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First and foremost, it’s matchday and City travel to the home of the Hornets this evening, looking to continue our remarkable run and extend our lead atop the Premier League table once again.
Although the Blues boast an impressive record at Vicarage Road, Simon Bajkowski of the Manchester Evening News believes Pep Guardiola’s side should prepare for one of their toughest tests of the season.
“After months of making it look easy, Manchester City finally hit a wall last week,” he scribes.
“First, a well-drilled Lyon team surprised the Blues with a performance that reflected the challenges of Champions League football. Then, after Jurgen Klopp had mischievously suggested too many teams surrendered at the Etihad, a good Bournemouth team became the first English team in three months to score from open play against the champions.
“The first midweek fixture of the Premier League campaign, then, could have come at a better time.
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“There are still a number of injuries being nursed and Chelsea away looms at the weekend. Such tough spells make champions though, and if the Blues can come through this week unscathed it will be even harder to look beyond them as possible league winners.”
Meanwhile, Hornets boss Javi Gracia told press he feels his side are ready to ‘upset the odds’ against the Champions.
“Nothing is impossible,” he stated. “Always you have some chances. We want to take advantage of the chances we have.
“It will be difficult. We know that but playing at home with the support of our fans I’m sure we will have some opportunities.
“Even playing against Liverpool recently, we had a very good chance at the beginning of the game. It was an important moment and if in that moment you are able to score maybe the game can change. We have to be ready for that situation.
“Everybody knows it’s difficult to get a good result against City but I think they have drawn twice this season and then maybe we are able to be the first getting a victory. You never know.”
In other news, David Silva – viewed by many as the best player to ever don the sky blue shirt – has been reflecting on his time at the Club, deeming the decision to join the Blues ‘the best he’s ever made’.
In an interview with Four Four Two, he explained: “Genuinely, they were the team who wanted me the most and went the extra mile.
“Other teams were interested, but Mancini got in contact a long time before the end of the season to see if I wanted to come here, and say I was a big part of his plans.
““When someone puts so much effort into demonstrating they want to sign you, you follow your heart. That was the best decision I’ve ever made in football.”
He continued: “Pep Guardiola has put me in a position where my best qualities are most to the fore. There are subtle differences when you’re playing centrally, but that’s definitely the best place for me because I always love to have the ball.
“He’s not really asked anything different from me [since arriving in the summer of 2016]. You always have your struggles when there’s a new coach and it was no different with Pep.
“A new coach brings a new philosophy, so there are new things to learn. Ultimately, everyone is responsible for getting the best from themselves.”
Turning attentions to transfer gossip and ESPN Brazil have shared an ‘update’ on City’s supposed interest in Gremio forward Everton, claiming the 22-year-old is ready to accept a chat with Pep Guardiola – even if it transpires with a WhatsApp message!
“There are still things to happen this year,” he said, translated by Sport Witness. “Let’s see if there are any proposals to sit down and decide, there have been approaches of teams from Europe and abroad.
“This is normal for anyone who comes on a rise like me. You end up attracting attention, but nothing concrete arrived, but can arrive soon.
“[I received] Several contacts from various places in Europe, but nothing concrete that could seduce me and talk to Grêmio.”
And when asked if Pep Guardiola has already called him, Everton added: “Not yet. I joked about in previous interviews: I’m waiting there.
“If he wants to call, my phone is here. It’s nothing to compromise. But if he wants to, I’m accepting it. A good chat… even WhatsApp I accept.”
Finally, Inside Futbol are of the opinion that alleged City and Tottenham Hotspur target Tanguy Ndombele may be ‘sacrificed’ by Lyon in the transfer market next summer.
An article reads: “The 21-year-old French midfielder was wanted by both Premier League clubs last summer, but Lyon rejected offers for him and managed to convince him to pen a fresh contract.
“Ndombele is one of the many Lyon players who are attracting the prying eyes of European giants, with Ferland Mendy and Houssem Aouar also said to be courting interest.
“Lyon are considering all their options and according to French TV programme Telefoot, the club may be prepared to let Ndombele go next summer in order to protect their other assets.
“The Frenchman’s stock has risen considerably this season and Lyon are confident of earning a big fee if he is sold.
“Lyon are reportedly keen to keep hold of Aouar, who has attracted the interest Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City.”
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