cent this term compared to 88 per cent in his final season at Everton and nearly 93 per cent in the opposition half, a remarkable 15 per cent improvement from 2015/16. He is also averaging almost 23 more touches per game than then.

"Otamendi’s improvement is no less pronounced with 87 per cent of his passes in the opposition half find their target compared to 77 per cent two seasons ago under Manuel Pellegrini and he is now making 32 more passes per game than then. The De Bruynes and Sanes may be stealing the headlines but Stones, like Otamendi, is slowly changing opinions and forming a crucial central pillar in this City side. Vardy and Leicester should find it harder going this time around."

GOALS GALORE: City have bagged 52 in 17 games so far this season!



Every City goal so far this season

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Now to a story that already looks to have clocked up a few air miles, coming via Mexico and Italy to Caughtoffside.com.

Ron Carne writes: "In turn, you’d be wise to think that City are well covered up front, but according to Calciomercato as per reports in Mexico, they’re ready to launch an assault for PSV Eindhoven forward Hirving Lozano, although it could cost them a whopping €70m to prise him away.

"Lozano moved from his homeland and former club Pachuca this past summer, opting to join and PSV and move to the Netherlands to embark on his career in Europe.

"He’s started impressively too as he’s bagged 10 goals and five assists in 12 games for the Dutch giants so far this season, which is undoubtedly part of the reasoning behind City’s interest.

"Having shown an ability to adapt to a new country and new league so quickly, it’s impressive from Lozano, but it remains to be seen whether or not the 22-year-old would have similar success in England as time will tell if Guardiola really moves in to try and secure a deal."

Back to the here and now and Leicester player Danny Simpson has been speaking ahead of Saturday's game.

He told Leicester's official site: “I’ve always felt like we’ve done well against Man City over the years, especially at home. We’ve got nothing to lose. We’ll have a go at them and we’ll try and get something from them.

“With the current form and the record that we’ve got against each other, there’s no reason why we can’t cause an upset.”

That's all for today, stay tuned to ManCity.com for all the latest in the build up to the game.

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Men's Team

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Though neither side will announce their line-ups until an hour before kick-off this Saturday, here are five possible duels that might prove pivotal should they happen…

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